If you’re reading this right now, you probably have a list of things that need to get done, but that you REALLY don’t want to do. You find all of the excuses in the world to procrastinate and your to-do list just gets longer and longer.
So how can you FINALLY find the willpower to get these things done?
I’m a nutrition and health expert so the examples will be focused on that, but these tips can be applied to any area of your life!
1. Eat that frog!
Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, then you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you.
Apply this to your to-do list!
Say the longest and most difficult task on there is to meal-prep your entire week’s worth of meals. If you push it back, chances are you will spend the entire day dreading it and end up not even doing it because it will be too late.
On the contrary, if you get that task done first thing in the morning, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, your productivity will be higher, and your other tasks will seem easier to do.
2. Break it down.
Say you want to reorganize your entire kitchen to kick-start your healthy eating journey. Well, that sounds like a lot of work, so you just keep pushing it back. You need to break it down into smaller, easier steps.
For instance, start by emptying out all of the junk food from your cabinets. On the next day, you can shop for nice boxes and jars to organize everything. The day after that, tackle your drawers and make them super organized. Then stock up on some healthy snack options and sort everything out. Finally, re-arrange all of your dishes and appliances.
Doing these smaller tasks each day seems less daunting than doing them all at once!
3. The 5-minute rule.
This tip has saved me countless times. It’s pretty simple: if there’s a long, horrible task awaiting you that you just keep avoiding, give yourself 5 minutes to tackle it…and then stop.
The thing is, starting is often the hardest part because you know that you are going to be doing this thing you really don’t want to do for a while. You know that it’s going to be hard or that you’re going to get bored…So you just don’t start.
5 minutes is a very short amount of time so it’s not hard to motivate yourself. Say you have an hour-long work-out to do. Get in your gym clothes, turn on a work-out video, and give it everything you’ve got for 5 minutes. After these 5 minutes are up, two things can happen.
Most likely, you will actually keep going because starting was the hardest part. Or you will stop, but you will be closer to your end goal and have realized that it isn’t as hard as you thought.
Either way, you win!
4. Remember the bigger picture.
If your big goal is to make healthier food choices but you never actually end up eating healthily, it’s time to focus on the bigger picture. Write down all of the reasons why you want to eat better. Note the emotions you feel when you have un unhealthy meal versus a healthy one.
Make sure you set achievable health and weight-loss goals for yourself. Have a strong WHY to push you forward. You need to shift your desire from instant gratification (that pizza and coke with ice-cream) to long-term satisfaction (being healthier and happier and at your ideal weight).
5. Have someone make you do it.
If you’re really struggling with self-discipline (learn how to improve your self-discipline here!) a foolproof way to get things done is to have someone else pressure you into doing them.
For instance, when I had really bad snacking habits, I would have my sister stop me from eating anything and everything. Sometimes she would snatch food right out of my hand! I was mad for a second but grateful a minute later.
You can also give someone a valuable item of yours (for instance, your phone), and tell them not to give it back to you until you finish what you need to do. If you have more of a long-term goal, you can use the money technique. For instance, give 50 bucks to a friend and tell them not to give them back to you until you’ve lost 5 pounds.
6. Turn it into a game!
If you have a competitive spirit, this tip is for you. Say you and your mom both drink a can of soda during each meal and have been wanting to stop. Have a little contest of who can go the longest without it. When one of you caves in, the other one gets a point and the game continues. If no-one is willing to play with you, compete with yourself. See if you can beat your past score every time.
Before you know it, you’ll be done with daily sodas forever!
So there you have it, 6 ways to finally do these things you’ve been dreading for the past days, weeks, and even years! I highly encourage you to take action: try out one of these tips right now and see where it leads you.
Once you start reinforcing your willpower, there will be no stopping you!