What To Do When You “Just Don’t Feel Like It”

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do you ever just wake up and say “yeah…i’m just not really interested in doing anything productive today because i don’t feel like it.”


that’s been me lately. i have a ‘to-do’ list a mile long, goals i want to reach and exciting things on the horizon but i haven’t really been ‘feeling’ it lately so i find mundane and meaningless things to do instead. my soup cans and boxes of crackers are really nicely organized though!


it’s embarrassing to admit but thank goodness other humans are reading this and i bet you’ve also experienced this.


thankfully i have some solid people in my life and my friend jessica recently recommended the “the 15 invaluable laws of growth” by john c. maxwell to me.

15 invaluable laws of growth

i procrastinated getting the book for a few months but finally picked it up at my local library (by the way, libraries are amazing! they just give you books and cds FOR FREE).


i am about 3 chapters in but it’s already proving to be a solid read. i have mixed feelings about all of john maxwell’s content but am really resonating with this here book and think he does offer great insight into things.


the first chapter is called “the law of intentionality: growth doesn’t just happen,” which is so true but more on that later. here is something mr. maxwell found while in a doctor’s office in a medical journal and it’s called “just do it” (pg. 8)


we hear it almost every day; sigh, sigh, sigh. i just can’t get myself motivated to…(lose weight, test my blood sugar, etc)…we have news for you. motivation is not going to strike you like lightning. and motivation is not something that someone else (nurse, doctor, family member) can bestow or force on you. the whole idea of motivation is a trap. forget motivation. just do it.

exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar or whatever. do it without motivation and then guess what. after you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.

motivation is like love and happiness. it’s a by-product. when you’re actively engaged in doing something, it sneaks up and zaps you when you least expect it.

as harvard psychologist jerome bruner says, ‘you’re more likely to act yourself into feeling than feel yourself into action.’ so act! whatever it is you know you should do, do it.”


this literally blew my mind. i think i’m going to print this out and hang it in my office. or cross-stitch it (dang it chelsea! do more productive things jeeeez) i am absolutely guilty of waiting for motivation to strike me so that i can finally put into action the strategy for ‘the new wifestyle’ or workout or read the books that i know will help me.


i was a little bummed to realize this isn’t how it works and we have to just suck it up and get started anyway. isn’t there like a motivation pill we can take or something? no. we just have to do it and start the trek up the mountain anyways.

travel anchorage alaska

i am mainly writing this for myself on this monday morning to give myself a little kick in the pants and get started on what i need to do but hopefully it helps you do the same. we can be in this together and do the things that aren’t fun at first but if we are lucky, that motivation will zap us while we are in the middle of doing it and it will suck less. and even if the motivation doesn’t strike, at least we are moving forward and up the mountain.


ready…set…do it!


1) what work thing do you procrastinate the most? (i despise emails and thinking of new ideas. they both scare me)
2) how do you find motivation within to suck it up and do things anyway?
3) any books you’ve read recently that helped give you a mindset shift?


  1. John

    September 8, 2014 at 10:38 am

    1. I refuse to even contemplate That question. Questions guide our mind (as well as the minds of those we ask questions of) and our mind delivers the answers we seek. Instead, I will answer this question (is this cheating… methinks NOT!: Q. What part of your work flows the easiest, what do you just LOVE to do?! A. I have fun writing and creating – it all flows so easily. AND I just LOVE talking to people about their dreams and visions – the things that Fill them with excitement, joy, and anticipation AND what we can do together to make all that happen! OH, and – for some reason – I just love developing and testing well intended promotional and business processes. It is FUN to see the results pour in when a test goes well AND FUN to figure the puzzle out when things do not go well. Wow, THAT was fun and look at the great ‘High Value’ stuff I find easy and FUN to do! OH, AND I LOVE to give heartfelt and inspired speeches the confidence of knowing I can, the faith filled flow of the process, the wonderful and heartwarming impact on the audience…. the power of a better question lets these fingers Fly!

    2. On days when I really ‘don’t feel like it’ (there are a few – usually after I have slipped and had a soda or some other poison the day / evening before or because of dehydration) I start with Music – often Olympic Fanfare!! (you put in Chariots of Fire or Enter the Champions and tell me you don’t feel like it). I also spend a bit of extra time dressing up (a different thing in the woods now) and looking at the sharp capable guy in the mirror. Or, I just live in gratitude, appreciation, and loving connection considering all those I serve for a little while. Of course, there is always water, breathing, and a walk in the woods!

