Updated: May 21
Do you find yourself shying away from doing things you need to do, want to do even, but you just 'can't' seem to do them? Do you find yourself always putting things off, not getting your school work done, wishing you would get around to doing what you wish you were doing? Would you love to 'be' different, are you longing to change but it just isn't working?
Would you love to join a class, go to the gym more, curb your anger, eat more healthy, exercise more, do that hobby you love more, finish your assignments on time, study, get up earlier, go to bed earlier, cut back on the caffeine, the energy drinks, or something else?
Without going into the 'why' you find all of these things so hard, or examining the causes to your blocks, it can be really useful and effective to skip to one important skill. A life skill. Adulting 101. Self-Discipline.
Have you stopped reading?! Boring old self-discipline. I'm sorry. But there is no other way. You can talk about inspiration and motivation all day long, but at the end of the day, the plain old fact is, you just gotta do it. Even though you don't 'feel' like it. Does anyone ever feel like doing something hard? You know that person who gets up early, eats a whole food plant based diet, exercises, achieves things.... well that person struggles just like you. You are not the only one who doesn't want to do it. We all have to make ourselves do the 'unnatural'! We all want to hang back and leave it. I'll get to it tomorrow. I really feel a bit sick actually. You know I'm not even sure this is a good thing to do. I will just leave it. Sound familiar? Then a few days go by, a few months, and you go back full circle to 'feeling' motivated again. Okay this time you are going to do it. You join a gym, buy the yoga pants, get a gorgeous organiser, tidy up your desk - a bit, or something else, and you are going to change! However, unless you have a few tricks up your sleeve, you won't last too long until you give up again. So here are the essentials you need:
~ Get very clear on what it is you want. Take some time to visualise clearly (As if it is happening in real life) what it is you want to achieve. For example, see yourself more fit, see yourself feeling super energetic and healthy, see yourself handing in your assignment on time and feeling really good about it, see yourself finishing the race you want to enter, see yourself going on that date with that guy and feeling confident about yourself. See whatever it is you want.
~ Now you need to add in a crucial layer. Layer into that visual, your feelings. Knit in how you will feel. See it. Feel it. Do not move on to the next step until you can actually feel the feeling in your body as you are visualising. Feel the feeling of looking good, feeling light and energetic, feeling positive, feeling good about finally having achieved the thing you want, feeling strong!
~ So now you repeat. You have got to keep doing this visualisation! As often as possible. When you are brushing your teeth, remember. See it. Feel it. If you can't, don't just forget about it, make yourself see the dream and feel it again. In the car when you are waiting, remember. Force your brain to forge the new neural connections. You brain is getting used to this idea, it's building pathways to the new. Feel it.
~ Now, as you are visualising the heck out of it, you need a crafty plan. Figure out how you can achieve your goal. What do you need to buy? What to you need to wear? What do you need to eat? What time will you need to get up at? How will you get up at that time. Figure it out. One of the most important things to plan for is failure. Plan to hit a lot of obstacles. Think back on why you keep failing at this time and time again. Whats the emotional wall you come up against each time?
~ I want you to now think of a good counter-argument to that emotional block. For example some emotional blocks might be, 'I just don't feel like it' or 'I will be embarrassed if I try it'. Try to be objective, and work out some logical reasons why you will have to do it anyway, even if you feel that way. For example, 'Well I don't feel like it, but I am going to suffer through and do it anyway. I will feel amazing when I get going' or 'I know I feel embarrassed, and that's okay, but I am going to try this because my life needs this. I can't continue living like this'.
I am not saying it is easy. Let me be clear, self-discipline and suffering for the betterment of yourself, is HARD. It is going against the tide. You will not feel like doing it! But you will do it.
You keep reminding yourself of your vision, and keep telling yourself that you are going to do it, even though you don't feel like it.
One last tip, is to not think about it! So say you want to get up early, don't lie in the bed thinking about it. Just do it! You did the thinking yesterday, you made the decision. Now it's time to do it. The decision has been made. Get up! That kind of thinking is needed. Just do it. After you have don't this once or twice, you will be amazed at how quickly your brain catches on. A new habit is formed.