Good morning, beautiful people.
You may have noticed that I didn’t post a Sunday Series blog last weekend – although you probably didn’t (which is totally fine). I noticed – obviously.
Way back when I first decided to turn this into a series, I made a commitment to myself, and to my blog, that I would keep this habit and post every Sunday. All in all I did quite well and posted every Sunday for seven weeks. I write them first-thing in the morning, in my pyjamas, with my cup of coffee – and its lovely. I enjoy it.
But last weekend, I just couldn’t find the words. And the more I tried to sit here and pull words out of my (slightly frazzled) brain, the more not enjoyable it became. I figured maybe I could at least switch things up and maybe write in the evening, reflecting on the Sunday itself – but that didn’t happen either.
So in the end I showed exercised a little self-kindness and allowed myself to take a week off. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that I’m just not about that life of pushing myself to do things that you don’t want to do. And whilst I appreciate the strength, discipline that is learned and comes with sticking to a habit, and to that commitment I’d made to myself, doing so last weekend was just making miserable.
I think when you internalise your motivation for doing something, that’s when you can start to differentiate between doing something because you want to, and doing something because you feel like you have to.
I write because it makes me happy. I learn a lot from writing, both about myself and what makes me tick, but also about the topics I choose to write about. The same way that I choose to exercise for myself, for the physical and mental strength that it gives me and that I really value. Neither of these things I do because I feel like I should, or because other people expect them of me.
If that were the case, I might feel guilty for taking a week off. I might feel like I have let someone else down. I might push myself to continue, even though it makes me unhappy. I might worry that without that external push, I won’t write again the following week, or do exercise ever again.
When your motivation is internal, you are in control of your ‘why’. And your ‘why’ will always be there.
And that means that you can take a day, a week, or a month off and still be confident in the knowledge that you’ll get back to it. Be it writing, or exercise, or anything else. You know why you are doing something, and you can therefore make an informed decision as to whether doing or not doing the ‘thing’ will be beneficial to you at that moment in time.
Last week, not writing served me better than writing. Because my ‘why’ is enjoyment. And last week was not enjoyable. This week, it’s back – hello friends.
Just like this week, taking a day or two off from exercise served me better than taking myself out on another run. I wanted to, but my body was tired. My ‘why’ for exercise it also enjoyment, and to strengthen and nourish my body. Running when tired would serve none of those, but I know another day I’ll get right back to it.
I hope that this Sunday morning brain-dump has got you to think about the things maybe in your own life that could be more enjoyable if you stopped doing them for the external reasons and focused more on the internal… it’s a tricky one to navigate, and will take some time to figure out – but it’s a game-changer when it finally clicks!
Until next time,