Do you ever find yourself putting off a task that would release you from a bottleneck and actually get you moving forward?
Do you procrastinate on tackling something that may not feel great in the moment - even though it’s crucial to get it done?
Do you sometimes avoid a project that scares you?
I mean, you’re human!
I know I still struggle with these tendencies sometimes.
So, I wanted to offer eight little tips to help you get moving when you don’t feel like it:
Evaluate: Does this thing really, for sure, 100% truly need doing? If not, my goodness, scratch that thing off your to-do list and simply let it go.
Put it first: Choose a day you’re going to do it. Figure out the soonest possible time you can do it after waking (I know sometimes we’ve got to walk the dog or feed our kids and, please, feel free to brush your teeth, dress and feed yourself!) - and then get it done and out of the way. Let nothing distracting come first: not social media, not your phone, not heeding your mind screeching dictates of false urgency and pulling your attention in competing directions. As Nike says: Just Do It.
Create a turtle step: I love coach and writer Martha Beck and credit her with this one: take your task and keep breaking it down by half until you get to a scope that feels crazy, silly, ridiculously easy. For example, you want to write an article for a magazine? Half that: write half an article. Half it again: write a paragraph. Half it: write one sentence. Half it: choose a topic for said sentence. And half again: brainstorm and write down ten possible topics. Keep reducing it all the way until you’re no longer resistant or intimidated. Do that step, then another. Turtle steps add up. Don’t underestimate ‘em.
Reward Yourself: Choose your reward in advance, clarify your action, and then, once you’ve done the thing, give yourself the reward. You must give yourself the reward. Be reliable and kind. Build trust in yourself, give yourself the dopamine hit, and watch how this habit can wire your brain for action and success.
Find a buddy: Enlist someone to help you, accompany you, or cheer you on to get the thing DONE. (For more on this approach, you might want to read my blog on when it’s time to Up the Ante).
Use a timer: I LOVE this one. Seriously, when you are filled with dread and struggling almighty to just get started already, please set that freakin’ timer, and watch yourself GO. Oh, and keep the time short. Don’t overwhelm your sweet self with a ridiculous expectation, like eight hours of focused work. I’m talking about five minutes, ten minutes, maybe thirty. Go gently and watch how momentum takes hold when you keep your bar of expectation low - and set that wondrous timer.
Visualize this thing completed: Meditate on how GOOD it’s going to feel and what benefits lie ahead. Pump up your motivation in your mind. But then, don’t just think about it. Let the satisfying vision propel you into taking one step towards bringing it to life: one step!
Choose one of the above and commit: You actually can’t just read these tips, nod affirmatively, and mutter under your breath, ‘Yeah, those make good sense.’ You have to actually act. ;)
So, come on, tiger.
Choose one. Commit.
Go get ‘em.
P.S. It’s summer. Maybe you’re shaking your head in disbelief, thinking, “Coach Nic, you crazy. I’m not trying to get stuff done! I’m aiming for CHILL. For relaxing. For taking a breather and laughing as much as humanly possible. For laying by a poolside and sipping some virgin pina coladas with my friends.” [Insert your definition of summer fun and leisure.] And you know what?! If that’s you, hallelujah and I applaud and 150% support you: for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, summer can feel way too fleeting and you get out there and PLAY, friend!
BUT. But: if there is also some bigger stuff that you ultimately DO want to create in your life, some yearnings calling for your attention, or you know in your heart of hearts that you need to clear out of a bunch of crap that currently stands between you and the life you really want, please join me for a live Toronto-based workshop at the end of August designed to help you transition from summer mode and lay the foundation for a fall that feels awesome. Click here to learn more and register. I’d love to see you there and help you get moving in inspired directions! :) (For those of you not in Toronto, more deets on an August 28th virtual workshop to follow. Please save-the-date and stay tuned!) XO, N
Nicola Holmes is a Life Coach who works with individuals and facilitates “The Expansion Circle,” a transformative group program for women. Nicola helps people who are feeling stuck or struggling to realize their goals; overwhelmed by life change; or determined to ‘level up’ & turn their dreams into reality. She’s also mama to two young and spirited kids, community-minded, a CBC-lover, voracious reader, and is currently obsessed with podcasts! Join Nicola’s Facebook community or join the email party to access inspiration and resources to fuel the changes you yearn for.