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5 Secrets to Do What You Don’t Want to Do

How to get yourself to WANT to do what you NEED to do.

Source: Antranias/

"Of all that is wonderful in the human being, our most glorious asset is the capacity to change ourselves."
― Eknath Easwaran

In my trainings and seminars lately, I’ve been focusing a lot on what I call Empowerment Fit because I recognize that physical health and fitness is key to empowerment and optimal performance in all areas of life. As I teach about it, I see my students getting jazzed and eager to get on board and turn their health and fitness around! Yes!

Then within a month, the emails start: “I just can’t get my body out of bed in the morning to work out.” “I joined a gym but I can’t find the time to get there.” “I loaded my ‘fridge with veggies but can’t stop craving (and binging) on Ding Dongs!” The emails all end by asking for “Help!”

These are sincere people who are determined to live according to their best intentions, not their excuses. Yet they find themselves stuck in the vortex of really not wanting to do what they know they need to do to get what they want.

Can you relate?

Whether it’s physical health, financial fitness or a cleaner house, here are five secrets to help get yourself to do what you need to do —that you don’t want to do— to get what you most desire.

Secret #1 from Yogi Berra: "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up some place else."

We need to set clear goals for whatever we desire — especially if the road to that desire seems tough. Since the 1960’s, extensive research has proven the effectiveness of setting goals to achieve what you want. Write your goals down and read them aloud each and every day. Make yourself positive visual reminders of your goals to post on your mirror or computer screen. A clear, meaningful goal has a momentum of its own to help you over the humps.

Create an “aim” goal as well as “end” goals. An aim goal is never-ending. It’s the direction you want to go in life: “I live a healthy lifestyle.” “My family’s financial future is secure.” “My home is organized and relaxing.”

An end goal is specific, measurable and achievable within a certain timeframe: “I am fit and toned, and weigh 175 lbs. as of December 1, 2016.” “I pay off $15,000 in debt and have $4,000 in the bank as of January 15, 2017.” “My closets are clean and hold only clothes I really enjoy wearing as of September 30, 2015.”

Secret #2 from David Hawkins: "Beliefs are the determinants of what one experiences. There are no external 'causes.'"

To get yourself to do what you don’t want to do, you need buy-in from both the conscious and unconscious mind. People who are consistently successful at achieving their goals know that our underlying beliefs and attitudes must all be aligned to what we desire. If they aren’t, we’ll struggle all the way – and typically be unsuccessful.

Whenever you feel strong resistance to doing what you know needs to be done, it’s typically an unconscious limiting belief or negative emotion trying to run your show. Maybe you feel undeserving of a healthy body. Maybe you harbor underlying anger toward a parent who misused wealth. Maybe a clean, welcoming home represents lack of privacy. These feelings or beliefs may not seem significant consciously, but the powerhouse that is your unconscious might disagree!

Your job is to unearth those negative emotions or beliefs and release them. How? In the NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) I teach, we use the Mental and Emotional Release© (MER©) process. Other practices and therapies use different approaches. You don’t have to delay pursuing your desire until you eliminate these unconscious blocks. But once you make the effort to eliminate them, you’ll find that you run into fewer “things you don’t want to do” to reach your goal!

Secret #3 from Dr. Jonas Salk: "I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams."

Our desires have to be more important to us than what seems to be in the way. Every desire that is worthwhile requires some kind of sacrifice. You give up something to get something that is more important to you. To get healthier, you may need to take the stairs rather than the elevator. Healthier finances might mean fewer dinners out. A cleaner home might mean fewer evenings watching Dancing with the Stars.

The key is know what you need to sacrifice in advance and make a plan! If getting out of bed early to exercise is difficult, enlist an early-bird buddy to call you each morning. Invite friends over for potluck rather than meeting in restaurants. Arm yourself with an IPod of fun music to play while you clear out cabinets and record that TV show you don’t want to miss.

Secret #4 from Ludwig Wittgenstein: “A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that's unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”

Get creative and find another way! That thing that you don’t want to do? Who says you have to do it that particular way? Or who says that you yourself must do it? There’s more than one way to crack a coconut.

Your path to get what you want out of life may not be the same as your neighbor’s or some guy on TV. What you want should be clearly defined, but how you get there is open. If you’re resisting doing what you think you need to do, how about finding another way? One that fits you better?

Take physical fitness, for example. There are a zillion ways to get into shape and stay there, everything from yoga to belly dancing to rock climbing. Getting financially fit? To improve your bottom line, some of us lean toward the coupon-clipping side of the coin while others prefer to emphasize additional income. You have a cleaner house by doing a tiny bit every day — or having someone else clean it!

Secret #5 Malcolm Forbes: "Diamonds are nothing but chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs."

We get out of bed to go to work every day, right? Whether we really enjoy our jobs or not, for most of us this isn’t a decision we carefully reconsider every morning when the alarm goes off: “Hmmm. Do I really want to go into the office this morning? Or should I just skip it today? What do I feel like doing?”

No! We get up and show up!

Taking action every day toward what we truly desire can’t be up for internal debate. You can take a lot of action or a little action, but consistency about acting is the key. When we commit to some action every day no matter what, we stop draining our energy in the back and forth of “Should I or shouldn’t I?”

Make your goals and dreams at least as important as your job!

“When you lay your head on the pillow at the end of the night, can you think of three things you did during the day to make your life better? Did you nourish your body? Your spirit? Your mind? If not, get back up and do something that good for YOU.”
― Toni Sorenson

To your TOTAL empowerment!


Dr. Matt.


About the Author:

Matthew B. James, MA, Ph.D., is President of The Empowerment Partnership. Author of several books, Dr. Matt has trained thousands of students to be totally empowered using Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Huna, Mental Emotional Release® (MER®)therapy, and Empowerment Fit, a program that incorporates targeted mind/body/spirit practices to create optimal physical fitness and health. Download his free NLP class. For more about Dr. Matt, visit his blog at

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