What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like It

What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like It

Today was one of those days when I did not  feel like doing anything at all.  Of course, I have had too many such days to count in my lifetime and I bet you have too.  The only this I could do was give it over to self discipline.  I really had to push and shove through the motions of all that had to be done today.  That is self discipline for you (along with a bit of guilt).
Although it worked, I did not feel satisfied after I completed all of tasks.  I began to wonder: if self discipline is really  the best remedy on the days when we just do not want to go through the motions of life?  
Is pushing oneself really the best treatment when what we may need the most is a more gentle entrance into our routines?  Self discipline seems to be at odds with gentleness to me.  
What might be a better way? Because I am definitely not implying  that we lounge around and watch the clouds go by until the right mood strikes!  
How about HABIT?  Strong habits that you carefully build into your system.  Habits do not wait around to   discuss the matter with you.  They simply nudge you forth on auto-pilot if you build them right. 
When my alarm goes off at 5:30am, I do not usually question what I feel like doing. I have built a habit of getting up, putting on my yoga clothes, running through a few yoga poses, brushing my teeth, washing my face going downstairs, making coffee, 15 minutes meditation, a half hour devotional  and then serious exercise time.  
Habits bring out the strong, smart, powerful side of you when you are too tired or bored to make the snap decisions that you need to get on with your day.   If you build the habits that you want when you are clear, wide awake and fully alert, then they come to your rescue on those days when you are less than your perfect perky self.
Habits are powerful. Habits can take over and run the show when you just do not feel like it and habits can be gentle and yet firm with you.  I enjoyed reading “The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg.  In this book, 
Duhigg explains the habit loop consisting of three events:
1. Define the cue
2. Build the right routine in response to the cue
3. Get the reward. 
You can build new habits or change old habits. If you do this loop enough times, it becomes second nature–as soon as the cue shows up, you will respond with the right routine.  You do not even question if you do or do not feel like it.   
In my case, my cue is my 5:30 alarm. My routine is what I described above and my reward? Well, that is the post-exercise happiness. It is beyond measure.
What is your habit loop? Can you think of creating a habit loop in one area of your life? 
About Online Biz Boomer Babe

Rachel Lavern is a Certified Business Coach and founder of My Booming Online Business--a blog for middle-age, global, uptown women. She is on a mission to transform entrepreneurs' finances by teaching the action set, mindset and skill set needed to get launched + make money.


  1. I can’t count the number of times that “habit” has gotten me going since I’ve become a mom. When you’ve been up and down all night with a fussy baby and you can’t sleep in because other little ones rely on you, there’s nothing like habit to get your day going. Great post.
    Jennifer S. recently posted…What I WatchMy Profile

  2. Simple explanation of how we can get into habits, both productive and destructive. Love the video too! Thanks Rachel.
    Helen Willsher recently posted…As A Woman Over 40, It’s Time To Take A LeapMy Profile

  3. Lisa Barton :

    Good ideas Rachel, I’ve had a run of burn-out lately, really difficult to get motivated again- however it does enable me to question whether the habits i have got into are still the right ones for me, my family, my body, my age!
    Lisa Barton recently posted…DIY vintage style crochet ribbon rosette brooch video tutorialMy Profile

  4. Have to agree that there are times I have been in the situation where I didn’t feel like doing the daily tasks. Since I got into the personal development I needed I must say that it has helped to aleviate that and I don’t tend to have that feeling now. It helps to have a focus and an outcome to work to as well as a strong WHY.
    Barrie Evans recently posted…Get Better Results By Sowing More SeedsMy Profile

  5. I have a daily habit, or routine, of meditating and yoga in the morning. I find this helps to motivate me for the rest of the day. On the odd occasion it doesn’t then I do something else for a bit and then get to the tasks I ‘have to’ do. Sometimes I think it’s good to listen to what your body is telling you, say for example if you’ve been pushing yourself a bit too hard and you need a little down time for rest. As long as it doesn’t become a habit of course! Great post, I enjoyed reading it.

  6. you touched upon a very delicate topic that most of us have to face from time to time… and indeed it is good to have some tools for these cases that keep us moving on ๐Ÿ™‚
    Erzsebet recently posted…William And KateMy Profile

  7. Jason Power


    Personally for me, what always worked was just sucking it up and taking action. As I got working and engaged into something the more motivated I would get. Of course the idea of being self-motivated can turn into a habit over time.


  8. Loved it Rachel and definitely have felt the same as you at times but I am into a habit now of what I need to do from the moment I get up and when it is done it is a nice rewarding feeling. Thanks for sharing.
    Merle Gibbins recently posted…6 Top Tips To Create Compelling ContentMy Profile

  9. I love this post – especially the video about why you have a habit. Us Over Sixty’s – retirement age etc need to work out our new habits! I’m developing loads! Interesting about the rewards. Must check that out!

