In Toronto, the little lake in front of my apartment building is frozen solid and all I want to do is crawl under the covers with The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina until spring.
It’s easy to slip into a state of inertia when the thermometer dips.
But, if you, like me, have dreams bigger than finishing a season on Netflix, you’ve got shit to do.
So how do you take action when you’re feeling as motivated on a sloth on its day off?
You make it easier.
Case in point:
Once upon a time, Carla’s passion was salsa dancing. Spinning around the dance floor once a week gave her an energy boost incomparable to anything else.
As she added a husband, a puppy, and a demanding full-time job to her life, however, she stopped going.
Carla wanted to get back into salsa but with the extra burden of putting on mittens, boots and a parka (yes, this can be a legit burden), she was finding it hard to leave the house after dinner.
Carla knew that once she got to the club, she would have a good time.
It was getting out the door that was the issue.
To make it easier, I suggested that she listen to Latin music and wear her salsa shoes when making supper to trick her body into thinking it was already doing the thing that she loved.
When she tried this, her energy immediately perked up and her motivation to get to the club increased tenfold.
Carla is now practicing salsa once a week again and loving it.
Action, however small, creates momentum.
And momentum creates energy.
Whether your thing is painting or writing or making balloon animals, if you’re feeling unmotivated, do the easiest thing possible – pick up the brush, write a complete sentence, blow up a balloon.
It doesn’t have to be the best brush, the greatest sentence or the most wiener-dog-like balloon in the world.
If your effort is half-assed even better – allow yourself to suck.
Chances are your lame effort at something you enjoy will still seem impressive to people who don’t have your skills.
Any action is better than no action.
If you are fighting the urge to hibernate, ask yourself this:
What tiny step can I take today toward my goal (even if it’s half-assed)?
Make this question consistent, make your answers easy, and take that tiny action.
Before long, your passion will become a habit, your habits will turn to results, and spring will have sprung again.