Motivation vs. Inspiration: What's the Difference?

positivity Aug 18, 2023

This quote made us think:

“Motivation gets you going. Inspiration keeps you going.”

What’s the difference between these two terms and how can we relate them to our mental health journey? After all, it is… a journey. 

The simple definitions from the Oxford dictionary:


From a quick glance, they seem pretty similar. But there are some key differences. First, motivation commonly stems from external factors and is short-lived, whereas inspiration is an internal push to do something and usually lasts longer. You can also think of motivation as the pulling force whereas inspiration is what drives us. And a mixture of these two could be the perfect combination to improve your mental health.

Beginning a self-care plan or making a goal to better your well-being can be challenging. It’s not always easy to begin new habits or break old ones. And it can be even more difficult to maintain these goals. This is where you have to muster up the MOTIVATION to begin your journey. Here are some tips to beginning new routines:

  • Start Small: It doesn’t always have to be “go big or go home.” Sometimes it’s best to start small. Include one positive thing a week or work on breaking one habit this month.
  • Make a Routine Right for You: Working on your wellness isn’t a “one size fits all” kind of thing. You don’t have to force yourself to do yoga if that doesn’t feel good for you. Maybe affirmation workouts are a better fit.
  • Add to your Existing Habits: Just because you’re starting a new routine doesn’t mean you have to get rid of things you love. For example, if you usually take time to drink coffee in the morning but also would like to read more, take 10 minutes every morning to read while drinking your morning joe.


Now that you’ve started working on your mental health, it’s time to sustain that self-care. This is when INSPIRATION comes into play. Here are some tips for keeping your routines: 

  • Reward Yourself: Celebrate the wins. We often get so caught up in our goals that we forget that it’s important to pat ourselves on the back. Whether you wrote in your journal everyday for a week or took a nightly walk, take a moment to acknowledge your achievement! 
  • Be Consistent with Time: Try to do things at the same (or a similar) time every day. If you want to add a yoga sesh, you could do it in the mornings before work or at night before bed.
  • Give Yourself Grace: So you didn’t get around to working out today… that’s okay! If your day doesn’t go exactly as planned, just try again tomorrow.


Feeling motivated to begin your journey? Start with our Getting Started” videos to help you get in the groove.

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