Are you ready to finally stop telling yourself you’re going to meditate or exercise or anything else you say you want to do and start actually doing it without whipping yourself into tears?
After decades, I finally solved this for myself. A few simple steps and inner work and now I do what I say I want to do for myself almost all the time! And here is how.
Late at night, you feel all that wonderful resolve.
Tomorrow I’m going to meditate or do yoga.
Tomorrow I’ll work out.
Tomorrow I’ll declutter my desk.
Tomorrow I’ll…you fill in the blank.
Then, morning comes and you are off like the wind and all that resolve goes away.
“OK, I’ll start tomorrow.” Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
The strangest part of all of this is that you actually want to do it! It’s just that it never gets done.
I’ve been looking at this process in myself for a long time. Sometime about a year ago I decided enough was enough. Promising myself night after night, or day after day, was clearly not working. I realized, even though it sounds harsh, that I was lying to myself. And by telling myself I would do it “later”, I was trying to fool myself. It was almost never happening. Something had to be done differently.
Clearly, I had to be different.
Many of my private and Mastermind clients face this same dilemma; it’s part of our very strange human nature, so you probably know all too well what I am talking about.
One of the worst parts of this “fooling ourselves” process is that it hangs over us the whole day. I’ll do it later, I’ll do it before I go to bed; I’ll do it… just not now. Then “later” never comes and we’ve spent the whole day promising and not keeping our promise and it feels awful.
Is it about having enough time? Simply put: No.
Yes, we’re all busy. But really and truly, some of these tasks take only minutes. You know it’s not the length of time it takes.
I think a big part of the problem is when most of us wake up, our day looms large and hot and overwhelming and we feel like we have to Get. Going. NOW.
So our best laid plans…stay just that. Plans.
Once I decided enough was enough, and allowed myself to really know that this wasn’t working (I mean how many decades does it take!!!), I actually found a solution that works for me. I share it here in case it helps you too!
- For me, what I want to do each morning is: my personal core Eidetic images for expansion and spiritual connection, a spiritual opening practice I love, and eye exercises to keep my eyes healthy and relieve some of the overfocus from computer use. I also have two weekly actions: my home practice of “stretch and strengthen” (which my husband Michael calls “grunts and groans” – you can guess why ☺) and to call my 91 year old uncle in Vancouver Canada at least once a week. Of course, your special to-do-for-me tasks are your own. These are simply mine right now. They also change over time.
- My daily walk is a given – like brushing my teeth – this is already easy and regular for decades and I love my mountain walk. You probably have those too. You don’t need anything more!
- I put a paper calendar next to where I drink my morning coffee for my special morning time. This time is mine. These first three morning practices happen when I want to do them, which for me is in the morning.
- What works for me: If I do any or all of the 3 morning practices, I write them on the calendar. If I don’t do them, I’m done with those tasks for the day. That’s right! This is the key part for me. If I don’t do them when I wanted to, in the morning, which is the best time for me, I let them go! Totally!!!!! No more beat ups, no more false promises to do them later. Done. Gone. Over. I never say to myself anymore: I’ll do this later. Never.
- The next day is a fresh new day. I either do them or I don’t do them. No beat ups. No false promises to myself, dragging them along behind me all day. What a relief!
- BUT!!! I keep recording when I do each one, and I can see that I actually am doing them. Over time, and this is KEY, I have come to trust that if I get off track, or travel and let it all go, I come back to them, over and over and over. I can see it on the calendar! So I have built this trust with myself that I will and am doing them! I didn’t have this trust before, but I tried to have it by chastising myself. That chastising didn’t work for me. This does!!!!
- And… I can also feel the wanting to do them coming through more. ALSO key!!!! By not hounding myself with continuous false promises throughout the day, my desire to do them has increased. And so has the pleasure it brings me to see them on the calendar. SO lovely!
As for the grunt and groan (2x/week) and calling my uncle (once a week), those aren’t daily. And they aren’t in the morning. But I write them and can see them on the calendar, and I can see weeks when I don’t do them. Or I can see a week that is almost over and I haven’t done them. And I want to – so I do. Again, no beat ups. Simply doing them, or letting another week go by and seeing those empty spots on the calendar.
For me, all of these tasks I do for me. Every single one of them makes my life better in different ways. And yet, I was delaying them day after day, week after week, for….years!
That has really changed.
The biggest take aways:
Honesty with yourself. Take stock. You say one thing but you are doing another – be honest if that is true. Get real with yourself. (This part really helps.)
Do the morning ones in the morning or let them go!
Each new day is fresh – you do it or you let it go.
Watch yourself – you may notice, like I did, that the pleasure you take in actually doing what you say you want to do goes up! And the beat ups go way way way down. Pretty much to zero!
Keep track. Not as a beat-up. Just to keep yourself honest and in tune with what is real. The paper calendar for me is great because I don’t want electronics in the morning.
And the best parts:
Watch your beat ups go way way down and your desire and your pleasure soar.
And…lo and behold….you’ll find yourself actually doing them!
I had fun sharing this with you and I hope it helps you too, or inspires you to find your own way. I would LOVE to know if you try this, what happens for you! Please let me know.