    3. Hmmmmm….. been writing and watching inspirational videos but my daily reading habit has slipped off … for a while….. Thanks for the reminder.. Now where did I put Walden Pond (I was hankering for that yesterday for some reason, not sure why)

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2014 at 11:41 am

      wow john glad to hear things are flowing freely and sharing all the things you love about your work! excellent idea to listen to music that gets you pumped up when you need a little extra to get going! ah i’m starting to appreciate how great a breath of fresh air and walk can be!

      hope you find that book and thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Jennifer Haston

    September 8, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    1) what work thing do you procrastinate the most? laundry, and dishes which is kind of funny because they don’t take that long once I FINALLY get up and do them. Also, speech writing and any speech that requires research UGH (shhh don’t tell Ryan)
    2) how do you find motivation within to suck it up and do things anyway? Excellent question. Posts like yours and workout buddies keep me on track. My husband I belong to a Facebook group that specifically keeps us motivated on eradicating our debt and that helps A LOT.
    3) any books you’ve read recently that helped give you a mindset shift? The biography of Jim Henson. He did so much for so many and rather than focus on what I have yet to accomplish, I really try hard to give myself props and keep moving. It’s worth noting, that I number my Workout Days (Wednesday will be Workout Day 67) so it serves as an ongoing reminder of what I have already accomplished. It’s refreshing to hear that you struggle with this procrastination thing too. Keep it up, Chelsea, I believe in YOU!
    Jennifer Haston recently posted…Feel the fear and do it anyway…

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2014 at 11:45 am

      haaa your secret is safe with me about research for speech…i know some other people that don’t always love it either 🙂 and yessss the dishes. whhhhhy.

      and aww you filled me with warm fuzzies of ‘posts like yours’-thank you jennifer. that is so great that you and your husband belong to a group that helps to motivate you both to stay on track with money. accountability is huge in keeping on track.

      i must say you are SUPER brilliant to add the number of your work out day! SO smart. what a great idea because like you said it gives you credit for the past days and helps to inspire to add another day to the number. thanks for believing in me and the feeling is mutual for you lady!

  3. Paula Howley

    September 8, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    1. I hate actually writing out my lessons. Blah. boring. I prefer winging it but I have to make sure my kids have something to fall back on in case they forget.

    2. Well, once in a while I’ll let a few weeks go by and let things slide but it always gets ugly fast so I just suck it up and do it. I always feel better anyway afterwards. It’s the foundational phrase of my current humorous speech”Best way through it? Just do it!”

    I keep meaning to post about this- I’ve read it twice this summer and will be reading one more time because I really want for it to be in my DNA- “Leaders Eat Last by Simon Sinek. It just blew my fucking mind if you’ll pardon my French. It’s one of those life-changers.
    It’s allowing me to think longer and differently about all aspects of my life- I’m even redesigning parts of my curriculum because of it to incite doses of oxytocin. lol
    Paula Howley recently posted…Public Presentations For Kids

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2014 at 11:49 am

      ohh i could see that paula but sounds like it’s good for the kids. ohhh great foundational phrase and glad you live that by!

      with a recommendation like that, i will be adding ‘leaders eat last’ to my book list! i need a good mind blow (that sounds dirty). thanks! i love that it’s letting you think longer and differently about things in your life- i need that ‘think longer’ so ordering it now!

      thanks for your thoughts!

  4. Brittany

    September 8, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    1. Well.. as a researcher I tend to procrastinate on the daily dull things like paperwork or setting up appointments , but above all I procrastinate making figures. I love running experiments and analyzing data in a million different ways but I hate making them publication ready. I realize this is easy to do, but I feel that I am not the most artistic or creative and after spending all the time on it.. I don’t really think it depicts what I want it to and that scares me.. not much of a scientist if I can’t communicate my research via pictures..haha. But I have a ton of great resources/labmates to bounce ideas off .. which is always nice to have. 2. And usually I am driven by deadlines and my calendar and patients schedules so I guess that doesn’t really count.. but my best motivation is seeing the kids that have Duchenne muscular dystrophy (the disease I work on). I like that my project allows me to see them and how awesome they are… makes the early mornings and long hours much easier. 3. I honestly cannot remember the last thing I read that was not a peer reviewed article in some scientific journal so nothing too motivational, but I love and live by the quote ” life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” by Charles R. Swindoll and this motivates me to make that 90% the best I can.

    • chelsea

      September 9, 2014 at 11:56 am

      running experiments sounds like total fun (i’ll leave the analyzing data in a million ways to you) but i can totally see how getting them ready for publication would be a lot less fun, brittany! so glad to hear you are surrounded by other labmates that you can bounce ideas off of and i’m sure you add a lot to their projects and research as well.

      that is so great that you get to work with amazing kids who are dealing with the disease you are working on, what a tangible and positive way to see your work making a difference. that’s pretty spectacular.

      that is grand quote-thanks for sharing and something i need to remember more often. thanks for your insight and keep up the great work brittany!
      chelsea recently posted…How to Set Relationship Goals

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