Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how people find the motivation to do the things they don’t want to do, but know they need to do. These things might include going to the gym, eating healthy, or finally cracking a project they’ve been putting off for months.
Now that my half marathon is finished, it’s easy to sink back into the couch and think, “I deserve a break.” But how quickly that break can turn into an extended vacation, and then just my new way of life.
It’s always harder to get back into something when you’ve been away from it for a while. This must be why it’s so hard to go back to work on Monday after a holiday.
Once you get the ball rolling, it’s easier to keep going with it. But that first step is the hardest.
You can psych yourself up all you want, make a detailed schedule of what you’re going to do, and say motivational mantras over and over in your head, but until you just do it, you haven’t done anything.
Whether it’s exercising, starting a home project, or making an unpleasant phone call you know you need to make – there’s no better advice than Nike’s tagline – Just do it.
The group leader in my running group tells us – just get yourself in the car and drive to the Running Room – the meeting spot. Once you get yourself that far, you’ll go through with the run. (And I have to say, I’ve never seen someone get dressed in their running gear, show up at the store and say, “You know what? I just don’t feel like running today. I’m going home.”)
We all have our moments of “I just don’t feel like it.” So why are some people better than others at pushing through that feeling and getting ‘er done anyway? I suspect we all have different reasons.
For me, the peer pressure of my running group helps me run on a regular basis. Just knowing that someone expects me to show up for a run motivates me to get out of bed on a frigid Sunday morning when I’d MUCH rather be sleeping in.
For everything else – from chores to work projects – my motivation for just doing it is knowing that I’ll feel better once I get started – I always do – and knowing that I’ll feel great when it’s done.
But what gets you from “Just don’t feel like it” to “Just do it” is up to you.