Fake It Until You Make It

I’ve read this saying before on the Weight Watcher forums but it didn’t really click with me.  Until I needed it.

Say you have a goal, whether it’s losing weight or finishing a book.  Sometimes you can tackle that goal with gusto.  It’s so easy!  You don’t really have a lot of patience for other people who might be struggling with a similar goal.  Birthday cake or some new shiny plotbunny won’t deter you from your goal because SELF DISCIPLINE is yours, baby.  You’ve got balls of steel and ice runs in your veins, whether you’re facing down a juicy hamburger or a mean set of edits.

That’s great and all… but sometimes life interferes.  Okay, maybe more than “sometimes.”  Maybe it’s been a loooooong time since you had that killer self control and single-minded determination.  You feel stuck and in a rut.  It’s dark and depressing down there, but you can’t seem to find the energy or will to pull yourself out.

So what do you do then?  Fake it until you make it out of that rut.

Do something, no matter how small, that inches you closer to that goal.  Maybe it’s just “going through the motions” but sometimes building that habit will lead you to another good habit.  Forward progress is crucial, even if it’s glacier speed.

Haven’t you watched The Dog Whisperer before where Cesar Milan’s trying to get a stubborn dog to walk on its leash?  In one episode, the dog just sat there like a lump.  No amount of treats or tugging on the leash would get him to move.  So Cesar picked up his hind legs like a wheelbarrow.  It got him to move.  One step.  Then another.  Forward progress, even if wacky or crazy, can help us get out of that rut when nothing else will work.

So since I’m struggling right now with both my diet and writing, I’m faking it.  I get up and begin each day tracking my food.  Even if I forget or willfully decide not to track later.  I eat the same healthy breakfast each morning.  Even if I screw up later… I’ve at least had my breakfast.  That’s something.  Even if I miss a day of working out, I can always work out tomorrow.  I don’t have to be perfect.  I just have to keep trying.

It’s the same with writing.  That’s why I’m back to 250 words.  That’s it.  I have to have progress.  I have to get STARTED.  Instead of sitting here whining that I haven’t finished yet… when I haven’t bothered to open the file.  *slapme*

My first step yesterday was to re-read what I’ve done on Sig since Oct (about 26K).  Now, forward.  Even if it’s a measely 250 words every day.

Someday, it won’t be slogging.  It won’t feel like ripping off my fingernails.  I won’t be so sore I can’t walk up the stairs (because I skipped working out for weeks).  I just have to keep trying because failure only comes when I give up.  When I quit trying every single day.

Eventually, I won’t have to fake it.

6 thoughts on “Fake It Until You Make It

  1. Oh, man. I am definitely in the fake it ’til you make it zone. Though I haven’t gotten new words in at least two weeks (and they were pretty scarce for a couple of weeks before that), I make myself open my file every day at lunch, whether I read/write or not and open it again in the evening, just in case.

    At some point, it’ll work. It HAS to.

  2. I HEAR YOU! I woke up thinking about this. Not the motto so much but the going through the motions until something sticks. Now I think I’ll write out that motto and hang it all over the house, LOL. Great post Joely!

  3. There must be something in the water. I am also Faking It at the moment (revising The Owl Bearer), with a goal of 250 words a day. I usually have a big burst of motivation and self-discipline from Jan.-March, so I’m just trying to hang on making forward motion until then.

    Keep on keepin’ on, Joely. You’ll get there, ’cause you’re awesome.

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