Does this action or decision serve me?
Saturday, June 01, 2019
I have been trying to figure out how to better motivate myself to do more of the things that are in my longer-term self interest and fewer of the things that only feel like what I want in the moment.
It is definitely not easy! But then, most things worth having are not easy. Sometimes I bemoan this fact, sometimes I get angry that is the way it works, other times I rebel against the unfairness of it all....I am best off when I simply acknowledge that this is how it works.
It's obvious from the state of my health and the amount of excess weight I am lugging around that many of my decisions sprang from places (psychological, habitual, environmental...and..) that haven't served me well.
So one solution is to more consistently make better choices. So far, I have begun to acknowledge these steps toward making better choices and making them more often:
1) Stop and consider that there is a decision to be made. I have more options than I think I do! It helps to pause and consider instead of automatically defaulting to actions that may have served me in a different time, place or state of health, but don't serve me now.
2) Ask myself, is what I am about to do something that serves me? If the answer is yes, think about how. If the answer is no, can I choose something different that serves me better. Answering my question "If I choose to do this, how will it serve me?" can increase my motivation.
3) Remind myself that a small action is often better than no action. Even 1 minute of decluttering, for example, can make a visible difference to a room. Plan to make time for those actions that serve me. As I get better at planning, some of those small actions may become larger.
4) Remind myself that needed rest and recreation also serve me! If I've missed out on the right amount of sleep the night before, taking a short nap can be an action that serves me. If I've spent a chunk of time on a needed but difficult task, then taking a break to watch TV, play a computer game, or read for pleasure is an act which serves me.
5) Acknowledge that all learning includes mistakes and corrections before mastery is accomplished! These are necessary parts of the process. Being gentle and forgiving of myself and kind in my self talk will help me move past these learning hurdles.