It is a part of human nature that there will be times that, in spite of all that we need to do and even desire to do, we will find ourselves not wanting to do anything. What separates those who will become successful from those who will maintain the status quo is the ability to find the inner motivation that will enable us to conquer our complacency and move on in action.
I find that I confront this issue in my life on a regular basis. The following success strategies are proven ways to get yourself to go, even when you don’t feel like doing anything:
1. Honestly evaluate whether or not you need a break. This is the first thing that I usually do when I find that I don’t want to get to a specific action. The fact is that oftentimes we have been working very hard, and the lethargy we are feeling is really our body and emotions telling us that we simply need a break.
I don’t particularly like to exercise, but I do almost every day. However, sometimes I realize that my body needs a break. So from time to time, I will take a one- or two-day break from working out. The benefits of this are twofold: 1) My body gets a break to regenerate itself, and 2) after a day or two, I begin to miss my workout and eagerly anticipate returning to the gym.
2. Start small. When I find myself not wanting to get up and go to the gym, I will sometimes make a commitment to go—just do a smaller workout. This is also good for two reasons. 1) I actually get some exercise that day, and 2) it keeps me from getting into a cycle of giving up when I don’t feel like moving toward action.
3. Change your routine. I find running on the treadmill to be extremely boring. Usually I can get myself to do it, but sometimes I need to vary my routine. So instead of 30 to 45 minutes on a treadmill, I will break down my aerobic exercise routine into a number of different areas. I still get my exercise, but I’m a lot less bored.
4. Reward yourself. One way that I motivate myself is to tell myself that if I get through the necessary work, I will get a little reward. For instance, I might tell myself if I get up and go to the gym, I can take five to 10 minutes off my treadmill exercise, or I’ll allow myself to sit in the hot tub for a few extra minutes.
5. Reconnect the action with pleasure rather than pain. Psychologists have long told us that humans tend to connect every action with either pleasure or pain. When I’m considering not going to the health club, I can re-associate by reminding myself that I will feel better about myself, I will lose weight, and I will live longer by going. And that brings me pleasure.