Fight intertia.

This week’s coaching course focus is habits, and while I have SO MANY THOUGHTS about habits, I’m saving those for a bigger moment. But the broader context of habits is this: We have the power to change.

Simple, right? 

Ha. That’s a big, head-y concept, and one that I could wax on for days. But what it means in my life today is that I always have the power to choose and to change, and when I’m feeling stuck or overwhelmed or even “just a little bit off” – which feels like the normal these days – I can take little steps to make positive changes and put myself into a better place.

I know you want an example.

So, we’ll go back to that “just a little bit off” feeling that’s been permeating my brain and body for the past few weeks. I haven’t felt like I’ve really found my groove. Everything’s a little heavy, like I need a pep-talk for getting stuff done, even the stuff that I actually enjoy doing. And you know I LOVE “the doing.”

While I do think there may be some undiagnosed inklings of actual, clinical depression lurking in my brain, and I also know that I have a BIG problem with inertia. (I talked about this in my yoga class last week, which turned into a 60-minute legit non-stop flow class… sorry everyone.)

Inertia is literally: “a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force” or “a tendency to do nothing or to remain unchanged.” (Physics proves to be a very good inspiration. Thanks, 17-year-old me, for learning it once upon a time.)

It’s the thing that holds us back, the thing that’s in our way. It’s the ease of routine, the comfort of staying the same, the fear of doing something different, the difficulty in the effort of change.

If I get moving, I’ll keep moving, and moving and moving and moving. And, conversely, if I get into a moment of laziness (not just run-of-the-mill stillness and relaxation, but full on, straight up LAZINESS), I can live there FOREVER. Until I absolutely can’t, go crazy, throw out bags of shit in our house, and pull everyone into a tornado of “MUST KILL” frenzied movement.

And while it feels good to dig into that space, roll around in it, figure out what’s causing it and why it’s there and what it needs to teach me… I really also just need to resist the gravitational pull of the couch and Netflix. It doesn’t have to be any deeper than that.

For someone who doesn’t struggle with brain chemistry imbalances, it’s simple: CHANGE SOMETHING. BE YOUR OWN FORCE OF CHANGE. GET THE EFF OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY (which, as it turns out, may become my coaching business tagline and general life motto… stay tuned.)

Here are some of the quick forces I applied to kick myself back into gear:

  1. I emailed a client about switching her private session days because I really need time to process my coaching course and don’t want to shuttle myself back and forth from the studio 2 hours apart, even though I felt really guilty about doing it because it served ME better and not necessarily her.
  2.  I decided to make 2 new playlists because it’s been AGES since I’ve done it and have felt guilty (theme?) about just recycling the same ones over and over again… In doing so, I found out that one of my favorite bands released a new single and remembered how much I LOVE FINDING NEW MUSIC and spent an hour doing something both productive and that brings me real, true joy.
  3. Brian, with my empowering support, sorted all of the remaining puzzle pieces onto sheets of paper by “type,” and we are now less than an hour away from finishing the 2000 piece puzzle we bought over a month ago “to keep us from snacking and being on our phones all night” but really just caused a big fight about how he “wasn’t trying hard enough” and how I might be a little too controlling… and then we ignored it for 3 weeks and haven’t been able to use our coffee table for weeks. We finished a whole section that was driving us crazy last night and have just one little part left to go. It’s going to feel SO GOOD to have that done and finally, finally, finally get to dust the coffee table.
  4. I made buckwheat crepes. For no reason other than I wanted to enjoy them, and it illuminated the fact that I love cooking and eating, and healthy food can still be fun to both make and eat.
  5. I treated myself to some fun new jeans (stop rolling your eyes, Lyss) and cleaned out my drawer of all the ones I was guiltily (aha!) holding on to because… I don’t even freaking know. So, I now own more drawer space and a pair of embroidered jeans that remind me of middle school… in a good, non-acne-and-weird-hair kind of way.

A few notes on that list:

  1. Those were all really easy things to do.
  2. I feel so much better after doing all of them.
  3. I didn’t have to overhaul my entire life.
  4. Clearly, guilt is something I need to work through… maybe not on a Tuesday afternoon on my blog, but definitely sometime.
  5. I’m now back in a space of positive productivity. 

All I had to do was GET THE EFF OUT OF MY OWN WAY. Do the thing that you’ve been dreading but is so painfully simple that you can’t even really make up a good excuse as to why you aren’t doing it. If you were someone else listening to you say “I really can’t finish this puzzle because all the pieces look the same and the table is dark and the puzzle is literally the same on both sides and HOLY SHIT WHY IS THIS PUZZLE CONTROLLING MY LIFE?” You’d honestly smack yourself across the face and say: “SORT THE PUZZLE PIECES AND HANDLE IT.”

It doesn’t always have to be about this big, giant thing… Maybe I DO feel guilty about spending money on the puzzle so I don’t want to finish it, or maybe it’s an allegory for closing a chapter of something I’ve worked hard on (see previous post)... or maybe, maybe it’s just an effing puzzle.

Finish the puzzle. Send the email. Make the crepes. 

Fight inertia.

Get out of your own way.