“I just don’t want to do it!” We’ve all said it, thought it, and done it. We’ve all chosen to watch something on netflix, eaten that tub of ice cream, put it [whatever it is] off [maybe indefinitely], or pawned it off on someone else instead of doing it… ourselves. And that’s fine. Why not, right? We’re humans. We have the ability to make our own choices and decisions. During infertility it can be tough to admit that there’s something wrong, get tested, start fertility treatments, and sometimes even stop treatment. But in those times where we know we should do something and can’t seem to get started, keep it going, or see it through, how do we cultivate self discipline?
Figure out what makes you tick
What motivates you? Do you like checking things off of a list? Do you need a reward (and what kind)? Do you need someone else to help hold you accountable? Do you need to have a [measureable] deliverable? If it needs to be avoided, do you need to remove it from your life entirely? Make a list. Figure out what you need to help you get started, see it through, and set yourself up for success.
What are your go-to excuses?
We all know we have them, but most of the time we’re in denial and we refuse to admit that we have our standard fall back reasons to not do or finish something. What are yours?
“I got busy.”
“I started then a day passed, and another, and another, and before I knew it a month had passed.”
“A friend/family member needed help so I redirected my resources to help them.”
“I had to work overtime every day for the past two weeks.”
“I went on vacation.”
“I was waiting until after the holiday.”
Write down your typical excuses and put them on your fridge, your car dashboard, or your phone background. Spend 5 minutes writing down ways you can combat these excuses. Maybe it’s going to the list of things that makes you tick [above]. You can also come up with a mantra like “In order to be successful, I need to put myself first.”
What are your fears?
It’s not always obvious but sometimes there are fears around self-discipline. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of change. Is there a possibility that any of these resonate with you? If so, explore them. We have several blog posts on how to journal here and here. Set a timer for 5 minutes and start writing or doodling about one of the fears above. Repeat for each of those fears and notice if patterns unfold or if any stories rise up.
There’s no better time to start than NOW.
Waiting for an arbitrary date to start something is usually rooted in a fear or an excuse. Sometimes there are valid reasons to wait, but if you find yourself coming up with a date to start something ask yourself “what would happen if I started this now?” Maybe write down the pros and cons then take a moment to look at it as objectively as possible.
What to do with temptation?
Take a deep breath and practice STOP. Simply put stop, take a deep breath, observe what’s going on in and around you, then proceed.
It’s never too late to re-start.
Sometimes we lose hope if we’ve fallen off the tracks on the way to our goal (or while on a plan), but it’s never too late to get back on the tracks. Go back to your fears, write down your objections, and look at your support system. What can you do to try again?
Life is a journey. It’s not about the end goal. The practices we offer you here are to make lifestyle changes. There is a journey to be had when creating the self-discipline to do something new. No matter what happens on your journey, have some self compassion, and meet yourself where you are.