I've always been a fan of the idea that a small success can lead to further successes. This dialogue between J. Clear and a Reddit user from an r/iAmA thread Clear hosted last year is a nice, simple read on the matter. The whole iAmA isn't too bad
When you’re in a funk (ie. low mood, sad for some reason etc), what are your personal habits that help you get out of it? Thanks man - loved your interview with Lewis.
I don't have a perfect solution, but I'll say this: one of the most effective forms of motivation is progress--even if it's in a very small way.
This is one reason you'll see advice like "Make your bed." It's a small act, but at least it's something that gets you moving and then you can build on that momentum.
Another thing to consider: I often find it useful to (1) make small progress, but (2) in a different area. Example: If I'm totally stuck writing an article, then I'll go to the gym.
This sometimes feels counterintuitive because when you're stuck on something: ruminating about a relationship, battling with a big project at work, etc. it can be very difficult to rationalize stepping away from it. It feels like the most important thing in the world and going for a walk or exercising seems like a waste of time in comparison. But I often find that I can more easily make progress and build momentum in a different domain and then, an hour or two later, transfer that energy back over to the original task.