What do you do when you don’t want to?

A couple of days ago I had a bad allergy attack. I don’t remember when the last time I had one so bad. Well, ever since then I have been feeling really sluggish. It’s as if the meds I took are still lingering in my system…

Today I didn’t want to show up. I considered staying in bed and canceling the day. But I didn’t. I had plans. Thursday’s are my day to fill my own cup. I have been showing up to Thursdays every week for the last year and today was no different. I didn’t know it at the time but showing up on Thursdays became the start of something beautiful. Friendships. And not just the surface kind where you have small talk about the weather or the latest and greatest shoe trends. This is where I found friendships deeper than I have ever experienced. I’ve ugly cried multiple times with these ladies and I’ve laughed harder than ever with them.

I am so fortunate to have them welcome me into their lives. And so even on the days I feel like I have nothing left in me, I show up. Because they give me life. They encourage me when I doubt myself. They ask me questions when I feel lost in my thinking. They help me find answers not because they want to but because they choose to.

It’s something I’ve never had outside of my family. I don’t know (nor do I want to imagine) where I would be without these amazing ladies.

I didn’t really feel like going, but it’s become so habitual to spend time with them that the thought of not going, makes me sad.

You see, there are a lot of times I don’t FEEL like doing anything. It’s happens more than I like to admit. But that’s the problem with feelings they come and go like waves in the ocean. You can’t stop them, and you definitely can’t control them. So how do you get to a place where you can do something without feeling like it…

Well first you have to decide what’s important to you. What are your nonnegotiable? We all have them. For example, I knew before I even met Jeff that I would never date a smoker. I had decided this at a very young age because my dad was a smoker and I despised it. Literally, hated the thought of my dad smoking. I distinctly remember going into his truck and finding his pack of cigarettes. Secretly taking one (yup just one) breaking it in half and throwing it underneath the car. I thought at the time that this was going to make him quit smoking. But there was only one problem, he never knew I did it. haha Oh well, I tried.

Back to the point, I had decided at some point, consciously or subconsciously, that dating a smoker was a non-negotiable. How does that relate to getting to a place where you can do things even when you don’t feel like it? Easy, you decide what few things are nonnegotiable. It’s just like going to church, it’s a rock in my schedule. I can’t tell you when the decision came but I made it and I don’t miss it unless I’m out-of-town.

I don’t think it’s common to look at our daily choices as nonnegotiable. But the reality is that you have the ability to make them. Over time I have made decisions about what I’m going to do on a daily, weekly, monthly and even yearly basis that is solely for me. Just like doing taxes. Ha! Not funny but you get it, you make the decision to do them every year. So if we can do that on a yearly basis, why don’t we make choices about the daily stuff.

I think the biggest reason is that we are so overwhelmed with decisions that half the time we can’t keep up. We start to do things subconsciously because we got too much on our plate. Our brain creates these routines and then our actions go on auto-pilot. Have you ever driven to work and not remember how you got there? Yup I’m guilty too… but that’s the cool thing about our brain, it can become automatic. But three things have to happen…

  1. Make the decision. Making the decision to make a non-negotiable is half the battle. It’s a matter of recognizing your choice in the matter. You always have the choice but are you conscience to it.
  2. Create the routine. This takes some adjusting. Some times I can make the most logical routine and it doesn’t work and then the most random habit will happen and it works like a charm. When you are creating the routine, give yourself some room to make adjustments to it. It may or may not be ideal the first time around. Attempt, then evaluate and adjust it if needed. Give yourself the grace to slip up.
  3. Consistently do the routine. Here’s the hard part. Be consistent. I still struggle with this one, but the whole writing daily thing is starting to become a routine. 34 days in and I almost skipped today. But this is a promise (or decision) I made for myself so I made the choice to show up even when I didn’t feel like it.

It’s pretty funny but sometimes you just need to move into action and the feelings will follow. True story, I started writing this earlier and stepped away because I wasn’t “feeling” it. A few hours later I knew I had finished it, so I got my butt back in the chair and here we are writing more words than I had originally set a goal to do. The feelings came and so did the words. So often I think we often wait for the feelings to come, but what if they never come? Then what? We’d never get our taxes done. haha I’m seriously though… try it the next time you don’t feel like doing something. Recognize the feelings as just that, emotions that come and go. Then after you acknowledge them, move into action. Just start and see if those feelings start to come! I think you will be pleasantly surprised!