Do you sometimes struggle with motivation?
Join the club!
We all have some things we know we should do, but just can’t quite keep the consistency we need. We know these things (exercising, healthy eating, being emotionally vulnerable, attending therapy) feel good in the long run, but it can be hard to to bring yourself to take action in the moment. Especially when TV, bed, your phone, or yummy treats are calling….
I sometimes have trouble with motivation. Recently I’ve been trying to maintain a regular practice of journal writing. I’ve found that when I work through my feelings in writing, it tends to have many great benefits: my marriage improves, I’m nicer to my kids, and I feel more positive about my life.
The problem is I struggle to make journal writing a regular practice. Even though it only takes a few minutes, I’m somehow too tired, want to just relax, or just need to zone out. But these excuses are my downfall! I can ALWAYS come up with a reason for not doing something. I know the only way this will work is if I make a habit out of it.
But how? (this is especially hard when I have a whiny voice inside of my saying, “but I don’t want to!”)
Change Your Attitude to Improve Your Habits
The answer is to change my attitude. In fact, changing just one word in how you think about habits can make all the difference.
Note your reaction to each of the following statements:
- I have to text my spouse today.
- I get to text my spouse today.
When I think about something I HAVE to do a feeling of dread creeps up inside. I worry. I feel sorry for myself. I resist. But when I ponder something I GET to do, I feel hopeful and light. There is a sense possibility and excitement.
One word change, totally different feelings.
Before, I focused on what a pain it is to write in my journal. Now, when I get to write, I’m more likely to remind myself of the benefits I’m receiving. Instead of feeling like a chore, the writing has even become something I even look forward to.
Having this type of positive attitude is key to developing and maintaining habits. Especially when you are trying to implement a habit that does not come naturally to you, or you even dread, working on your motivation through attitude change is essential.
Things You GET to Do to Have a Better Relationship
Struggling to implement some of the love language habits I discussed in the last post? Here are some examples of “get to” self-messages that could help:
- I get to have s*x with my spouse to feel more connected
- I get to give my wife a thoughtful gift because I know it makes her feel happy
- I get to call my husband every day as a way to improve our relationship
- I get to be vulnerable with my partner to have a more meaningful relationship
- I get to turn my phone off in order to have better communication
- I get to clean the house because it makes my girlfriend feel loved
- I get to say “I love you” every night as a way to let him know I care about him
So what do you think of this idea of shifting your attitude as a way to improve your habits? I’m a person who can be skeptical of “positive thinking” as a way to improve your life, but this is one case where it can really make a difference!
Send me a message to let me know how impactful this strategy is on improving your relationship habits. Until next time!
And one last tip to help keep your motivation high:
Make a list of everything you love about your partner or write out why you chose this person to be with. Keep the list in a prominent place to help you associate your relationship with positive feelings. The more you remember your partner as someone who makes you happy, the more likely you are to keep building those impactful habits!