So it was time to do the bills again this week.
If you know anything about me – or you’ve read a few of my posts on the subject – you know that I hate doing bills. Really hate doing them. Maybe even more than you do.
Why? Because doing bills isn’t just about paying bills. It’s about analyzing and projecting the business. It’s about coming face-to-face with my gettin’ in and spendin’ out.
Because of the angst in this area, motivating myself to get bills done has proven…difficult. I’ve tried lots of strategies. Incentives at the end (thanks chocolate/banana cookies!). Affirming that I am being the professional I need to be. Lots of rah rah-rah-rah-ing.
The fact of the matter, however, is that none of these really work, and so I find bills being put off for days…maybe weeks…struggling to motivate myself to actually get them done.
But this week, finally, I came up with a new strategy related to motivating myself.
I stopped trying.
Stopped talking to myself at all.
And I just did the friggin’ bills.
Stay with me. This is big.
We all face things we need to do in life but don’t like to do, and so we don’t feel motivated. These are in the don’t wanna do category.
We also face new things we want/need to try or do – things that might really interest or excite us – but which also scare or intimidate us. And getting that final motivational push can be hard to come by. These are in the wanna do but apprehensive category.
Here are a few examples or each:
Don’t wanna do
- Doing our taxes
- Quitting smoking
- Hitting the gym
- Leaving a group
- Typing up a report
- Reaching out to a difficult family member
- Having a serious conversation with our boss or our staff or friend
Wanna do but apprehensive
- Trying a new hobby
- Traveling abroad
- Giving rock-climbing a go
- Going out to dinner alone
- Getting a coach/therapist
We might procrastinate or obsess or make up stories as to why we can’t do them right now. And then we get mad at ourselves for procrastinating or obsessing or making up stories.
Sometimes we never actually do the thing…and then we feel terrible. Sometimes others are impacted and they feel terrible, too.
But you know what? It turns out that you actually don’t have to talk yourself into doing something before doing it. You can just…do it. Pull out the tax forms and get started. Begin typing out the report. Sign up for a class. Pick up the phone and take on something. Email an inquiry.
Being motivated – talking ourselves into it or embracing it – is not required in order to do something. Instead, we can just do something and let our minds catch up. Which they will because they have to.
This is actually a huge thing for me to say. Keep in mind, I make my living motivating people. I speak and I write and I coach about finding motivation to make change or get better or give up the thing that isn’t serving you.
Heck, I just wrote a whole friggin’ book about convincing you to make changes to make your life better.
You can still make your life better…you can make changes and get things done and give things up even if you’re not completely excited about it. Even if you’re not excited one little bit.
Is it better to feel motivated to do the thing? You bet! But will we ever feel 100% motivated about something that we truly think is a drag or something that terrifies us? Probably not. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.
So figure out what you want or need to do but can’t seem to convince to do…and begin to do it. Act. Take a step. Let your mind catch up.
And know you’ll feel better on the other side.