This is the latest statement that I hear myself saying more often than not. Let’s explore my laundry list of all of the things “I don’t want to…” lately:
- Get up at 5:00 am; this is the golden hour as no one else is up so it is the perfect time to exercise, write, catch-up on shows or reading.
- Exercise; yep I don’t want to run, bike, Orangetheory or anything at all.
- Eat the same foods again and again; I just told my friend yesterday that I cannot eat another “fill in the blank”. I am over my diet!
- Write; yes, this is the latest as this is a passion of mine but sometimes it feels “hard” and that creates resistance so yes even writing has an “I don’t want to…” somewhere along the way.
- Do anything; many a weekend I find myself just wanting to do nothing despite a laundry list of items that are “To do” I find myself “Not To Do-ing” for the sake of being still.
- Be where I am at that moment; yes this may be a tougher one to explain but I find myself at times not wanting to be where I am at that moment. It’s an awkward feeling especially when I am somewhere that I chose to be initially. Might be a bit of “fight or flight” spurred by anxiety but most of the time it is a daunting feeling.
You get the idea, the love of being an adult and being responsible for myself is that I decide what I want to do and what I do not want to do! The discipline is forcing the things you should do despite want and that is where at times I would like to throw myself on the floor like a 2 yr old and have a full-scale tantrum. Ha!
I do agree with the statement that you have to “meet yourself where you are” however that is not a permanent solution to the “I don’t want to…” argument. Meeting yourself where you are is more of a strategy for the moment and not for the long-term. If you don’t want to run today, then don’t, but if you don’t want to run ever again you have to consider the implications of that decision. If I don’t run it affects my weight, my mental health and my social circles. Am I willing to give-up these benefits of running because “I don’t want to…” or do I instead push on?
At some point you have to push beyond the “I don’t want to…” because that is what discipline is all about and where habits are formed. No one wants to do anything all the time. Of course some things are more pleasant than others and don’t require as much effort to get to a point of “wanting to” but in the example of running, it is hard and so you are not going to “want to” all the time but having the discipline to stay the course it what makes a great runner. The benefits of being a great runner have exponential benefits to physical and mental health and that is what makes it worth pushing beyond your want. The same can be said about a healthy diet. No one starts out wanting to eat healthy. Let’s face it macaroni and cheese is always going to taste better than broccoli however the long-term decision to stay the course of a healthy diet will extend your life and for that reason the decision to push on is easily made.
One of the greatest ways to get beyond your “I don’t want to…” moments are to find an “Accountability Partner”. Find someone else that is not wanting to do the same thing and partner! My son said to me yesterday, “I have been setting my alarm clock for 4:45 am to get up and workout before school, but once the alarm goes off I don’t want to get up.” I can totally understand because I also do not want to get up at 4:45 am BUT if we partner we can make it more tolerable. What if we both get up at 4:45 am and do it together? It will make it easier to get up as we won’t want to let each other down and we both benefit from the long-term effects of getting that workout in before school! Accountability! Voila!
I am not sure what is easier being an adult that can decide what you want or do not want to do or being a child and being told what to do. Ultimately I will choose “adulting” every time but the point being that having the ability to decide can be a sticky wicket. If you do not possess the discipline to push yourself beyond your immediate “wants” you may find yourself “paying the price” for that decision. When I think back in my life to all of those moments I pushed past the “I don’t want to…” moments I have ZERO regrets. I cannot think of a time that I would look back and say, “Man, I wish I had not pushed myself to do ________” because the reality is that that resistance that shows itself in those moments are typically the hard work that needs to be done to create our best life.
I leave you with a challenge; do ONE thing today that you do not want to do and then considering how it makes you feel when complete. Were you better off for having pushed through or….well let’s stay optimistic in our approach as I think we both know the discipline to do will always beat the lack of discipline to don’t.
Doing as I do – L.