I have a problem with motivation. I can often gear myself up to do something new, to start working on a new habit. I stick tightly to it, to my schedule. And things go well. Until they don’t.
Should something interrupt my pattern– sickness, surprise event, abrupt schedule change– things go south immediately. I may be able to push through another time or two, but, slowly, I lose all momentum and just….
It’s a frustrating aspect of how my mind works. I am aware of it, I can see it, I can even see what needs to be done to overcome the hurdle. And then I won’t. I’ll think about it, tell myself all of the reasons why I should do it, and, yet, still not take that first step.
It’s something I spoke with my therapist about recently. The first step he had me take was to make a list of all the reasons why I wanted to pick up the activity. Why I Want to Start Yoga Today. It wasn’t a hugely comprehensive list, perhaps six or seven reasons. Some of them were more meaningful than others, but they were all my valid reasons. The next step, he told me, was to write out the list and read over it twice a day. Once in the morning, once in the evening. He did not tell me to guilt myself into starting that day. Just read the list, twice a day, for one week.
It was an utterly surprising thought for me. I am of the type that throws myself into a new project, utterly and completely. Even knowing that it’s not the best way to get self motivated to do things, that’s still how I went about things.
It has been one week and I have started up yoga again. Nothing too intense, and with a lot of grace towards self. I don’t have to finish a whole work out. Just starting up the app and doing a few minutes. It’s been a relief in many ways. One because I know that I am again working on something that helps me in the long term, but, also, having permission to not do it perfectly.
You don’t need to be perfect, dear travellers. Continue on your journey, one step, and then another. We search for movement, and that is attainable.