Kids sorted. Lunches made, uniforms on, hair tied, teeth brushed and dropped off at school. House tidied, washing on the line.
Ah – That sweet moment when there are no JOBS to do. FREEDOM.
Oh what to do with my time today.
Mmmmm – I could actually exercise?! Maybe hit the treadmill, or go for a walk in the park.
Actually – Why not ring some friends and see who's free for a coffee. Or maybe I could do ANYTHING that’s on the overdue list.
Ever felt like that? You know something would be good for you, or there's something you really NEED to do - BUT NOOOOOO!!! RESISTANCE kicks in
WHY ????? Oh Why Do we resist the very things that are probably the very best things for us to do??
Procrastination. Its truly a thief of our inspiration and our ability to move in the direction that is likely the best direction for us.
SO what is the actual deal?
Well I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
Procrastination is driven by Pain.
- Or our mind's desire to AVOID pain.
Our subconscious senses that a particular activity might trigger an emotional pain that we have experienced previously; in the past (maybe way way way in the past). And so it wants to help us by keeping us from taking a similar action.
Relating back to my resistance to exercise.
Throughout my adult life I have been constantly “working on'" improving my figure. Wanting to be more toned, less flabby, weigh less…..
I have TRIED EVERYTHING. (Well maybe not EVERYTHING - but defintitely LOTS of things!!) And sometimes I have had success, and all of the hard work has been so worth it. Feeling fit and trim FEELS so great.
But then for a myriad of reasons, some downward slide happens. And back to my old default setting I go.
And then when the inspiration hits me to get back on the fitness wagon, my subconscious immediately jerks back and emotionally connects with ALL OF THOSE OTHER TIMES.
All of the frustrations, the punishing workouts, the battle of willpower and feeling that I needed to RESIST all of the cravings. ARGH the BATTLES.
And so the emotional ghosts of difficult times past – that emotional PAIN, protects me by giving me ways of PROCRATINATING.
SO HOW DO WE BEAT IT?
Ok – so there’s the explanaition of the WHY or the HOW it all kicks in.
And now - what to do to beat it?
Write down and FOCUS on your WHY!
Why do you WANT or NEED to take this action anyway - what is the point?
What are the benefits you are looking to gain?
(In my exercise example - obviously, to feel and look healthy, to be active and fit - especially as I age is important, I do NOT want to be fragile and on a walking frame. No! - Give me the Sprightly Busy 99 year old thanks!!)
Start out SLOWLY. Don't try to go from 0 to 100 in one day. Create a plan that has baby steps included.
(Pen and Paper Time)
JOURNAL! - Yes REALLY!!!
Write down how you FEEL before you are about to do the activity you are wanting to procrastinate on.
Are you feeling Frustrated? Irritated? Angry? Agitated? (these are usually the feelings of resistance)
Write down how you FEEL AFTER you have taken the action.
Usually it will look something like: Relieved, Proud, Grateful, Lighter, Happy.....
And keep these notes as a reminder for the next time you may be resisting, (and it may FEEL like "there's a reason" for the resistance and therefore, definitely DON'T take the action - yeah whatever, check your notes ) It will always FEEL so much better to just get it done. Let your notes be your motivator.
Create some kind of ACCOUNTABILITY for yourself around the actions you are avoiding.
Have a score card somewhere visible to you. It feels so much better to see things CHECKED off the score card. It can be the stick that kicks you in the butt when you just don't wanna!!
And if that's not working - Do the Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule - and just DO IT.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY
Create a reward for taking the action. It doesn't have to be an expensive reward, and it doesn't have to be something that negates the action you have just taken
(e.g - smashing a whole chocolate cake because you just ran for 20 minutes!!)
It could be a simple High Five for yourself (yes REALLY!! it can be that simple!!)
The point here is to create a different, NEW and REWARDING memory for your subconscious. AND over time, the resistance is replaced with excitement - as that new REWARD memory takes hold.
However, that can take a few weeks - so rely on steps one through four until that happens!!!