Typically, during your middle-age, everything in your life, including your career, relationships, family life, etc. are pretty stable. From a wider perspective, there aren’t many exciting things going on in your life as compared to when you were younger. Since you’ve already achieved many goals in your life, you tend to get a little demotivated at 50.
Luckily, staying motivated isn’t exactly hard. The main thing you have to do is surround yourself with positivity and do things that boost your mood. Relieving yourself of stress is very important. Setting new ambitions, being social, and staying healthy are all necessary to remain motivated at 50.
In this article, we will discuss 12 ways to keep yourself motivated at 50. But before we jump into that, let’s discuss some causes of demotivation because the diagnosis of a problem is important to be able to solve it effectively.
Causes of Demotivation
The first cause of demotivation is the achievement of life and career goals. Generally speaking, people at age 50 have ticked most of the boxes on their goals list, be it career-wise or personal life-wise. Most people have been promoted to the top positions in their respective fields, or are just one step away. Career growth slows down rapidly at this age, and promotions are rarely handed out.
As for personal life, most people will have children in their adolescence or young adulthood. Even the youngest kids are somewhat independent, and the older children have either already moved out or are about to. Both these things are actually really nice, but the complete fulfillment of most desires can leave a person feeling unmotivated to keep going. You can call it a lack of ambition too.
Pessimistic behavior is a major cause of demotivation. Adults, especially middle-aged men and women, tend to be more realistic. They’ve seen the ins and outs of the world, having collected decades of experience on acting in daily life, and understand that it isn’t a bed of roses. There are too many chances of things going south, instead of the direction you want them to go in. This realism is helpful in maintaining stress levels.
Young people, on the other hand, are very optimistic about their future, and even while being realistic, they tend to look for a better outcome. That’s why they are motivated and have ambitions. Middle-aged people tend to become pessimistic and are generally ready for worse outcomes. It’s good to some extent, but it can be a cause of demotivation and lack of ambition.
Tiredness is another issue that can cause demotivation. Exhaustion and fatigue can be of two types; physical and mental. Both play an equal role.
Physical exhaustion is natural, and its frequency grows as you age, even after doing small tasks. But much of it is credited to an unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity, especially if your job is to sit in the office all day.
Mental exhaustion is not natural. It’s caused by either way too much stress or way too much cognitive functioning, which basically means you’re completing or planning to finish an overwhelming number of tasks, or you’re dealing with multiple things at once, which you are at this age.
Anxiety and Stress
Anxiety and stress can really demotivate you, and not just by mental exhaustion. Severe anxiety regarding doing a certain task can put you off the task itself. That’s why breathers and breaks are so important. A high workload can also cause anxiety, along with stress. Stress hinders your overall wellbeing and impacts your life negatively. Excessive stress can be caused by a lack of social interaction, severe anxiety, failure of tasks, family issues, and personal health issues.
Lastly, health issues can also lead to demotivation. At age 50, your body starts to enter a stage when your metabolism begins to slow down–calcium deficiency becomes common (especially in women), you require vitamins for better functioning, and hormonal changes occur. All of these make you more prone to health issues such as osteoporosis, digestion issues, low/high blood pressure, and many more.
One thing common in all these health issues is that they slow you down. They make your regular activities seem like a large task. It leads to demotivation easily, unless you realize it’s just an age factor and try to overcome these problems.
Now that we’ve discussed the reasons behind your demotivation, here are a couple of ways on how to keep yourself motivated at 50!
Wake Up Early and Meditate
First things first, try waking up early. It may sound like something a cranky parent would tell you, but waking up early is actually really good for your health. Of course, at age 50, people are working, and they do wake up around 7 to get ready for their office. Those with children also have to prepare lunch and get their kids ready for school. But during this time, you’re rushing through every task and don’t have time to focus on yourself.
The rest of your day will go great if you wake up an hour earlier than you did. Make yourself a cup of coffee, walk around your house or the neighborhood. Go for a jog. If running isn’t your thing, at least meditate for a couple of minutes. Take deep breaths and calm yourself. Don’t stress about work. In this time, focus on yourself and how you aim to be productive. It’s a great way to motivate yourself.
Plan Your Day
Next, plan your day. The root cause of demotivation is procrastination, which is the result of being overwhelmed by things. If you plan your day ahead, you won’t be overwhelmed, which will, in turn, increase the rate of tasks achieved. Don’t stress while planning, and make sure to give yourself adequate break time. Planning should involve breaking large tasks into bits.
For example, if you have to create a presentation for a meeting tomorrow, break it down into bits – collecting ideas, researching, writing, and practicing. Take healthy 10-15 minute breaks between each task. After you’re done halfway through, take an hour-long break. Watch something at this time to entertain yourself. Allocate some time to finish tasks you left unfinished in between your tasks at hand, so you don’t get bored and unmotivated.
Another tip on getting yourself motivated at 50 is to improve your social life. Having friends to talk to throughout the day not only helps brighten mood but takes the focus off tasks that can be quite stressful for a bit. Healthy conversations also inspire innovative thoughts and help discover passions. As such, being social makes you motivated in numerous ways. You look forward to hanging out with your close friends, and to do that, you finish tasks at hand quickly.
Building new friendships is also a great way to motivate yourself. Getting close to a person gives feelings of ambition too. Being social is also very important for mental health.
At age 50, you might face many issues with family, such as kids growing up and moving out, parents getting old and sick, etc. Having someone who can talk to you, relate to you and validate the mixed feeling you’re having is beneficial for you. Because of it, you can destress and concentrate on your to-do list.
