If you’re like most people these days, your daily schedule looks nothing like it did this time last year. Maybe that’s a good thing and maybe you’re struggling. Or maybe you’re like me and it’s both. It’s a roller coaster of “I’m so grateful for this time and slower pace” and “I can’t do this anymore!”
Being self-employed, I get to make my own rules. It also means I am in charge of pushing myself to get things done – even when I don’t feel like it. I mean, I’m not going to fire myself or make a note in my file if I don’t get something finished, so it’s up to me to hold myself accountable even when there are no immediate consequences.
Here’s the problem.
Some days I miss the busyness and chaos that I once thrived on. (Although it felt like it nearly killed me.) Don’t get me wrong, I do love this new pace that I have discovered since March. I love that I have cut out unnecessary tasks for my work that made me busy but not productive. I love that I can be available for my children when I need to be. But the ‘urgency’ is gone. The chaos is gone that used to keep me feeling wired and energized. (Side note: energized in this case is another word for frantic and stressed.) While I don’t miss the feeling of panic or stress, sometimes I have to look hard to find that extra oomph. I have to create my own energy and motivation.
What is it that you want to take action on but never do? What is it that you will look back on in a year and realize you never made happen? Maybe it’s a business that you want to start, but it slips past you every day. The idea of working out and providing more self-care remains an idea – it never gets done. Taking a vacation that you have dreamed about for years. It’s time to take some action!
Here are some tips on getting things done – even when you don’t feel like it.
1. SET YOUR GOAL AND BABY GOALS
You have to know where you are going – a destination. Start with the ultimate goal and break it down into baby goals. For example, If you are counting to 100, first you have to count to 1. Then you have to count to 20, 40, and 80. Those are considered mile markers. Decide when you want to get to each mile marker and mark it on the calendar.
2. CREATE A ROAD MAP
Every goal has work or tasks that go along with it. This is basically your road map. Work backward from your goal and decide each step along the way. This can seem overwhelming and your brain may want to give you excuses as to why this is too hard or why writing down these tasks do not matter but trust me, this will help you out in the end. Once you have broken down your goal into baby goals, ask yourself “How do I get to 1?” Write down every step so it takes out confusion once you get started.
3. KNOW YOUR WHY
It really helps to know why you are doing something. Our minds are able to attach to it and take ownership in a whole new way. This ‘why’ needs to be compelling enough to you that you would do anything to get to your goal. Chances are, this goal you have set for yourself will have parts that are unknown, boring, or uncomfortable. If your ‘why’ is not compelling, it will not be labeled as important and other things will come before it. Your brain will always find an excuse to do something different that is easier and less confusing. Knowing your ‘why’ will help you to stay on track and override your brain when it wants to check out and do something that’s fun and immediately energizing but will ultimately set you back on the progress that you have already made.
4. KNOW THE CONSEQUENCES
This is the big one. Since I don’t have any immediate consequences like a write-up or termination, I have to know the consequences that are bigger and more important than a write-up. Knowing your ‘why’ makes it easier to see what is on the line if you don’t stay the course that you have set for yourself – like being stuck at a job that leaves you with no free time, never feeling financial freedom, not getting to start your own business. Those are consequences that carry way more impact on your life than a writeup.
5. DO IT ANYWAY
There WILL be days where none of this gets you motivated. There will be days when your brain tells you this is not important or it’s too hard. You will want to believe it and retreat to the couch with a big bowl of ice cream. Your brain is just doing its job – it’s seeking pleasure, avoiding pain, and expelling as little energy as possible. That’s your primitive and undeveloped brain speaking. You have to turn on your ‘do it anyway’ brain and simply go through the motions. This is where tips 1 and 2 become really important. If you have already laid out the milestones and tasks (roadmap), you will not have to think about the next step. You can do this all without a big dose of motivation.
Good luck to you. I hope this helps you to stay on track and keep the goals afloat.
If you are interested in taking this work a step further, my SET program is exactly what you need. Schedule a time for a consult call to learn more.