  10. I find that habit and scheduling things are the only way that I get moving some days. Yesterday I wanted to skip the gym and spend a lazy morning watching a movie with my daughter. I made myself go anyway and I was glad I did once I was there for 10 minutes.
    Twingle Mommy recently posted…Southwestern Turkey Soup Recipe – Perfect for Thanksgiving LeftoversMy Profile

  11. Stephanie LH Calahan

    Ahh, The days we feel like doing nothing! In those instances I do a quick doublecheck before I decide to do any pushing. (I spent a good majority of my life pushing and it almost cost me my life.) I think it’s really important to understand your personal motivators and your personality style. Different strategies are going to work for different people.

    All that being said however, habits are really important for anyone that wants to grow successful business. I found that I focus on one new habit at a time. I make sure it’s really good and ingrained into my system. Then I add another. I’ve done this for my personal care as well as my business growth and the things I do to support those that I coach. One of my favorite tools to help me get good habits going, is my alarm on my iPhone. For example, when I decided to integrate drinking more water into my day, I set an alarm every couple of hours that just said “water.” Those alarms went off for 30 days. Now I don’t need them, but they were sure helpful in the beginning.
    Stephanie LH Calahan recently posted…Mastery of the Message: Using the 3 Mโ€™s of Speaking SuccessMy Profile

    • A good point you brought up about different strategies working for different people. Case in point: I have never liked alarms. Since I see them as intrusive, they only create a level of resistance for me.

  12. Hi Rachel,

    Habits are everything. They dictate how ou run your life. Eliminate the bad habits and make room for good ones. Thanks for the reminder!

  13. Hey Rachel, It is rough trying to get out of those uninspired, unmotivated days. I have had quite a few of them lately. I joined an accountability group and that has helped me tremendously. We meet each Monday evening and talk about our progress. I highly recommend it.

    Have a great evening, Monna
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted…The Benefits of a Focus Group and Accountability FriendsMy Profile

  14. Very inspirational Rachel and if I wasn’t such a procrastinator I would really like to start good habits like getting up at the same time every day, going through a few Tai Chi motions on my balcony before walking my dog, going to the gym and then getting on with my day.
    I used to be disciplined but since my oldest daughter moved out of home, (she was my motivator) I find I fall asleep with good intentions but awake with a ‘meh, I need to sleep’ kind of attitude.

    I am trying though and reading your articles on a regular basis (a habit I am developing through the challenge) I may eventually have a motivating story to share too ๐Ÿ™‚
    Sonia recently posted…The best kept Network/ MLM secrets to success โ€“ Part 1My Profile

  15. Regina with reginaatthelake.com mentioned your blog so I had to check it out, and I REALLY need the motivation you offer in this area. Life gets so busy and at the end of the day I want to feel like I got something I wanted to do completed. It may require retraining other members in the household as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you!
    Natalie recently posted…Homespun Holiday Crochet DecorMy Profile

  16. I have a fabulous accountability partner, and when either one of us lacks motivation we send a message out to the other and the “chat” does the trick!
    Agnes Knowles recently posted…Weekend Wisdom 3My Profile

  17. Ugochi

    We all have days when we feel like doing nothing, and the choice is ours! Thanks for helping us to learn how to break off old and bad habits and replace them with new and good ones!
    Have a super blessed day!
    Ugochi recently posted…When Your Spouse Refuses SexMy Profile

  18. I’m looking at this from the opposite way to see the habit loops of my bad habits. Maybe that will help me break them and replace them with better habits. I’ve noticed that if the first thing I do when I get home from work in the evenings is to sit down, then there is a very high likelihood that I will spend most of the rest of the evening on my rear! If I do a chore as soon as I walk in the house, I am more motivated and more likely to get additional chores done.
    Rabia recently posted…Do As I Say; Not As I DoMy Profile

  19. I totally agree, habit is definitely the key! I’ll just have to work harder at establishing habits because for some reason I just can’t make it to the 21 days. I read somewhere that if you do something for 21 days straight, it becomes a habit but I stop after 2 weeks. I think boredom sets in. I have to work on pushing past boredom because routines bore the heck out of me.
    ReneeJay recently posted…This Thing Called LoveMy Profile

  20. I need a habit cue for my freelance writing. Because it’s not an every day occurrence, I tend to procrastinate until I am stressed out that I won’t meet my deadline. Found you and I think I need to stick around and read a bit more.
    Beth recently posted…Reuse Before Trashing: A Lesson In Upcycle CraftingMy Profile

  21. This book has been on my reading list for awhile. I think it is about time I read it. Congratulations.

  22. I couldn’t wait to read this one Rachel!

    Because I’ve definitely had those days you’ve described so eloquently too! Although watching the video, has definitely challenged me enough to want and try and work on my habit cue a little bit!LOL!

    And I will definitely start looking to replace some my really non productive habits with some much better ones! So thanks for that!
    Mark recently posted…How A Simple Visit To Your Neighborhood Park Can Inspire Some Extremely Profitable Marketing Ideas!My Profile


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