Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday Motivation| How to feel like doing it, when you don't feel like doing it.

I realize that most of the time, I'm engaged in a mini battle of the mind where I attempt to motivate myself into doing something that I don't feel doing.  But I know I should be doing it, so I  silently try to convince myself into action. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

That's why I decided to create a system of strategies for whenever that feeling comes up.  The goal is to increase the rate of action even when I don't feel motivated at that moment.
1. Visualizing myself doing the action.
Whenever I don't feel like getting up and exercising, chances are it's because my mind wants to avoid the experience. It thinks I'll be uncomfortable and miserable. Maybe it's right.  But only because I allow it to think that way.  What if instead I create new pictures of myself walking outside, taking in the fresh air, feeling the warm sun on my skin, being energized by the increased blood flow.  Suddenly, going for a walk sounds amazing.  Whenever you don't feel like doing something, be present to the thoughts you have that make it seem unattractive.  Change everything about that picture and create a new one focusing on all the wonderful aspects of taking the action.


2. Focusing on what I will get once I do it.
When you get that internal prompting to do something, it's because you want to experience the benefits of taking that action.  With each action you take, you receive a benefit. It's kinda like an exchange.  Most times. the biggest benefit comes from repeated action. But every time you take a positive action, you receive something in exchange.  To motivate myself, I think about the benefit I will get in exchange for my action.  For instance, if I do some of the work that I've been putting off, I get a feeling of accomplishment.  My mind also doesn't have to constantly remind me of what I need to do which takes away the feeling of  stress and anxiety.  In exchange for doing some work, I can enjoy a calm, stress free day.  In exchange for eating a salad for lunch, I'll enjoy a flatter belly and clearer skin. And so forth.

3. Do it for only 1-2 minutes.
Another way of motivating myself into action is to tell myself that I only have to endure it for a minute or two.  That's it. Then I'll be done.  This works well for actions that you really don't feel like doing.  Set you timer for a minute and go! Chances are, that minute will go by really fast and, once you're in the flow, you'll go for 5 minutes and maybe even 15.    Last week, I practiced doing small de-cluttering sessions of 5, 10 and even 15 minutes per room.  The outcome was much greater than I expected.  You'd be surprised how much you can accomplish in that little  amount of time.

4. Rewards.
Establishing a reward for yourself before you take action is extremely powerful.  Rewards multiply the benefits. First, you receive an internal reward for completing the action, then you layer on another reward as a symbol of your accomplishment.  It's like double dipping!  Suddenly, repeating that task doesn't seem so hard.  A good tip is to create different rewards depending on the level of action.  Start small and build up the reward for taking greater actions. Or maybe log all of your actions and reward yourself at the end of the week.  Have fun with it, it's up to you.

5. Fall in love with the process.
One habit, I learning to cultivate is loving the process.  I'm one of those people who look for results, and when the results aren't evident,  I stop trying.  Of course that type of thinking will demotivate me. My old mindset was like a child who only wants to play if I get the ball.  If I don't get the ball, I pout, call the game stupid, and go home (crying).  Instead, I should be happy with the experience of having to play with the other kids, hearing their laughter. feeling the excitement of everyone around me having fun.

The process is just as important more important than the outcome.  The process has the ability to develop me into an elevated version of myself.  The version of me who builds a million dollars in wealth is very different than the version who wins a million in the lotto.  The process builds mental muscles that impact my choices for years to come.  The process causes me to reflect on what I've learned and how I can to next time to get even better.  The process is invaluable and I should be grateful for every second it.

Try some, or all, of these tips and you'll be motivated in no time.

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