Serena Simmons Consultant Psychologist

Change. Motivate. Adapt. Improve. Perform

Want to achieve great things? Triksy yourself into not THINKING about it….

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Once you’ve decided what you want to do whether that be writing that book, losing weight or starting that new passion project, there is something that you might be doing that is actually jeopardising your progress and hindering you on your path to achieving these great things?


In light of this, I’d like to tell you about one the most helpful and most used tactics for me when I’m trying to work towards a new goal…and that is to stop thinking!

I’ve discussed here on these pages the benefits of the ready, fire, aim approach but this is very different. This is not about figuring out what you want to do and just going for it without thinking through every detail and learning on your journey.  This is about a tactic that can, and I think should be, implemented daily.  Multiple times a day even, when you can feel the slow creep of ‘procrastination’ eeking its way in.

The fact is that we are taught to think things through.  To ask ourselves what we want? To ponder, connect with our feelings and tap into that which ‘feels’ right.

The problem with this, is that if you truly asked yourself how you felt before you did anything, and you then actually went with how you felt about that, then your life would look very different indeed!

Do I feel like brushing my teeth this morning?….Ummm, no.

Do I feel like going to work this morning?…Ummm, no.

Do I feel like doing the washing up?…Ummmm, no thank you.

We don’t ask ourselves if we feel like doing these things.  These actions have become part of our daily routines, some of which  may even be about our ultimate survival?  (not everyone can get away with noting having to work!).

When we have something we want to achieve, we must employ the same tactic of not thinking too much about what we are doing in order to be able to ‘get through’ the task.  For example; every Tuesday morning on one of my self-employed days, I attend an 7am Insanity class at my local gym.

Now, I can tell you that when my alarm goes off at 6am on that Tuesday morning, I am rarely immediately buzzing and raring to go.  In fact it’s only harder during these cold winter months when I know I am leaving the warmth of my big, soft bed and then walking to the gym in the freezing cold without any food in my belly because it is too early for me to eat.

If I actually asked myself, in that moment just before I could hit the snooze button ‘Do I reeeaaally want to go to this class?’, I can tell you that 9 times out of 10 the answer would be a big fat, resounding no!

The trick here is to have set this up as a ‘non-negotiable’ routine. I know where I have to be at 7am.  I know that I want to go because I always feel better for going.  I know it fits into my daily practice that is important to me.  I want to exercise to keep fit and lean and I like how I feel when I’ve done it.  So, the only way get there, is to not think about what I am doing.

I now do this on autopilot.  I get up straight way when my alarm goes off.  I go downstairs and feed my cats, get myself a cup of hot coffee and get my gym gear on.  When I feel that ‘I don’t feel like this’ feeling creeping in, I literally push it aside in my mid, and just keep going through the motions of getting to the gym.  I put my trainers on and walk out the door towards the gym.

Before I know it I am dancing away to hip-hop in a studio with several other smiling people (admittedly this is not a full class!), and come 8am, I am blissfully done!  I then get to go home and have the rest of the day to work on other things.

So here’s the thing.  We can apply this same thinking (or non thinking!) to anything that we want to get done or achieve.

We will not always feel like doing the things that we sometimes know we even want to do! For example a writer does not always feel like writing…an painter does not always feel like painting.  You may not want to organise that Christmas party even though you WANT it!  The best things you can do here then is schedule it (it won’t happen otherwise) and then, when the time comes to do it, don’t think, just do….tricksy!

I’d love to hear about a time when this tactic has worked for you? Maybe you are thinking about employing this as a tactic for a new project.  Do tell us all about it.

Till next week…


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