The rewards of a feeling of well-being plus achieving my weight loss goals provide a 'carrot' to motivate me to work out. Image courtesy of marcolm at freedigitalphotos.net
Motivation or the mental eagerness or readiness to engage in a particular behaviour, can certainly seem like an easier feeling to have at certain times. If we enjoy a task, if there are rewards important to us, if it is an easy task – self-discipline or motivation isn’t as difficult during these times.
However, if we don’t particularly like a task but it needs to be done, the rewards seem small for the effort or it requires a lot of physical or mental energy, then getting the job done can seem a trial at times.
Here are some suggestions I can at least say have worked for me when I don’t feel like doing something that needs to be done.
1 Break up the task – write down the parts involved, the steps. When you complete each part of the task, let yourself feel that sense of reward that will help motivate you to the next step.
2 Make the environment conducive to getting the job done. Whether it’s tidying your desk first as well as say having a candle, photo, or little motivational ditto on the wall, it can all help. If it’s housework, I find playing upbeat music really seems to give me mental energy and a more positive mood.
3. Have a reward planned. When you have something you are looking forward to doing after completing your obligations, you can mentally anchor yourself to that during the task to spur you on.
4. Have frequent breaks. Mentally or physically, no-one can simply keep on working without a break. If you are hesitant to have rest periods in between remember that you will probably do a better job if your concentration is at its best, you have had snacks/water in between and it will probably actually make you more efficient. At least, you will work more effectively such that the breaks won’t be wasteful. If you keep going without a break, you can make mistakes, slow down, and that horrible feeling can grow inside you.
5. Try to remember why you’re doing it. I hate housework, but the lovely clean feeling afterwards does make it worth it. Exercise can be a chore, but the endorphins and keeping a healthy figure keep me doing it.
6. Don’t think about it too much. Just do it. I notice thinking about the actual task (not the rewards after, that is) just keeps me procrastinating.
7. Prioritise ** Get the must-dos done first. This will help the lower stress levels and make the rest of the day easier.
8. Think about urgency. Does it have to be done? Does it have to be done today? Can you just do some of it?
If you think about what is important to you as far as what your values are (tidiness, creativity, family) this can help prioritising. Be kind to yourself…do a bit at a time, keep being kind to yourself and if you are realistic with a healthy discipline you CAN do it!