Una's Blog


29 The art of doing it when you really don’t want to!

graphic-1by Una Hearne.

There are only two reasons we will take action:

1.  We enjoy the activity (say, eating chocolate)

2.  The result of doing it gives us something we really want (say, taking exercise)

Clearly there is no problem with motivation when we enjoy the activity. So how do we make sure the stuff we don’t enjoy doing actually happens so that we get the outcome we want?

One answer is to have a vision and keep it very much in our conscious mind. We need to be conscious of what we want and why we want it. This makes it much easier to take actions we are not terribly excited about.

(Note I always use the word vision – if you don’t like this word or it doesn’t resonate with you please substitute whichever of the following you prefer:  goal, dream, outcome, mission, objective, desire, aim, target, intention, destination).

Here’s my version of how to stay aware of your vision:

  • Make sure you are very clear and specific about your vision. You’ll know you have it right if, when you look at it you feel excited.
  • Externalise your vision in a way that appeals to you and is exciting. Write it out, make a picture of it, tell someone or lots of people about it, make a model of it, record yourself describing it… be creative and suit yourself. Include how you will benefit from making your vision a reality and how that will make you feel.
  • Put the words/pictures/recording/objects somewhere you will see them every day. Maybe not where other people could potentially make fun of you – depending on how supportive the people around you are! Seeing/hearing/touching your representation of your vision daily will boost your motivation every time you notice it.

Here’s why this works; if you focus on the activity you are trying to do and don’t enjoy, thinking about how much you don’t want to do it, it will take longer than necessary, take more energy than necessary and there is a higher likelihood you will avoid doing it altogether.  You will also likely experience frustration and guilt.

Now imagine being very conscious that doing the activity will help you achieve your vision, allow yourself to imagine what it will feel like when you have achieved it. Suddenly it’s  much easier to do the task and more likely you will get the job done efficiently. Added to which you can reward yourself by spending the time you might have spent procrastinating, doing something enjoyable.

Having a clear vision of what you want makes getting chunks of work done relatively easy. As ever, I don’t expect you to take my word for this, I invite you to try it out for yourself.

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