If you’re not doing it, you don’t want to (enough)
How many times do you hear “I really want to do X?” This gets said and thought all too often. If someone really wants to do something, they will find a way. Ideally, our priorities and actions are in alignment so anyone can look at what we do and see what’s important to us.
Let me start with the simplest step.
If you find yourself saying “I really should …” please take a moment to ask yourself if you actually want to. If not, STOP SAYING YOU SHOULD. Saying it only reminds you of something you will likely never do, dragging you down and making you feel bad about yourself. Toss that thought.
On the other hand, if you do want to do it and this is important to you, now is the time.
Where is the time?
It’s not always possible to find the time; you have to make an effort to get it. For example, I wanted to have an emergency plan and kit in place because my family’s safety and health are a high priority to me. So I stopped writing this blog to make the time. And when that project was complete it was difficult to come back to writing. But since posting here is important to me, I’m making the time instead of lazing around reading novels or surfing the web.
In real life.
The steps are simple in theory but we all know how hard it is to change. Start with one concrete action at a time. They’ll start adding up. Even a little effort brings you closer to your goals.
FIRST: Make a list of what you truly want.
There are no “maybe”s on this list. Daydream about the life you would like. What activities are you doing? Who’s there? If you lost your faculties (sight, limbs, hearing) which would be the most devastating? If you could do only two activities in your free time, what would they be?
NEXT: Stop doing what’s not on the list.
Don’t replace the activity with something else yet, just stop doing things that aren’t on your list. You’re not wasting your time any more than if you were spending it on something you don’t love doing. If you’re doing anything that’s unimportant to you, please stop wasting your precious life minutes on it.
Pick one thing right now that you can stop doing for the next seven days. Let go.
Here are some ideas: turn on the TV/computer 30 minutes later than usual; let go of the unfinished craft project that’s been sitting there half a year; uncommit yourself from the book club that you aren’t enjoying; cut out your gym time that you drag yourself to every other day.
FINALLY: Do what’s on the list. If you’re lucky, you’ve been doing it already, and have given yourself real free time by minimising your activities. I hope you’ll have free time. I hope you’ll have more money. I hope you’ll see life beginning to open up.
Update: Sometimes there are things we should do, for the benefit of ourselves or our loved ones. In this case, we do want to do it, but for the long term reasons instead of the activity itself. So the above still applies… we just need to suck it up and do it anyway. We can look for something positive about the experience and know we’re doing our best.