I just didn’t want to do it

2023 hasn’t exactly started with a bang for me. I have felt a bit sluggish, and just not in my regular groove. Possibly languishing if I am channeling my inner Adam Grant.

I actually think it’s just the ebb and flow of life, and for me it just happens to be  the start of a new year. 

This week, I had an early morning gym session booked with my daughter. And (like usual) the 5:45 am alarm went off and I wanted to ignore it and go back to sleep. (A 5km treadmill run at 6am, um, not exactly a party).
I even went to her room to see if she was awake, because if she wasn’t – I mean, we can do it another time. 

She was up.
And ready to go.
Lucky me, right?

So I quickly got dressed and off we went. I felt marginally better throughout the day, although I was glad to have the workout done. It got me thinking about how we push ourselves to do things even when every fiber of our being is placing obstacle after obstacle in our way. I call that friction.

“My gym clothes are dirty”.
“It’s early and I’m tired”.
“I have an early meeting to get ready for”
“I’ve had a long week and it’s only Tuesday”.

For every bit of friction that I put in front of something, I can equal it with something that is a reason why I should do it. I just choose to ignore those reasons.

It’s not sustainable to put friction in front of the things we know we should be doing. Not in the long term, because we might just end up on the sofa. Forever. Stuck in languishing. So instead, we need to be put in motion. 

Get an accountability partner.
Obvious for me, obviously. Having my daughter, or sometimes my husband go with me to the gym just gives that extra level of accountability. If it’s business we’re talking about, it might be a small networking group, or peer accountability group, anything that keeps you accountable to someone other than yourself. If you have to do something alone, it could be a simple text/photo to show you are at the gym ready to work out. Accountability is the key.

Reward yourself.
Bored of the gym? Get new gym gear.
Tired of your office? Get a new office mug, and some new office supplies.
Need to drink more water? Get a new water bottle.
I know these sound simple, but they work. Nothing can be more exciting than using a new piece of gear at the gym, or filling up that shiny new Stanley water bottle to get you out of that rut.

Ask yourself: what am I willing to suffer for?
If you aren’t interested in going to the gym at 5:45 am, it might just be that you don’t want to suffer for that part of your life. Maybe, you suffer for something else. And that’s ok. It’s important to know what’s important. And things that we want to achieve will take a certain amount of suffering, it’s just knowing what those things are.

Keep promises to yourself.
I mentioned above that an accountability partner keeps you accountable to someone other than yourself, but being accountable to yourself could be enough. When you make a promise to yourself that you are going to do something.


However you want to think about it, it’s a top shelf promise that needs to be kept at all costs.

Remember, sometimes doing something we don’t want to do at the moment is necessary for our own growth and development. No one can motivate you, it’s just not possible. What can happen is someone can show you the action steps to a clearly defined goal. And then you motivate yourself towards those action steps. Taking into account the things I’ve listed above. 

For me? I’ve kept the fitness promise to myself for a long time, and so it’s something I’m willing to suffer for. Hoofing it on a treadmill at 5:45am. For me, it’s a party of 1. In the words of Friday Sock founder, Adam Thompson, the juice is worth the squeeze. 

Donita Fowler

Coach + Creator
Manage your emotions and you can navigate challenges with a balanced perspective.