Although blogging is one of my favourite things to do, over the past few months finding the time to write has slipped down my list of priorities for various reasons. Something I realised was that as time passed, the thought of opening up my laptop to write a post became harder and harder.
I know this lack of motivation is something we all struggle with from time to time. Whether it’s sticking to a healthy diet, saving money or working towards a specific goal that we have set ourselves…When we’re in a routine or once we’ve got into a habit, sticking to our goal can feel almost easy.
For me, the difficult part is the getting back into a good habit and starting again after a slip up. We know the actions we need to take to get where we need to be – so what stops us from doing them?
Most of the time, we know what we should be doing. But telling yourself that you should be doing x, y or z over and over again without actually doing them can lead to shame, guilt and a lack of motivation to try again. The longer we act in a way that we know isn’t helping us the worse it becomes. It’s the reason why a “cheat weekend” can easily turn into a cheat week or even year.
So what can we do to avoid the spiral of negative emotions that comes from feeling ashamed?
- Practice noticing your thoughts
The first step to changing your thoughts is to notice them. Meditation can really help us to separate ourselves from our thoughts, which makes it easier to challenge the “should” thoughts.
- Swap “I should” for “I want”
Of course, there are certain actions that you really should do like abiding by the law for example. But when it comes to personal goals, the word should implies that you are being told to do something by others. Try replacing I should thoughts with I want to [insert whatever it is here] as it can help us to take ownership of our goals and help us to feel like it’s our choice.
- Start small
I’m talking super small. For me to finally write this blog post it was making the effort to turn my computer on. It literally took one second and here I am now with a blog post. As you’re falling asleep tonight, plan one small thing you’re going to do tomorrow that will take you in the right direction. Any progress is better than nothing and just think it’s 100% better than undoing your hard work so far.
- Forgive yourself over and over again
We are human and we will make mistakes. Rather than writing off another day because you went off track this morning, make the conscious decision to try from this moment. And when you slip up again, no problem, just try again. Every moment is a choice, chose to do something future you will thank you for.
As always thank you so much for reading and I promise I’ll try not to leave such a big gap between posts next time! I always love hearing from you so please leave a comment or find me @makingitmindful on Instagram or Twitter.