zen habits : breathe

What You Can Say Instead of “I Don’t Feel Like It”

By Leo Babauta

Too often we let ourselves be ruled by our moods — which leads to procrastination, a lack of exercise, eating poorly, constant online distractions, and more.

Mood is a poor indicator of whether you should do something.

Consider the following examples:

Allowing our moods to dictate our actions leads to procrastination, distraction, lack of exercise, unhealthy eating, and bad habits.

What’s a better way? Use smarter things to decide your actions: whether something will lead to accomplishing what you want, whether it’s good for you, whether it will help others. Make these decisions ahead of time, and don’t listen to your mood.

When the time comes for action, instead of saying “I don’t feel like it” (or not saying anything but just following your mood), say one or more of these instead:

  1. It’s on my plan, I gotta do it.
  2. Past Me said to do it, and Future Me will thank me, so let’s do it.
  3. Once I start, I’ll be glad I did. All I have to do is take the first small step.
  4. I don’t need to decide on this, or think about it. It’s already decided.
  5. This is a compassionate act for myself. An act of love. Let’s get to the loving.
  6. I am doing this for others, to set an example for others, to make the world better.
  7. Yes, “just this once” does hurt. Let’s not fall for our old thinking traps.
  8. It’s time, let’s get to work like a pro.

The best writers, best athletes, best entrepreneurs … they don’t just do their work or workouts when they feel like it. When it strikes their fancy. They show up every day and get to work. That’s how you’re going to approach your decisions from now on: show up as planned and do it.

You’ll get a ton more done, accomplish amazing things, be super fit, and meditate like a Zen master. What an amazing benefit from one little kick-ass habit change.


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