A sensible decision you can make to lead an easier and more productive life is to avoid people, places, and things that are negative for you or have a bad impact on your wellbeing. It’s often hard to recognize them, but if something triggers you, makes you uncomfortable or drains your energy while providing nothing valuable, then it’s negative. Negative things make you feel bad, which often makes you unwilling to do tasks, or in other words, demotivated.
If something is clearly negative, don’t hold on to it. It’s not in your best interest, even if you believe so. Frustration is a key reason behind demotivation. Plus, limiting exposure to negative people and things can actually conserve time and keep you mentally healthy.
Keep Social Media Usage in Check
One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is to limit social media usage. We’ve all been there; almost all of us are addicted to it. The problem is, we love falling down the same rabbit hole multiple times. We see a notification, we click on it. It leads to a video. We see related videos, and this chain never stops. Hours are wasted each day like this. Procrastination and laziness take over, which we all know are the enemies of motivation.
To stay motivated, you have to limit your social media usage. Sure, on days when you don’t have work, you can spend a few hours. But on days you need work to be done, don’t use social media for more than 2 hours. Another advice for you is to avoid using social media as a breather because you can end up spending quite a lot of time on it. Chat with a friend instead.
Understand Your Triggers
Getting triggered isn’t anything to be ashamed of. Triggers are natural for everyone. Triggers are basically obstacles and annoyances, so they’ll obviously irk you. You can get triggered a lot, from once to multiple times a day. That’s just life. However, it’s the way you navigate through these with your emotions that matters.
Triggers breed negative thoughts, sometimes even about yourself. These thoughts create personal constraints and situational difficulties. So how do you deal with it? If you have a trigger, try avoiding it. Step away from it mentally, and if possible, physically. There’s no point in giving an emotional response. Giving responses after being triggered can drain your energy and affect your mental health, both things which can lead to demotivation.
Find a New Hobby
Like we mentioned earlier in the article, people have achieved most of their goals by age 50, and even if they haven’t, they are either too close or too far to be ambitious. And you should remember that ambition fuels motivation.
That’s why it’s a good idea to pick up a new hobby, something you weren’t doing before. It can be cooking, playing an instrument, painting, some type of sports, designing, writing, charity work among countless options.
Your hobby should be something you’re interested in excelling, and passion will automatically follow. Because you’re not an expert already, you will have the drive to achieve more. This will motivate you for all things, as you’ll be finishing other tasks well to focus on your new hobby. Here’s a video you can watch to help you find a hobby:
Learn a New Skill
This is kind of similar to our previous point. As you hit middle-age, you gain more and more experience but learn fewer skills than you did before, unless you’re working in constantly progressing fields like software development or medical research. And even then, the skills you gain aren’t a huge leap from what you were previously doing.
Humans have a natural drive to learn and grow. That’s what keeps them motivated. If you want to stay motivated, then learning a new skill is very helpful as you embark on a journey of learning new things bit by bit and polishing what you already knew. New skills can include graphic designing, fashion designing, sculpting, baking, crafting, carpentry, etc.
Unhealthy diets are very common in the US. They aren’t too bad for younger people, but as you get old, eating healthy becomes a necessity. By eating healthy foods, you boost your metabolism, lower your chances of getting sick, improve cognitive function and performance, reduce fatigue, boost your immune system, take care of your organs, increase work speed, and feel less bloated and irritated.
All these things contribute to making your mood better and bringing a positive impact on your daily life. When you’re feeling better, you’re motivated to keep the change going, and won’t mind trying out new things. A good mood also helps you stay focused and achieve important to-dos quicker.
Be Physically Active
One of the causes of demotivation we mentioned earlier was tiredness. It’s equally attributed to an unhealthy diet and no physical activity. To overcome tiredness and ultimate demotivation, you’ll have to be physically active. Physical activity doesn’t automatically make you motivated, but it’s linked to our psychology and the levels of exhaustion.
Physical activity can be anything. It can be a half an hour workout in the gym, an hour-long run in the morning or evening, a hike, an exercise routine at home, a dance workout, or a sports game. Being physically active also keeps you fit and reduces the chances of you being ill, which is another hindrance on your path to becoming motivated at 50.
This is another tip to get you going. When you wake up in the morning, don’t just throw on anything. Spend a minute or two thinking of a good combo of your top, bottoms, and shoes. Of course, comfort is important, but so is looking good. Along with that, take good care of your skin and use cleansers, moisturizers, sunscreen, and lip balm. Take a shower in the morning and put on perfume. Put makeup on if you like it.
Why should you do this? It’s because it boosts self-esteem. Self-care makes you look good and appreciate yourself. When you enter the office, you’ll find your friends complimenting you. This is a huge boost to confidence. You tend to get more work done when you’re feeling ecstatic. You don’t have to seek anyone’s approval, but being praised does get you hyped up and motivated.
Our last tip on staying motivated at age 50 is that no matter where you are in life, always take charge of your own decisions. You’ve managed to come this far, been through thick and thin. So if there’s any nuisance, it’s your determination and will that will take you through it. Nothing is done on its own, and you have to do it sooner or later. And in this case, the sooner, the better.
You’re best motivated when you firmly believe that what you do will make a change. Life is hard, and things can seem impossible. In fact, some of them actually are. But individual responsibility is also very important. Once you understand and accept where you were wrong, you can make better choices later on. Taking charge also involves eliminating blame and putting one’s frustration out on others, as well as taking up on tasks and efficiently solving them.
In this article, we discussed reasons why you feel demotivated at 50, along with 12 actionable ways you can take care of this problem.
The biggest reason behind your demotivation is that at age 50, you’ve gone through 80-90% of your to-do list, especially when it comes to your lifestyle, so there’s nothing to be ambitious, excited, or motivated for. The best solutions are to find a new hobby and learn a new skill, along with applying our other methods into your daily life.