I spent some time working on “non” motivational skills before I quit smoking. I was looking for something to sustain myself through the withdrawal. In the past when my motivation had waned, I’d quit quitting, and would decide to try again later when my willpower was stronger.
With the False Quit Dates, I was getting tired of relying on motivation. It was a frustrating lesson because motivation is so fleeting. Motivation has peaks and valleys of energy flow. If my to-do list consists of exercising and cleaning house, motivation may have me expending my energy to one so I can avoid the other. Sometimes, when I was sitting around waiting for motivation to manifest itself, I could have done the chore. There were times where motivation had never come.
Instead of waiting for motivation, I was training myself to just get it done. I’ve never been in a job that I particularly loved nor was a natural extension of myself. I’ve never been motivated to go to work. Except I do, everyday, rarely call in sick, and do my best while I am there. I also may whine all the way through it, but! I show up, do my job, get paid and pay my bills.
Why am I doing this? Honor. Integrity. Money. Fear of being lazy. I want to succeed. (Although success has more to do with my back up plans.) But seriously? Because when hired, I said I would show up and do the work. I made an agreement with my employer, I’m told what time to show up and I show up.
Overlay this onto cleaning house. A lot of my lessons in motivation centered around household chores and adjusting my attitude towards them. First I had to ignore the urge to look inward for that quickening that brings energy and excitement to mundane things. You know, when all done to go, “Wow, that was fast! And so easy!” — Don’t search for it. Don’t wait for it. — I say I’m going to do the chore. I allow enough time for the chore. (It’s not race nor competition to best any times set in the past.) I do the chore, because I said I would and it is time.
I did keep it kind of loose, like… I need 20 minutes before work, after work, before bed, but, I had to get it done that day.
Again, overlay this lesson on to quitting smoking. I continued with the False Quit Dates because I knew being ready wasn’t just going to come from nowhere. I learned how to be ready and be ready without a doubt in my mind. I was making some big moves, such as putting money down on a cabin. I was going to leave my family for two weeks. I was to be by myself with no distractions and no excuses. Most of all, no cigarettes. I was also giving myself every opportunity to quit without those big moves. If I didn’t quit at the end of this, I was never going to quit. But I did. Because I was ready and because I didn’t rely on motivation or will power. I quit because I wanted to quit and I said I was going to quit and I allowed enough time to finish the quit. (the withdrawal)
These days, I overlay this lesson on exercising. Even though I have all this knowledge, it is hard keep it routine. I haven’t done any real exercising for over two weeks now, but in the meantime, I got a lot of other stuff done. Does that make it right? Does that make it okay? I can say that it’s different from exercising a few years ago, I’m not so negative about downtime. I know I will pick it up again. I also believe the downtime is shorter in duration. I don’t wait for motivation to schedule a time to exercise.
Working on my “non-motivational skills” has been one of my best time savers.