A strange aspect of keeping commitments is that it seems easier to keep them when facing direct adversity. Like yesterday when the obstacle in front of me was clear and I knew exactly what I was dealing with. Staying motivated when faced with obvious challenges is tough, but at least you know exactly what you have to do and if you are committed, well then you just do it.
The hardest times for me are what I call the doldrums. The long string of days where nothing special happens, it is just yet another day when you wake up and repeat. Those are the dangerous days. The days when staying motivated is really hard. Sure it is easy to fall off your program during a holiday, or on vacation – but once you get past the “I am doing it anyway, mindset” then you can rise up and overcome the times when the family is sleeping in and you are up considering how to keep your commitment. Yet still, that Wednesday morning, which was just like Monday and just like Tuesday when you just feel mentally tired and just really do not want to do much of anything – these are the dangerous days. These are the habit killers.
So how do you stay motivated during the tough times for you? Perhaps when everything is the same, is a great day for you and it is the vacation or the travel day that makes it tough. How do you motivate yourself during the hard times? Well, I am not sure I have all the answers, sadly. I guess I am figuring it out a little bit. I have kept a few commitments now for over 1 year, and working on a few more. So I have had to figure out how to overcome the tough days. As I sit here and contemplate how I have done that, there seems to be one prevailing concept that comes to mind.
I do not have a choice.
That is probably the single most powerful concept that keeps me doing it anyway, when everything screams no. I simply do not allow myself a choice. I am doing it, no matter what, no matter what condition, no matter how I feel. I am going to get out of bed and focus on my commitment and that is that. Reducing the ability to make that decision, reduces decision fatigue and it sucks, but at least I know what I have to do in order to call today finished. Reducing that decision fatigue is helpful. There are so many things we have to make decisions about, when we remove the commitment we made as one of them, then it seems to lighten your burden somewhat.
Can you get to a state where the choice to perform or not perform your commitment is no longer a choice? Meaning – you already made the decision to do this everyday, so you do not have to sit there and think about whether you are or are not going to do it. You are, so you might as well do it, and try to enjoy it while you are at it. Of course there are tricks, that I am sure many will recommend. I have offered a few already. Perhaps getting your commitments done early in the AM is a good suggestion. However, all of those ideas pale in comparison to the big one. Decide right now that you are going to keep this commitment everyday and do not give your mind a choice any more. The politics of personal commitment is not a democracy, it is tyrannical – so my mind just needs to get with the program, put my head down and obey.
This is a long winded way of talking to myself this morning. Woke up a little grumpy, did not want to do <insert expletive here>. Well, my little punk rebellious mind does not have a choice. It is out on the road at 5am for you. Suck it up soldier!
106 Days Left to 1st marathon