I Don’t Want To….

Forcing Doesn’t Motivate

Fill in the blank with whatever it is you’ve been putting off. If you just can’t get motivated, can’t find the energy, whatever, then don’t force yourself. Clearly there’s a reason you’re resisting. When we force ourselves, that’s when we go to the gym once, only never to return. That’s when we make the New Year’s resolution and don’t follow through. Something is stopping us.

Sometimes we don’t need to know what’s stopping us, only that something is. Then, don’t force it. When you’re ready to figure out what’s stopping you or you’re ready to do it, you will. In our society we’re conditioned to, “Go, go, go, do, do, do, achieve, achieve, achieve!” If we don’t do any of those things then we feel like a failure. One we start to feel like a failure, it perpetuates the cycle.

Feeling like a Failure leads to Lack of Motivation

The more we feel like a failure, the more we don’t get motivated. The more we don’t get motivated, the more we feel like a failure. And on and on it goes. On that hamster wheel again, going nowhere.

Please don’t fall into the trap of beating yourself up with negative thoughts. Once you start these types of thoughts, “I’m so lazy!” or “I’m just worthless. I mean, I can’t even clean off my desk” (or fill in the blank), it’s so easy to get caught up in the cycle. You keep beating yourself up and the more you do, the less motivated you are to do the task at hand.

Beating Ourselves up is De-motivating

Beating ourselves up is de-motivating and frankly, it’s not very nice to our self. If your dad ever called you a slob because your room wasn’t clean did that motivate you to clean it? I’m thinking not. So why do it to your adult self? Because it’s a habit. Our parents may have started berating us as kids for not doing something and we picked up where they left off as we became adults. It’s dis-heartening enough you’re not motivated so why add beating yourself up to the mix? Now is the time to stop.

And why not give ourselves a break?

The world isn’t going to stop if you don’t go to the gym or clean off your desk or change the front porch light that you need a special gizmo for, is it? No, it won’t. Most things don’t need to be done right now. They really don’t.

We’ve been trained to always be doing or meeting our goals. People might tell you now is the time to stop procrastinating and get a plan.  If we just can’t seem to get off the couch and go to the gym then we’re a bad person. In what universe? No, you’re not a bad person, you just have some resistance right now.

It’s ok to put it on hold. It really is.  

That’s where we Americans forget to cut ourselves some slack. We’re probably known as the busiest culture in the western world. The Europeans know how to do it right. They have tons more vacation days than we do. Heck, they close their businesses during the day for an extended break or siesta time. They know how to slow down and smell the roses. We forget or never do. And when we do, that’s when the de-motivation sets in because we’re tired from over-doing.

Stop Over-doing

Stop over-doing and do something nice, fun or relaxing for yourself instead. Get that massage you’ve been talking about, paint your nails, take a long bubble bath, read a good book, geek out on your favorite topic, whatever it is. Just allow yourself the time for you. Be European, stop and smell the scented candles!

Once you can let yourself off the hook for a while, I promise you, that’s when you will all of the sudden realize, “Oh, hey, I started with a corner and before I knew it, I cleaned off my desk!” or “What time is that Zumba class, because I want to go today!” When you allow yourself to not do it is when you stop noticing you weren’t doing it. In the not doing it, in the giving yourself a break, you have freed up the space to do it. And that is when you do it! The beating yourself up game has stopped. Your motivation has returned. Yay you!