What can I do to focus on things that matter instead of things that don’t?


I’m in the worst physical shape of my life (my doctor just told me that I’m obese), I haven’t been on a date in five months, my friends have been steadily moving away or drifting away, I have a new job that is challenging and I need to be sharper.

Despite all this, I can’t find the motivation to exercise, eat right, read books, go out and socialize, learn a new skill or hobby. Instead of these things that I acknowledge that I should be spending my time on, I spend all of my free time playing video games, watching netflix or movies, and really just wasting time until I go to sleep. It’s so frustrating that I know I should be doing these things, but shut myself down and fall into a lethargic daze, becoming numb to the world and ignoring my problems.

What can I do to motivate myself to take control of my life and start doing things that are important and will improve my health and mental well being?

Category: Tags: asked August 10, 2014

4 Answers

I think you should start small, your list of goals seems enormous if that's what comes up in your head when you think about stuff to do. Break them down in small activities/goals. Pick one thing to do for the day, like taking a 20 minutes walk, and know that you just have to start doing it for it to happen. You might still not to it that day, but you might the next day. Timeboxing techniques like the pomodoro tecnique can help you balance pleasure and "chores". Aim at buying less video games and less unhealthy foods or trying new tv series, you can't binge on games and food you don't have, or shows you don't know how actually awesome. For me it's hard to play games only 30 minutes, or an hour. So I used to get a new game like once every 1-2 months. I think you can trade your netflix for going to an actual cinema once a week, if you want.
I can't offer much advice in this subject. Mainly, because I'm in pretty much the same situation. I know mine is linked to some mild depression. I guess, all I can offer is that you are not alone!My plan to help pull me out is to find something, ANYTHING, to connect to. Something that makes me FEEL again. Whether, it be a friend, a hobby, an exercise. Something that requires me to step out and do something proactive.Best of luck! And if you would like to chat, you can always message me.
This is a horrible situation I'm somewhat familiar with, and these are the best tips I can give you.

First, set goals for yourself - even if they're only small. Take a shower every morning, get dressed decently even if you're not going anywhere. Go for a short walk and make that part of a routine.

Regarding food - if you buy it yourself, eat before going to the supermarket. Ignore candy/junkfood/snack isles at the store. Possibly plan in advance what you're going to make, and maybe learn how to cook/bake a thing or two.

Limit yourself in your bad habits. By this I mean allow yourself only X hours of gaming, X shows, X budget for snacks (if you can't resist fully). A thing I started to do was weighing out how much I eat - not actively counting calories, but just having a limited amount of potatoes and meat. Cutting down on sauces will help immensely as well.

The best advice I can give you will probably be a bit controversial in how I'm explaining it, but here it is: be stubborn. Find a reason to do all of these things. Preferably a healthy one, but in a pinch negative ones (like arrogance) can work as well. For positive things, record your achievements and look back on them with pride. Keep an after-the-fact schedule so you can see and feel what you've done. Start improving yourself in some way and take pride in it.

Here's the controversial part: for the negative ones, look up to people and say "Well, if they can do it, surely I can", look down on people and say "I'm way better than that", look at a task and think "Why wouldn't I be able to do that?"

Motivating yourself with negative emotion is a risky thing to do, but it is completely doable. You however have to keep in mind - at all times - that you're just using it as a motivational tool. Yes, it involves using people as stereotypes to some extent - so realise that every one of those people is their own person. They may have reasons beyond your knowledge as to why they're in that situation, and in the end both of you are equal in your humanity.
What is control? What are the really important things in life? It will take all your life to find out better answers to these questions, but I've found a good one after 28 years: think. think faster. think sharper. think. don't stop thinking. A lot of important things in life will be answered with this.:D gl!