December 16, 2019

A Note From Hell

I’m up early this morning and feeling motivated to get some work done and finally do my taxes. 

The work part I’m cool with. To say I’m excited about diving into my taxes however, would be an outright lie. 

It always feels like a chore and I’d rather be doing anything else today while I’m working from home.

Especially when the weather is set to turn on an absolute stunner for us here in Sydney.

But it is a chore you can’t ignore.

It’s one of those things that need to get done so you can go about living like an adult in the world today. 

I don’t have any productivity hacks or apps or for you today to help you through what you’re stuck with. Except for this quick note. 

Training, eating well and generally taking good care of yourself, can feel like doing your taxes sometimes. 

Honestly, some days it’ll be hard and will feel like a real drag. 

I know it. I’ve been doing this since I was 16 or so, and as much as I love the process of training and becoming, and all the great things that come along with that…

Some days I just cannot find the drive to be enthusiastic about it at all.

It is what it is. 

But while sorting your returns is a once a year gig, making healthy choices and building helpful habits are a daily constant. And having to make that many ‘right’ choices each day can be a little, well…


We could talk about discovering your emotionally driven ‘why’ for doing something and falling back on that to pull you through these deep moments of resistance.

Which isn’t a terrible approach by any stretch. 

But honestly, sometimes too you have to just close your eyes, hold your nose and dive into the deep. 

If too often you’re up against a mountain trying to draw on your ‘why’ to get started then you may want to rethink your approach. 

If you’re constantly trying to convince yourself against your own will, then there’s a big chance that you’ve picked the wrong entrance.

You’ve decided on a start that’s far too overwhelming for where you are right now. 

A case of the right road, wrong vehicle. 

Related: Going Nowhere Fast

Chip it down to the barest, most essential, simplest thing that you can do to get started right now. What can you do so that it doesn’t feel like such a burden? 

What is the smallest incremental step forward that you can take? 

It might be as simple as starting your day with a glass of water or a short walk. 

It doesn’t matter, precisely. Make it so easy to win that you have no choice but to win.

That’s how I plan on tackling my taxes this morning.

Once I’m done procrastinating by writing to you…

And pouring myself and enjoying my coffee.  

I’ll start by simply organising my notes, papers and receipts. Something almost too easy.

I’ll begin putting things into some semblance of order, saying to myself that maybe tomorrow I’ll get started. 

It seems like a lot less of an uphill trudge this way, and I know full well that once I’ve organised my paperwork, I’m going to give myself a new easy target and eventually want to keep right on going to get as much done as I possibly can. 

As I’ve noted before and you’ve probably experienced yourself, momentum is a powerful vehicle for progress. 

So there’s my big tip for today. 

If a task, behaviour, or program seems like too often it’s just too much to get started, you might be picking the wrong thing. 

Have a reason ‘why’ for doing something that you can rely on when times get tough, sure.

But pick daily habits and activities that are easy to implement consistently. Things you can sprinkle into your days seamlessly and that eventually just become something that you do.

Easy is a perspective that will shift from day to day. 

Rather than trying to wedge them into your life with a crowbar. 

Anything you have to force isn’t going to fit long at all. 

Danny James

Danny James is a Strength and Conditioning Coach and Personal Trainer with over ten years of experience working with the fastest track and field youth athletes in the country. He lives in Sydney, Australia with his beautiful wife Fabiana. Sign up for Danny's free newsletter and receive tips, insights and exclusive email-only content.

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