Schedule It Right Now. If That Doesn’t Work, Make It Fun.

Maybe this doesn’t work for all personality types, but my best advice for anything related to changing your behaviors or accomplishing a goal is to schedule it. I mean it! Make it so you don’t have to decide every day whether you will exercise, work on your novel, or clean your kitchen.

Write down the time you are going to do it. Then do it. Don’t think about it.

You are no longing deciding, based on your emotions, motivation, or inspiration to get moving. You’re simply obeying your schedule. Put the schedule in charge. Imagine your schedule as a personal coach or trainer who sits right beside you and says, “OK, now you’re going to write 3 pages. You’re going to write from 9:00-11:00 AM.” Imagine the schedule dragging you to your pilates workout. Of course you’d rather watch Gilmore Girls or eat chips and salsa, but too bad! The schedule is the schedule. Take out a piece of paper and write down every hour and half-hour of the day. Schedule your writing. Schedule your exercise. Schedule when you read your Bible. Schedule when you allow yourself to watch Gilmore Girls.

That’s how I’ve written 10 books. I schedule my writing. I don’t ever ask myself if I want to write. It’s just the schedule–like brushing my teeth or eating breakfast.

If this doesn’t give you hope because you’ve tried all this, my next best piece of advice is to make the hard thing fun. If you pair the unpleasant task with something pleasant, you can do it more easily. Exercise with a friend or with a new podcast. Clean the toilet with your favorite music on. Keep a bowl of special treats reserved by your writing desk. Whatever it takes to make it fun, do that thing. 

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