Do you occasionally struggle to do the things you know are good for you?
I know I do.
I know that I should do those self care things but I can’t ever seem to find the time.
Logically, I call bullshit on myself with that thinking, cause I know it's more about prioritizing that thing. If I make the time, the time is there. And if that thing isn't the top priority right now then it’s time to chill and stop shoulding myself about it.
While that is true,
I’ve found a magic trick that works waaaaaaaay better than all that logic.
It is the biggest innovation I've ever found for doing things that are good for me.
Perhaps it’s just the idea you need to start that new habit you've been telling yourself you should start for the last year ;)
Wanna hear it?
OK here it is....
I have a gut reaction,
when I tell myself I ‘should’ do something and it stops me from doing it, even if I want to.
It’s like as soon as I tell myself I should do anything, I can hear my mom's voice asking me if I’ve done that thing yet and my reaction to that is a rousing ‘don’t tell me what to do’ (mom if you’re reading this, it’s not really about you OK?)
Do you ever get that pissy kids reaction?
I do and it really gets in my way! So what is my magic hack?
It’s to sidestep that whole thing entirely. Drop the should, stop making it a thing my 'head mom' could nag me about, and instead do some dreaming and asking of questions.
Next time you find yourself shoulding yourself ask these questions.
Why am I wanting to do that thing?
Is it exactly that thing I want or would any flavour of that work?
What's the spirit or purpose of it?
Once that’s clear I get my creativity hat and ask the magic bullet question.
“How can I make this thing pleasurable so it feels like a treat.”
And not just a little bit pleasurable. That won't work. It needs to be well out of the should category. Some of this is in your brain and how you think of it but a lot of it is in how you accomplish the thing.
Here is an example.
I’m perimenopausal and have been feeling the impacts of my hormones shifting (sore breasts, spotting, wonky periods). So I’ve been trying out seed cycling (adding certain seeds to your diet at different times in your cycle) in a very relaxed haphazard way over the last year and noticed results but I wanted to get more consistent with it. I’ve tried just adding them to food and that kinda works. I tried making energy balls but that didn't do it either.
With this pandemic and some diet changes my body has been forcing on me I’ve been feeling a bit deprived and craving treats. So I thought of a way to make the seed consumption into a treat.
I experimented with making seed milk and making fancy coffees in my blender every day adding in collagen to make it foamy and some variation of cinnamon, vanilla, cocoa and sweetener and BAM!
It’s magic. I get my seeds in every damn day cause it's a treat that I look forward to.
Seed milk tastes different than milk which I can’t drink anyways these days but I like it.
It's more work than not doing it but I find myself doing it without the slightest bit of shoulds…
So what’s your fancy coffee?
Find that, and your struggle to motivate will be over. It’s absolutely magical.
I’ll just be over here enjoying my fancy coffee….
And now I want to hear from you...
Have you ever tried this approach to motivation before? If so tell me what you did to turn your ‘should’ into a treat you looked forward to?
If not, are you going to try it? What ‘should’ are you going to transform and do you have an idea what you are going to try first?
Got any other tricks that work for motivating you?
Spill the dirt in the discussion below...
So we can all have more treats and less shoulds in our lives.