I don’t know what’s come over me these days. While planning out my day at work, I also write up a list of to-dos that need to be done after work, but once I leave office, I think “Hell with it all. I’m just going home.” And kiss the to-dos goodbye. It’s not like I have anything pressing to do at home, either. Nor do I go home and get cracking on things that can be done around the house. Interesting stuff too, mind. Like experimenting with photography. Learning the tarot. Cleaning up my art table so I can make some art.
Instead, I go home, change into my sweats, and play Bubble Explode on my iPhone like my life depended on it. That game is evil, I tell you! It has me totally obsessed.
Seriously though, I don’t like this change that has crept upon me. And for the life of me, I can’t figure out why I have zero motivation. I know myself well enough to know it’s more than sheer laziness (not to say I’m not lazy, but I’m not this lazy!) So, what is it?
A lot of the things on my to-do list are related to long-term goals – like going for a walk and cooking evening supper minus carbs (to lose weight), doing 1 chapter from Learn the Tarot (to, of course, learn how to read the cards), clean the art table (so I can start creating art once again).
I know from experience that long-term goals can change sometimes, so the first thing I asked myself was if I still cared enough about said goals. I do!
Since it wasn’t as simple as sheer boredom with my goals, I knew I needed to dig deeper. Time to bring out a notebook and a steaming cup of tea.
I listed each goal on a separate page, then wrote the words “I’m afraid I won’t be able to achieve this because” underneath, and without stopping to think or analyze, I wrote down all the thoughts that came to mind. For e.g., under the goal of losing weight, one of the things I listed out was that since working out regularly for 6 months gave me no tangible results, I was destined to stay overweight.
Once I had repeated the exercise for all three goals, I went back and confronted my demons head-on. To counter the fear of never being able to shed the excess weight, I checked my food diary from when I was exercising. Based on Gary Taube’s book Why We Get Fat and What To Do About It, I now see that I was eating too many carbs and hidden sugars back then. So it is worth my while to try out a course correction in my diet combined with a moderate workout to help me achieve my goal of slow, steady and permanent weight loss.
Finally, I asked myself if there were any other thought patterns that were pulling me back and keeping me de-motivated. Surprisingly, I found that I am actually overwhelming myself by over-thinking things. Take going for a walk, for instance. How hard is that? Not hard at all, right? Now, start thinking and imagining these steps – fight through traffic to get home, keep purse in its designated place, drink some water, maybe have a fruit, change into tracks and tee, find socks and wear running shoes, lock the house, go for a 30-45 min walk, come home, shower, change into sweats…Doesn’t the very thought of the entire process overwhelm you?
Note to self: Do NOT break down a simple walk into a thousand steps ‘cause it does not help! Instead, just think get home, go for walk. See, that’s so simple!
What about you? Ever felt like you were lacking motivation? What did you do to overcome it?