They Say that Starting Up is Hard to Do; Now I Know, I Know that it’s True

You know what I hate? Trying to re-establish a groove after it’s been interrupted. A month ago, I was exercising daily, reading plenty of new things, and even working on my novel on a semi-regular basis. Then I went to Scotland for a week, and my life has been one long excuse since then.

“I’m tired.”

“I can’t seem to concentrate.”

“I’ve got too many other things to do.”

“I’ve got to clear off the DVR because it’s full.”

“Video games/TV sounds way more interesting.”

And, of course, the old standby: “I just don’t feel like it.”

The problem is that these excuses can become habit forming. I’m tired because I keep telling myself that I am. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. I keep wishing I was still in Scotland, wandering the highlands with delight. I’m sure you’ve been in similar situations at times in your life. So the question becomes:

“How do I break myself out of this rut?”

Unfortunately, there’s no specific answer to this. Some people will say you should write a note to yourself and stick it to your monitor so that you see it every time you sit down at the computer. A variation of this is to put a reminder into your phone and have it beep at you when it’s time to write.

Or you can give yourself rewards for sticking to it. Maybe if you write for an hour, you allow yourself to blow off a few hours playing video games or watching TV. Maybe you give yourself one of your favorite snacks.

You could even enlist the aid of friends to help you get back on track. Maybe they incessantly remind you, or won’t let you get up until you’ve done a certain amount of work. Regardless of your plan, it ultimately involves you tricking yourself into getting back to work. Once you do, it’s not so hard.

For myself, I basically just have to bully myself. I’m naturally a bit lazy, so it’s not hard for me to come up with excuses at the best of time. Fortunately (unfortunately?), I’m also cursed with a conscience that makes me hate myself when I’m putting off something that I should be doing. Eventually, the guilt gets too strong and I get back to it.

And now that I’ve bullied myself into this blog post, I’ll hopefully use this momentum to get myself back into the groove. The alternative is too depressing to me. On the other hand, Scotland is nice this time of year…

What are your favorite methods for getting back to it?

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