1) Ask yourself do I actually want to do this thing or do I just like the idea of being the kind of person who would want to do this thing? (when you are not actually that kind of person) Is it a ‘should’ or a ‘want to’?
I quite like the idea of being the sort of person who likes to go camping but I don’t like going camping. So I’ve decided not to have camping on my list of things to do.
2) Set yourself a deadline and set some sort of reminder to review your progress towards the deadline on a daily basis. Even a calendar that you tick off each day or write a note on each day could be a good place to start. I have a chart on my wall where I colour in a box for each day that I go to bed by 10pm.
Gretchen Rubin discusses in her book ‘Better Than Before’ that this will motivate people who like to oblige others by following rules but will be much less effective if you’re a rebel. Half my days are coloured in, so I think I veer between the two.
3) Lull yourself into a false sense of security- Vow that you will work on that thing for only 10 or fifteen minutes per day and set a timer so that you only are faced with working for that short period.
4) Get help, pay for help if you can. Think if there is any way that you can barter the task or part of the task. Yup, I know this is hard. Yes, I also know you do the best job, I get it. There might be one tiny way you can make this easier for yourself, what is it?
When we get back to the UK next month we’re going to go on holiday and part of the bartering will be booking an internet food shop to be delivered and making sure it includes lots of salad so there will be less cooking and so less stress.
5) Decide upon a reward and tie this reward to having completed the task. Melissa Ambrosini suggests having a self-care menu up on your fridge so you don’t have to think what these are and you begin to integrate treats into your everyday.
6) Work out what the tiniest step you can take is towards your goal and just do that tiniest step. Martha Beck calls these ‘turtle steps’ as they are steps so small that even a tiny turtle could take them.
Ask yourself ‘What’s the first thing?’ Then ask ‘is there a smaller step than that?’ until you get to the smallest step. Then do that.
7) Work out what the impact of not doing the thing is. What dreams would be less likely to come true?
Keep your vision of what you want in your mind each day either with visualisations or with a vision board that you have made by cutting up images that represent your desired future and sticking them on a large piece of cardboard. I like to make vision boards and then glue and glitter them. I have done this as a rainy day activity with my daughter and she loved it.
8) Figure out the wider reasons that you have given yourself this task or the reasons that you have been given the task. What’s the point of it?
9) How will you benefit from doing the task?
10) How will other people benefit from you doing the task?
11) What will happen if you don’t do it? On second thoughts scrub this one. I have a feeling it might just lead to feeling crappy. So instead just notice when you start off on the guilt trip of what will happen if you don’t do that thing. Recognise that this is fear coming up and is a way of the ego trying to keep you safe from sabre-toothed bosses.
12) If you’re tired consider whether you would actually benefit from resting first before beginning the task.
[Tweet “Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is to have a nap.”]
13) Have someone to hold you accountable and check in with you on progress. Make sure it is someone that you trust and that won’t criticise or make you feel bad for not having done the thing that you want to do. If you don’t have such a person handy get out and make more friends so you do have this kind of person around.
14) Keep a log of your progress made, preferably in a book or a journal that you love.
15) If you are feeling rebellious tell yourself that you don’t or shouldn’t do the task and experiment with whether this takes you closer to action. My coach has used this with me. When she tells me not to do something it sometimes works that I do it, as then it doesn’t have the chains of a ‘have to’ or a ‘must.’
16) Give yourself a certain amount of time to improve the environment that you will do the task in. This needs to be limited to that you don’t get caught up in puttering around. Yes I just need to water the geraniums and while I’m at it I’ll fill the bird feeder…
17) Turn off social media. They’ll still be there when you get back. Just think then you’ll even have a life off the computer that you can tell people about.
18) Use a timer for 25 minute concentrated blocks of work interspersed with five-minute breaks. I use tomato timer for this.
19) [Tweet “Ditch as many other things on your to do list as you can so you can focus on the things that really matter.”]
20) Be prepared – work out what materials you need for the task and get them to hand as much as you can, although notice if you are letting not having the perfect supplies stop you from doing the thing that you want to do.
21) Get better at making decisions on what you want to do and in follow through. I’m planning on reading this and this to help with that. Well, that’s if I decide to make the time and follow through on it!
[Tweet “Practise making small decisions so you’re ready when big decisions are to be made.”]
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If you’re a mother who would like help with doing the thing that you want to do but you are not doing I would love to offer you a free fifteen-minute ‘Good Karma’ Skype call. We will dive a little deeper on your issue and I will help you with one tangible tip to use in your everyday to help you towards a life that feels lovely.
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you a link to my scheduler. This is a pitch free super useful call to help you make a move in your right direction by helping you get the thing that you want to get done, done.
Disclaimer – my life does not feel lovely the ENTIRE time but it’s what I aim for. Hey coaches are human too, otherwise I just wouldn’t understand what it’s like.