The five most dangerous words you will say to yourself today are “I don’t feel like it!” Perhaps you’ve uttered these words already. Or perhaps that little voice inside your head has. These five words are a wall that prevents you from doing the work that needs to be done.
All that talk inside your head directly impacts the results you achieve. The good news is: you are in control. It’s your head after all. To get more out of each and every day, and break through that barrier that is blocking your progress, you must understand your thoughts and feelings – and how you can control them.
This article will introduce a simple, yet effective strategy to achieve your targets even when you don’t feel like it.
Start With a Written Plan
Lethargy and ambivalence can easily become the norm when you don’t know what you should do next. It becomes easier to just do nothing or occupy yourself with meaningless work if you don’t have a well thought out, strategic plan.
The first step in getting past those five dangerous words is writing an action plan. Keep it simple:
- Define your ninety-day targets
- Determine the actions required to achieve those targets
- Write a weekly action plan each Sunday
- Create a daily task schedule and follow it
Having a plan will focus you on the work you should be doing right now. Scheduling your tasks is essential.
Examine the Root of Your Mental Blocks
Even with a written plan, you might hit a task that you want to avoid or that you continually put off. The irony is that particular task is likely the most important one you should complete right now.
Your unwillingness to act on that particular task is rooted in your own mind. There is a block that will not allow you to get started. Understand that any mental block you have has been created by you – and can therefore be removed by you.
Most blocks are a result of a fear or a limiting belief. At a subconscious level, that fear or belief is triggering behavior that does not allow you to progress toward your goal. For example, you believe that only dishonest people make lots of money, and therefore you struggle to close sales in your business. Your behavior when selling actually prevents the sale. You don’t ask the right questions, you don’t challenge the buyer’s answers, and you don’t ask for the sale.
Take some time to examine and understand your block and why it exists. This knowledge may assist you in the long run in preventing this repeated behavior. In the meantime, there is a faster way to get moving right now.
Don’t Ask Why
When you get stuck, asking “why” seems like the logical way to understand your actions (or inaction). However, asking why can open up a can of worms. Answers to “why” questions often sound a lot like stories. We use these stories to justify certain behaviors.
You can really confuse yourself by asking why you do certain things, and it will not necessarily give you the information you need to change your behavior. For this reason, you don’t need to ask yourself “why.”
Instead, Ask How
Your behaviors are patterns you run in your mind. These patterns have developed based on your experiences, environment, and education. Most patterns run unconsciously. The way you procrastinate or avoid doing work is a pattern. When you understand how that pattern runs, you can alter it.
Next time you tell yourself, “I don’t feel like it,” instead of asking “why?” ask yourself, “How do I do that?”
Your blocking pattern will start in a particular way then follow a path to the ultimate decision of, “I don’t feel like it.” Your goal is to determine how you run that pattern. How does it start? What are the steps in the path? How do you reach your ultimate conclusion?
In the example, you might change your behavior by first recognizing that your aversion to making calls is repetitive. When you recognize this pattern, you can make a concerted effort to change it. The most abrupt change would be to pick up the phone and make the call regardless of how you felt. That change in behavior will bring about a much different result.
The key is in understanding that you are in control of the pattern you are running. At any time you can choose to change your behavior in order to improve your outcomes.
If All Else Fails…
The last ditch effort in getting past “I don’t feel like it” is simple getting on with it.
Sometimes you don’t feel like it. Fine. Do it anyway.
Creating your own successful life – whatever that means for you – will not be easy. It is in continuing to move forward even when you don’t feel like it that you will make the gains that separate you from everyone else.
Play the Long Game
Creating an amazing life for yourself is not easy. If it were, then everyone would be doing it. You’ve chosen a different path. You have a greater vision. That means you will have bigger barriers to overcome. That means you will have to work harder, faster, and smarter than those who settle for less.
Don’t fall into the trap of pushing so hard that you lose yourself. Sometimes you do need to take a rest. Sometimes you do need to pause the hustle. Taking a break from time to time does not mean you are weak.
Be mindful of your health and contentment. And give yourself a break when you need it.
But don’t accept “I don’t feel like it.” Make a commitment to yourself to be better today that you were yesterday.