Have you ever found yourself struggling to find the motivation to do something you promised yourself you were going to do?
Have you ever found yourself doing something you really wish you weren’t doing?
Have you ever made your children do something even though THEY didn’t want to? Almost every day, right?!
What is this dichotomy of life?!?!
I have been thinking about this a lot lately and pondering on how we are such interesting, conflicting human creatures.
Exhibit A-you set a goal for yourself to exercise 3 times a week and are highly committed to this goal and the desired outcome you believe it will have on your life.
But, the scheduled time you have set aside to do these workouts arrives, and you feel less than motivated by any of these original reasons for setting this goal.
Exhibit B- You complain copiously about the job you currently have, but you show up, without fail, every day. On-time. Ready to work. And you put your best efforts towards this less-than-desirable job. At the end of each day, you find it isn’t as bad as you thought it was going to be.
Exhibit C–Your child complains that their life is going to be ruined if they have to empty out the dishwasher (or any chore you have asked them to do around your home). You remind them that they are being overly dramatic and that they can have time to themselves when they are done. The child completes the task and moves on with their life–which is, miraculously, still intact.
I love to tell my children when they complain about doing ANY thing around our home, that they don’t have to WANT to do it, they just have to get it done.
But, when it comes to doing things I don’t want, I somehow forget this little nugget of advice.
Why do you think we do this?
When it comes to something that is taking care of ourselves, we excuse ourselves from it.
Or, we go to great lengths to make sure we CAN’T excuse ourselves out of it.
- Establishing an accountability partner. If we are responsible for someone else, we can’t possibly let THEM down! (side note–why are WE not important enough to not let down? hmm…)
- Create a reward system for ourselves–if we lose those 10 pounds, we can have that chocolate cake we love! (Again, side note—isn’t this counterproductive? Yes. Yes, it is. And is it really a healthy idea that food becomes a reward? The answer is no. no it is not.)
- Create consequences for ourselves–if we can’t fit into the little black dress for so-and-so’s wedding at the end of the summer, we are NOT buying something new! Also, not a healthy idea or mindset to have…
These are all ways that we use shame, guilt, and comparison to punish ourselves. No wonder we don’t want to do the things that are hard!
What if, instead of using these previously-mentioned tactics to bully ourselves into following through, we used self-love, compassion, and grace instead?
What would that look like you ask? Here are some thoughts you can try on:
- “I know we don’t want to go to the gym today, but we can do it anyway. Let’s just do a 10-minute walk on the treadmill and if we still don’t want to stay, we can be done for the day.”
- “Hey, I know we don’t want to, but we promised ourself we would. And we can do things we don’t want to do.”
- “I showed up for work yesterday even though I didn’t want to and it wasn’t that bad.”
- “It’s ok. We don’t have to want to. We do things we don’t want to do all the time.”
- “We’re so amazing at getting things done that we don’t want to!”
These might sound ridiculous and corny, but I promise they work on your brain! Sometimes, your brain just needs someone else to be the boss of it. And that someone is you.
Some healthy rewards you can use:
- A new outfit you have been wanting.
- A date night out with someone you love.
- A new piece of equipment or furniture or decor for your home.
The truth is, we aren’t EVER going to want to do the things we say we are going to when it comes to getting them done. Our brain will come up with a thousand different excuses for why you don’t need to or don’t want to do it.
But, just like you reminded your child their life will surely not be over for doing their unwanted chore, you are going to have to remind yourself that your life will also not be over. In fact, it is usually going to be improved immeasurably!
So, next time you find yourself saying-“I don’t want to….” go ahead and put your big girl-or boy-pants on and take charge of your life.
You got this. 😉
On a separate note, as I am working to finish my Certification for Life Coach School, I am looking for some people to coach! If you are interested in some FREE coaching, please contact me to set up a schedule and for more details!