Can you remember occasions when a simple task felt so unachievable that you found it hard to make a start on it?
And yet another time you did the very same thing without thinking twice? I’m not talking about good pain days and bad pain days here, what I am talking about is motivation.
Take ironing for example. It’s my least favourite household chore. It makes my hands hurt, my feet hurt and it’s boring… so I leave it to build up, until it’s so big I can’t face making a start on it and I end up feeling guilty for being so lazy. And yet, when I’m going on holiday, somehow ironing the clothes I want to take with me is very easy and almost enjoyable!
When we are motivated by something, tasks are so much easier to complete. So how do we keep motivated on a constant basis to do the jobs we don’t like starting? Well there are often a few barriers which need to be overcome.
If your reasons for doing something are not strong enough for you to get stuck into them ‘there and then’, chances are you will ‘leave it ’til tomorrow’. You will find it extremely easy to find a lot of reasons not to begin and very few to get yourself going to make a start.
The way to deal with this lack of motivation is quite simple: find one or more very good reasons to do it! Going back to the example of ironing, when facing a pile of laundry, if I were to form a very clear image in my mind as to how much better I would feel if I just did a little bit of ironing every day or so to keep, the pile down, I know I would find it much easier to make a start. I also know that it makes a lot of sense to pace myself gently, because it’s kinder to my body and I could use the time to listen to music, an audio book or practise mindfulness meditation. A few very good reasons to get on with it!
This isn’t just about ironing. When we put things off, a task often becomes more of a burden each day and the trouble is, deep down we know we are going to have to face it sooner or later, which can add to the feelings of guilt and inadequacy. The longer it goes on, the less we want to do it and the bigger the problem looks and feels.
The best approach is to face the situation head on – whatever it is, big or small. Take a deep breath and take some action. It might not be possible to complete it in one go, but make a promise to yourself that you will keep going until it is done and once you do make a start, the easier it will be to carry it through to completion.
One of my favourite books is one by Susan Jeffers called; “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”. This is quite relevant, because sometimes the thing that stops us from doing something is fear. Fear of failure, fear of increased pain, fear of the unknown. It can be paralysing.
If you find yourself in this situation, remind yourself that fear can also be looked at as a way of growing, of challenging and gently pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Don’t be controlled by your feelings of fear but welcome them as part of the process.
Life is about making choices, each time you find yourself thinking “I just can’t be bothered”, remember there are also moments of opportunity, even in the most mundane of tasks, so seize them – whatever they are – and enjoy them!
Source by Bridie Nelson