Sometimes I find it hard to get myself to do things. Partly because I tend to make lists of WHAT I have to do. Just ploughing through a list of WHATs can be very tiring and disheartening, especially if you don’t manage to get through it all. I’ve found it helpful to reframe my thoughts and concentrate more on the WHY.
Let’s say I need to do some vocal practice and I really don’t feel like it. Rather than just trying to force myself to do it, I can think about why I’m doing it in the first place: to keep my voice in shape for teaching and performing, which I love to do. I know my voice sounds a lot better if I practice and that’s the end result I want. Once I start I can actually feel and hear the benefits in a short space of time. So all I have to do is start!
You can apply this to anything, for example:
Sports training: you are building up the skill and power you want
Exercise: your body will look more toned and you will have more energy
Housework/decorating: your place will be a more pleasant space for relaxing, eating, freshening up, pampering yourself, sleeping, having guests over – all the things you enjoy doing in your personal space
A job you’re not crazy about: if you’re lucky enough to be well-paid, think of all the pleasant activities that you can afford to do because you have that job, or you may be supporting a family – consider how great it is to be able to keep them and yourself comfortable, or it may be just keeping your head above water – well you are able to live an independent life and you can plan your future from there.
It may sound simplistic but I believe it’s a good idea to know the bigger why. What you feel you are meant to be doing in this life, and how the stuff you have to do will help you do it. It may also help you decide what NOT to do. Will buying that suit really help your career progression? Will scrolling through Facebook help you to finish your latest masterpiece?
You can always change your plan if your values and/or desires change. But rather than just trying to work your way through what seems to be an endless to-do list, take some time to write down your big WHY, and adapt your WHATs to suit.
It would be great to hear what you think – this technique has really helped me stay on track.