An ambitious work project, a family getaway, a trail run with friends...A few years ago, you would have been energized by a packed calendar — eager for a new career challenge, excited for an adventure, jumping at the chance to spend time in nature. But now, the motivation just isn’t there. You have just as many commitments, but not nearly as much drive to make them happen. You may feel more tired, foggier, and less focused. And you’re not alone.
“It’s common to feel a dip in motivation as you age. I often hear people say, ‘I lost my mojo’ or ‘I feel meh,’” says Dr. Vinita Tandon, Lifeforce’s Medical Director and a board certified endocrinologist. “For example, maybe you used to love a hobby, but you don’t feel like doing it as much anymore. Or you would normally be gunning for the next promotion at work, but now you feel less driven. This is really prevalent.”
In fact, a 2021 study of almost 1,000 women and men between the ages of 14 and 77 found that shortly after the early 50s, participants showed a sharp decline in passion, perseverance, and positive mindset about the worthwhileness of pursuing new challenges. Another study by the Families and Work Institute noted a decline even earlier. It found that workers began losing their ambition to get promoted or seek out more responsibilities around the age of 35.
Many people chalk this up to apathy or even laziness, but there’s something else at play. As you age, changes in your body mean shifts in your mood and motivation, too. On the bright side: You have the power to get your spark back.
The Hormone Connection
“Hormones play a huge role in motivation,” says Dr. Tandon. As you may know, hormone levels drop dramatically with age. Testosterone levels decrease in both men and women. In men, testosterone peaks around age 30 and declines 1 to 2% each year after that. Dr. Tandon notes that by the time men hit their early 40s, their testosterone levels are often 40% lower than their peak. “As testosterone dips, you feel less motivated, driven, and ambitious,” she says. “You don’t have that get-up-and-go feeling.”
One likely culprit: the link between testosterone and chemicals in the brain. “When testosterone attaches to certain receptors in the brain and throughout the body, you release endorphins and other neurotransmitters that lead you to feeling happy, motivated, and engaged,” says Dr. Tandon. She explains that testosterone also converts to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), another hormone that impacts mood and cognition, which can then affect overall ambition.
For women, a drop in motivation is one of the many changes that come with perimenopause and menopause. In addition to lower testosterone levels, estrogen and progesterone levels also decrease beginning around age 40, Dr. Tandon notes. “Estrogen is a huge hormone for mood and cognition,” she says. “It helps you process information by changing the chemistry in your brain so that messages get transmitted from one neuron to another effectively.” Progesterone is just as key, as it plays a role in mood and sleep.
“As both these hormones drop, a big complaint for women is that they can’t multitask as well, their short-term memory isn’t as good, and they feel less focused,” Dr. Tandon says. Research also finds that perimenopausal women experience symptoms such as lack of motivation, lack of pleasure sense, low mood, and disrupted sleep, which can severely impact their quality of life. “These hormone changes lead to a perfect storm where women feel a lot of apathy and lose their desire to engage in things they really used to love doing,” adds Dr. Tandon.
Rediscover Your Drive
Fear not, your motivation isn’t gone for good. Once you get to the bottom of what’s happening with your hormones, you’re one step closer to reigniting that old fire inside you. “It’s pretty amazing how when people restore their hormones, they really do recover their mojo.”
Knowledge is power, so your first step is to get to the root of the issue by measuring where you’re at right now. With the Lifeforce Diagnostic, we test for 40+ biomarkers that drive your mental and physical performance, including hormone balance. You’ll discover your levels of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and more markers that affect motivation and overall well-being. From there, you’ll consult with a Lifeforce clinician who’ll create a personalized plan to optimize your hormones and feel like you again — the best version of you.
The Lifeforce Diagnostic also tests for key nutrients that impact motivation and mood. For example, Dr. Tandon notes that it’s important to check vitamin D levels because a deficiency can contribute to moodiness. “You also want to make sure you’re not anemic because that can lead to feeling tired and unmotivated,” she says. The Lifeforce Diagnostic will check for these issues, and your Lifeforce clinician will recommend the best course of action.
Motivation on the Rise
Your action plan may involve high-quality, premium-grade nutraceuticals. Lifeforce’s cutting edge Peak Rise™ formula will help you recapture that get-up-and-go attitude. It extends the duration of caffeine by up to three times for long-lasting energy without any jitters or crashes. It also enhances how efficiently neurotransmitters signal to key neurons in the brain that boost drive, alertness, focus, and mental stamina.
“Peak Rise™’s active ingredients such as caffeine, Dynamine™, TeaCrine®, Cereboost® ginseng extract, EnXtra galangal extract, vitamin B6, and Cognizin® CDP-Choline all support dopamine, acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters that impact healthy mood, perceived energy, and motivation to complete tasks,” says Dr. Hector Lopez, Lifeforce’s Scientific and Innovation Advisor and world-renowned expert in dietary supplement formulation and safety. “Peak Rise™ offers another tool in a high-performing person's toolbox to show up at their best for work, play, family, and social activities."
The article was medically reviewed by:
Kerri Masutto, MD, ABIM Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner
Vinita Tandon, MD, ABIM Board Certified in Endocrinology and Metabolism