Motivation vs. Momentum Because Things are Hard to Do and Maybe This Will Help

I don't want to do things

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Yes friends, as I’m sure we’ve all figured out, life consists of doing a lot of things we don’t really want to do. Bills, cleaning, getting up before two p.m (just me?), exercising, trying to spell exercising right…the list is infinite. Recently, I stumbled across this article that talked about Motivation vs. Momentum with regards to getting things done. It has changed my life a little bit, so I thought I’d share it with you guys because who doesn’t need motivation? Let us make a list:

Who Does Not Need Motivation:

Beyonce.
Oprah.
The Indominus Rex dinosaur hybrid.

Donald Trump (but please, dear God, someone take it from him).

trump
Sorry…can’t resist a pun.

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Mere mortals are not on that list.

Basically, what I got out of the article is that you don’t need motivation to get something done, you need momentum. That is, you don’t need to feel like doing something to begin doing it, you need to take the first small action towards doing that something and usually motivation will follow. At first I was like “Yeah, okay, internet. Last time I took advice from you I melted hot crayons onto my fingers while trying to make art. And it SUCKED.”

And then I remembered this poster on the wall of the locker room at my school, and the only thing I ever got out of the athletic department. It read (something like this because I didn’t spend a lot of time in the locker room): “If you only do things on the days you feel like doing them, you will get nothing done.” Also this quote is over my bed:

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So I tried it. With college approaching and crazy weird financial crap hitting the proverbial fan and a job…there are a lot of things that need doing that I don’t want to do. Even writing this post has been on my to-do list for a week and I just sat down to write it (after looking at a Buzzfeed article about potato emojis–they are a real life thing! Why did no one tell me sooner?!). I do not claim to be good at this. Only getting better.

Anyway, there I sat with my stupid to do list that I hate/love because it actually does keep me on track but fills me with anxiety, and I picked an item.  Move.

Move is what I call exercise on my to-do list, not only because I really, really hate spelling that word, but because move elicits a more positive response for me. And then I sat there and was all “Noooo, whyyyy, nooooo.” And then I sucked it up and took the first step towards my goal. I put on my exercising (how is that word possibly worse?!) clothes. Still no great wind of inspiration coming to me. And I felt like this little guy.

images (34)

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So I took another little baby step and grabbed my weights. It worked. Of course I was not suddenly thrilled to move, but I was less pouty about it. I already had my clothes on, already had the weights, let’s put on some dirty rap and DO THIS. And then I really did enjoy myself. But this may be because dirty rap genuinely improves most tasks for me. More on that later.

But I’ve been doing it with other little things on my to do list, too, like sending emails to intimidating people which really scares me (just type the subject and the first sentence) and cleaning (set a timer for five minutes and you probably will not stop after five minutes), and it’s helped a lot. This is sometimes no longer my day!

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I find this also works with things I want to do, but don’t always give myself time for. For example, I’ve had little to no time for reading books I wanted to read this year, and so now when I want to read my mind goes NO! Think of all these other productive things you could be doing! You don’t deserve to read yet! GO CURE HUNGER AND THEN MAYBE YOU CAN READ. So I tell my brain to kindly STFU, sit down and read five pages. Just five pages. And usually it turns into 50.

So next time you really don’t want to do something, try easing into it with baby steps and see if motivation comes to you. But also remember that there are days when you really won’t feel like doing anything/Gandalf is messing with you again. Even the baby steps won’t help. And that’s okay. You have a ton of stuff going on, and sometimes people need a day off! Burnout is a real thing, people. Take care of yoself.

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Pro tip: Always blame a wizard when you can.

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Welp, I hope this post has helped you accomplish some goal at some point in the near future! If not, I do hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Love,

Morgan

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