Schedule Resistance

grettascholtenJune 20, 2020

Nothing has gone wrong.

If you want to start following  a schedule or a calendar, one thing you're bound to come up against is schedule resistance. It's a normal part of the process of learning to be more disciplined with our time. When we start to implement rules and structure and order with our prefrontal cortex, our lower brain wants to rebel against the plan which can look like making (seemingly) very legitimate excuses, feeling annoyed or angry, avoiding our schedules completely and pretending they don't exist, or rearranging our schedules, to name a few.

What's really happening here is our lower brain is trying to override our prefrontal cortex. Our lower brain wants instant gratification. It doesn't want to follow a schedule. It likes to be impulsive and reactive. Schedules are the opposite. Schedules are deliberate and proactive. 

So what's the solution? In the moment, expect resistance. If you expect it, anticipate it and look for what your brain is offering you, you're going to be onto yourself. You're more likely to see the excuses or desired behavior for what it is: your lower brain wanting to be impulsive. If you're not aware of what's happening, you're far more likely to make those thoughts and desires mean something about your character and ability to implement change. Your brain is just doing what your brain does. Nothing has gone wrong.

Just notice the sentences it's offering you. Acknowledge them, and do what your calendar is telling you to do.

When you don't follow your schedule, pick an instance and ask yourself:

  1. What was my brain offering me in that moment?
  2. At what point did I decide to do something different?
  3. What did I decide to do instead?
  4. What result did that create for me?
  5. What result would I have created if I had chosen to follow my schedule instead?
  6. What would I want to do next time and why?

You might want to beat yourself up when you don't follow your schedule, or make it mean that you'll never get this. Or you might abandon following a schedule all together if you think it's too hard or not worth it. These are all normal thoughts and behaviors when you're learning something new. Remember, our brains are trying to keep us safe and they think safety = doing what's known and never changing. If you can have some compassion with yourself during these moments, be curious and aware of the excuses your brain likes to offer, and be willing to just pick right back up and get back on your schedule, you'll be following a schedule in no time.

What keeps us stuck and struggling, is when we make not following our schedule mean lots of negative things about us. Let that desire go, and return to curiosity and awareness.

If you're ready to create a schedule but you're not sure where to start, book a consultation! It's 45 minutes of talking about where you are now, and the life you want to create in your future. Let's do it!

 

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