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The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Motion Creates Emotion: 3 Simple Ways To Break Your Pattern


It’s incredibly difficult to roll out of bed some days.

Sometimes you just don’t feel motivated to do anything. You don’t want to create. You don’t want to contribute to others. You don’t want to do anything.

Sometimes you’d rather sit passively in front of the television and watch the world progress without you.

We know, it happens to us too. Sometimes we procrastinate or we just don’t feel like doing something. But we do three things that allow us to break our pattern and take action. Good news, they’re all pretty easy too.

1. Accountability Partners. Recently, our friend Sean Ogle talked about how accountability phone calls each morning helped him while he prepared for his marathon. Similarly, we exercise with each other five days per week. It helps to have someone else there to make sure we show up when we need to show up and to make sure we give it a little extra effort each time. Who is your accountability partner? It can be via phone, in person, or even via email or text. Get one.

2. Taking The First Step. We tend to put things off, especially boring or mundane tasks (e.g., doing the dishes, laundry, writing, etc.), but if we take the first step, we get momentum and we are much more likely to complete the task. Sometimes we just need to take that first step—as difficult as that might seem at times—and the rest falls in line. Go on, take that first step.

3. Change Your State. If we don’t feel like getting up or doing anything, we will drastically change our physiology (e.g., go for a walk, jump up and down like a crazy person [seriously], do push-ups, change our breathing [deeper, more conscious breaths], run as fast as we can for 30 seconds, etc.). Do something to radically change your physical state. Motion creates emotion.

Give these three things a try. They will get you moving in the right direction.

Note from Joshua: Yes, I’m well aware that I look very much like a young Christopher Walken. I’m reminded weekly by complete strangers. No, I can’t dance like him. Yes, I like the cowbell skit too.