One of the few blogs that I follow posted a great piece this week about get-up-and-go. When we’ve had too long a break in what we’ve been doing, it gets harder and harder to get ourselves started off at it again.

Something I’ve very acutely aware of this week.

It doesn’t bother me if I have an occasional off-day—I can’t be perfect—but I notice that if I let it go too many days in a row, it starts to get easier and easier to make “off” the new normal. Then, I have to fight hard to get the drive back; it isn’t easy anymore.
Tyler Tervooren, Advanced Riskology

A Brief Washington Trip

As you may have noticed from the dearth of posts on here last week, I wasn’t around much. In fact, I flew to Washington, D.C.1 for the Reel Change summit run by Working Films and the Fledgling Fund – more news of which to follow.

I flew back overnight on Tuesday, landing in Heathrow at around 7am UK-time. I’d managed to stay on UK time while I was out there so I wasn’t expecting to take too much of a productivity hit from the red-eye flight home, but I had entirely forgotten the fact that I’m can never sleep on aeroplanes. Not good for an overnight flight…

I then had to head straight on over to St Mary’s hospital for an appointment – again, details to follow in a later post – which, luckily, is right above Paddington Station where the Heathrow Express gets in, just a 15-minute journey from the airport.

Disruption

What all of this ended up meaning was that despite planning to at least get a couple of hours work catching up on emails etc done when I got home, I was far too shattered for anything, having been awake for 18 hours and therefore ending up entirely unable to think. I even spent £3.80 on my Oyster card underground pass by wandering into a station then straight through the exit barriers because I got lost and wasn’t sure where I was headed. Stupid mistake.

The knock-on effect was significant: missing a night’s sleep, combined with air travel, combined with a busy day on landing all meant that I stayed behind for all of last week.

Wednesday was, in essence, a washout by the time I got home and Thursday wasn’t much better as I needed the rest and sleep from nearly 36 hours on the go Tuesday and Wednesday.

Friday is the last day of the week anyway, so my brain simply didn’t want to engage, although I did manage to get through most of my emails and dig in to some of the reading and planning for my new role as PMD for a little British indie that I start this month.

Then, of course, we’ve just had the bank holiday weekend in the UK – a seemingly random excuse to add Monday to the weekend, during which we generally catch up with our family. Always lovely, always enjoyable, never productive.

Up and At ’em

Now it’s Tuesday, 6 days after getting home from Washington and I’ve done next to zero follow-up on the course, I’m behind on most of my work and I still need to work on the TinyButMighty website to get it up to scratch.

On top of which, I’ve got so much I want to implement from the D.C. course that I really needed to get my butt into gear, which is where Tyler’s post came in.

The idea of your motivational forces – your get-up-and-go – being a muscle that you have to use and exercise struck a bombastic chord.

The more you do something, the more you turn it into a habit, the easier it comes to keep on doing it.

One of the things that also lapsed over my weekend away was my training, partly because I was away from my actual gym with no replacement facilities and partly – certainly upon my return – I’d lost that motivational force pushing me out of the door in the morning and getting me onto the treadmill.

Use It Or Lose It

We’ve all heard it, but I’m not sure I believe it; certainly not when it comes to motivation.

Our get-up-and-go muscle is always there, the question is how strongly we have honed it and how quickly we can get it back again.

This morning I went to the gym for the first time in 10 days, which was hell, but I know that going on Thursday will be that much easier – it’s just one more step on my road to a fully-flexed muscle.

The key is to know what will get that muscle up and running again: for me, it was seeing all of my family over a meal yesterday for the first time since I pledged to run the marathon.

I’ve pledged to do so many things over the past 5 years and I keep failing; seeing my family yesterday and not being able to talk about the marathon for fear of failing again – that growing sense of self-doubt – made me realise I needed to get up, get out and get going to keep that motivational muscle as taught and toned as I can.

Only when we find that little shock to our system that restarts the motivational muscle as a defibrillator restarts your heart muscle can we truly inject our goals with the power, energy and dedication that we need.

And then we need to store it somewhere safe for when we need a little jolt again.

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What kind of jolt do you need? How can we help you restart yourself on the road you’re slipping to the side of? Leave a comment and we’ll all do what we can to kick-start you again.

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  1. that’s in the USA, doncha know? []