You know those days when all you want to do is curl up and binge on Netflix? Maybe I’m the only one, but it feels like my energy and emotions cycle through phases where I lose my motivation. And, as we learned in physics, an object at rest stays at rest until acted upon by an outside force.
This list—the If-Then Checklist—if your outside force. It’s the tool we’re going to use to get back in gear.
How it works
The concept is pretty self-explanatory. First, you pay attention to times you find yourself getting stuck. Just this morning I didn’t feel like staying awake when Little Miss woke me ten minutes before my alarm went off. I brushed my teeth, splashed water on my face, drank my Spark, and then curled up on the sofa, hoping to drift back to sleep.
Only—I knew that I shouldn’t go back to sleep. After living in this body for well over 30 years, I know that I’m happiest and at my best when I follow a schedule and stick to my routine. That routine includes waking early so I can enjoy my Miracle Morning before the rest of the household comes to life.
So there I was, torn between the deliciousness of oblivion and the wish for a great day. Then I made a choice to stay awake, but I also gave myself a treat. Instead of diving right into my reading for the morning, I grabbed my bullet journal, opened the Mindful Creativity group on Facebook, and doodled for 20 minutes. By the time I’d caught up on the first few tangles for the month, I was fully awake and ready to move forward…and proud of myself.
Some of my If-Thens
Before we jump in to creating your If-Then list, let me give you a few more examples.
- If I feel like eating junk after dinner, then I will drink a glass of water, munch on carrot sticks, or have a small helping of cheese and healthy crackers.
- If I don’t want to get out of bed when the alarm sounds, then I will take a shower before dozing on the couch.
- If I feel too tired or unfocused to work, then I will set a timer for 10-15 minutes and do the work for that small length of time.
- If I am dreading my workout, I’ll tell myself I just have to keep my feet moving for 15 minutes.
- If I want to binge on sweets, I will grab three Hershey’s Kisses and savor them slowly.
- If I’m feeling sluggish after lunch and want to nap with the kids, I’ll drink a cup of coffee, set my alarm for 20 minutes, and grab a quick catnap.
- If I’m feeling sad or depressed, I’ll turn on music, let someone know why I’m grateful for them, and/or reach out to connect with a friend.
As I’m sure you can see by now, the goal of this process is to plan ahead of time so that when lethargy strikes, you already have the plan in place to snap out of it.
It’s your turn
Okay, so you’ve got the idea. Now it’s your turn. Grab a sheet of paper or open to a fresh page in your bullet journal and start listing all those “ifs” that tend to derail you. Should a solution—the “then” part—strike you right away, jot it down. If not, keep the list accessible and mull it over. Or, better yet, comment below and let us work together to help you out.