“I know what I need to do –I’m just not doing it!”
I have just recently got myself out of a “blah” period of feeling like I was moving through mud. I just couldn’t get motivated to tackle my business projects, spice up my workouts at the gym, and even get through my personal “to do” list. I blamed the winter. I blamed being too busy. I blamed my cat (just kidding, don’t have a cat! but I would have blamed her nonetheless). Excuses. Excuses.
After some soul-searching, I realized that I was procrastinating. I was stuck because I was scared. I was afraid to fail. I was beginning to feel uncomfortable with the changes happening in my life, so I wanted to go back to being comfortable. To be safe. BUT how would I grow? I knew I had to get some mo-jo going again so that I can push through and move ahead to bigger and better things.
“So how do I move forward?” you ask.
Here are some of my tried and true tips for tackling those excuses:
1. My goal is too big – it’s not specific enough, so I don’t know when I’ll reach it. (okay, have to admit, this is the one that gets me).
Break it down! Turn your goal into a series of actions or tasks that you can actually follow. For example, if your goal is to recharge throughout the day, one of your actions would be to take a 5 minute stretching break at your desk. Or take a quick 20 minute power nap in the afternoon.
2. I don’t understand or experienced the benefits – what’s the point?
Find someone who can give you firsthand experience. For example, if you’ve never exercised before, but you think it would be helpful… find people who love to exercise and ask them what it does for them. The other option (and I highly recommend this one) is to simply GO FOR IT! Do it – for one week – and chances are, you will have experienced the benefits for yourself and will want to continue.
3. I don’t have the info/resources/support I need to make it happen.
Find the person who will support you in making it happen. A buddy, a coach, or a trainer. Buy the equipment, clothes, food, gym memberships you need. Buy a book to help you. Take a course. Don’t deprive yourself of the things you need to make your goal a reality. That would be like sending your child off to school without any textbooks or a lunch box.
4. I haven’t removed the obstacles that are in my way. I don’t have a system for it yet.
Create a system. If you want to do something, but you haven’t created a space for it in your calendar, it will never happen. If you haven’t created a plan for how to make it work, then it won’t happen. Take 5 minutes to create a plan, and you’ll be one step closer. Plug it into your day. Plug it into your daily routine. Put it on your calendar! I have been using Google Calendar and the alerts really keep me focused.
5. No one else is doing it -I don’t want to be the only one.
Someone needs to be first. Be cool – be bold – be the ringleader! Know that most people need to be inspired by others. Why shouldn’t you be the one to do the inspiring?
6. NOT doing it is more pleasant than DOING it. NOT doing it is my reward!
Ah, if this is the case, then you need to create a way to make your goal more appealing. If you want to stop drinking wine at night, but having 2 glasses of wine each night is your reward for a hard day’s work… then taking the wine away without putting anything pleasurable in its place will be torturous. But, if you identify something as pleasurable as the 2 glasses of wine – to experiment with after work – then you’re in a much better position.
7. I tried it before and I failed. I don’t want to fail again.
Watch this negative thinking! No matter what happened in the past, this is a brand new day. A brand new goal. You are a different person than when you attempted this goal the last time.
You have a whole new chance to reach this goal. If you tell yourself you can’t, then you can’t.
But think about this. If you’ve failed time and time again… and you’ve already gone through all of the questions above, and you’ve reduced all the obstacles that stand in your way… then perhaps you aren’t meant to reach that goal in the first place.
For example, if you’ve been trying to lose those last 5 pounds for the last 15 years, maybe those 5 pounds aren’t meant to be lost. If you’ve tried to run a marathon every year, but you keep getting injured 13 miles into the race, maybe you’re supposed to run 1/2 marathons instead.
So, what do you do to get yourself un-stuck? How do you spark that motivation? Pick two tips to try and leave a comment below on how you will implement them. Can’t wait to hear how you get ‘er done!