It’s easy to say you’re going to do something; however when the time comes to actually do it, the “I don’t really feel like it..” itch can plague our ability to be productive.
While this is most easily exemplified by exercise, many facets of our life could be improved if we were able to consistently push past this mental barrier to do the things we intend to do.
No matter the activity, by utilizing these three tactics – you’ll be able to push through your mental barriers to engage consistently and make progress the way that you know you can.
Tactic 1: Breathe and Visualize
It is amazing what our minds can come up with. If you put in effort, we can practically visualize any circumstance imaginable. This ability can be used to our benefit when facing mental barriers.
Close your eyes and give yourself 10 deep breaths. Use this time to visualize beginning your activity from your current setting, appreciating the engagement in your activity, and finally concluding your activity in the place that you know you will finish.
By picturing yourself in it, when you open your eyes, the things you need to start are obvious. When you open your eyes, you should embody these things and don’t think – just do.
Tactic 2: Set a Time Limit
When I hit a mental barrier, I often find myself waiting around, wasting a lot of time instead of doing the thing I planned to do. This wasted time is valuable.
Rather than consistently convince yourself of why you don’t want to do something, decide on an conclusion time. The time you allocate to your activity could be less than you originally anticipated, but by telling yourself when you are going to stop, the minutes between then and now appear to be considerably less daunting. The time spent may not be exactly what you planned, but something, is always better than nothing.
Tactic 3: Have a Plan for When You’re Done
Foresight can be used as leverage. Regardless of if your later plans are enjoyable, the knowledge that you have something to do after you finish your intended activity is motivation in itself to get yourself to the next decision point; the start of your next activity.
Mental barriers are tough; there is nothing that can move us past them other than our own decision making. We all know it is possible, we just doubt our ability to muster the strength.
Next time you’re on the brink of opting out, remember to breathe and visualize, set you time and have a plan for when you’re done. After awhile, you won’t need to use these tactics anymore; this is because you’ll be in the habit of starting and the mental barrier that was so prohibiting before, will no longer exist.