Why Am I Not Doing The Things I Want To Do?

Why Am I Not Doing The Things I Want To Do?

by May Bartlett, CPCC

man standing on cliff under white clouds

I think it’s safe to say that most of us have struggled with this question at some point in our lives. In fact, many of the clients I work with come into sessions with this conundrum. On an intellectual level, they know what to do. They may want to become healthier, learn a new hobby, or start a new business. But often, they can’t seem to follow through with the steps needed to get there. It’s easy to chalk it up to being a procrastinator. But it’s not fair to simply label yourself as a procrastinator–that only allows you to justify never achieving your dreams. So, I’m here with a few tips that might help you out of this bind.


If you have a goal, but can’t shift your patterns, the first step is to check in with your source of motivation.

  • Ask yourself what has motivated you the most in the past and compare it to your current source of motivation. 

Often, when we have goals and struggle to achieve them, it’s because the source of motivation is weak. Either it’s an external motivation that lacks substance, or we’re motivated by an outcome that’s too far in the distance to fuel our daily habits.

For example:

If you have an external motivation, such as losing weight, spend some time adding substance to it. Ask yourself:

  • What’s important about losing weight?
  • What’s the risk if you don’t lose weight?
  • How will losing weight enhance your life overall?

Maybe your current motivation is to look good, which is all well and fine. But see if you can add additional reasons to strengthen your motivation. If your motivation is all about the outcome, spend some time translating that into current motivation. It’s hard to choose the end goal of losing weight over the current pleasure of staying home. Try finding a motivation that’s more closely related to the act of going to the gym. What are the immediate benefits of exercise? Maybe it’s the endorphins that make you feel good, or the increased energy you have afterward. Any way that you can bring the motivation into real time will help you act in alignment with your goals.


  • If your actions contradict your intentions, the second place to look is at any competing desires that might be getting in the way.


If you want to go to the gym, but keep choosing to stay home instead, ask yourself: “what do I get out of staying home?” Maybe the answer is rest, comfort, peace, and quiet–all of which are important values to honor. If going to the gym competes with your desire for peace and comfort, your motivations will always be in conflict. Instead, find a way for you to honor both parts of yourself – the part that wants to work out and the part that wants to rest. If your goal is to go to the gym three times a week, then make it a goal to also rest three times a week so you don’t have to be in conflict with yourself.

As you may be noticing, we have a lot of different values, which often conflict with one another. Don’t try to over power the part of yourself that values rest.

we have a lot of different values, which often conflict with one another. Don’t try to over power the part of yourself that values rest.

Instead, create a schedule that allows time for rest and activity. That way, different parts of yourself can live in harmony instead of conflict.

May Bartlett, CPCC is a beloved member of the Wellspace Life Coach team. She helps clients in various areas in life–including career, relationships, family, spirituality, and health, to name a few. May also offers relationship coaching for couples to maximize strengths and learn tools to strengthen problem areas.

*If you’d like to have an initial consultation with May, free of charge, you can book here.

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