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When You Don’t Want to Do What You’re Supposed to Do

I decided that I needed to go to the temple this week. I try to go there at least two times a month – usually early on a Friday or Saturday morning. It had been a few weeks, so I decided it was time to go. 

Friday I was in a funk, went to bed late, and didn’t want to get up to go to the temple. I woke up early anyway and lay in bed thinking about it.

Because I didn’t want to go, and my brain was telling me things like:

“It will take too long.”

“You don’t want to do that.”

“You’d rather stay in bed.”

“You deserve the rest.”

“You need to take care of yourself.”  

I decided to use a technique that a friend taught me years ago. 

When she didn’t want to go do her swim workout at the Y, she would tell herself that all she had to do was put on a swimsuit and drive over. She didn’t have to go inside. She didn’t have to swim, but she did have to get ready and drive to the Y.

The first time I heard that suggestion, it didn’t really seem profound to me, but I have always remembered it and found myself using the technique many times. It does make a difference!

I used it on Saturday morning. I knew I needed to go, but with my lack of desire and my brain telling me all those reasons why I “deserved” to stay in bed, I hijacked the negative thinking with her technique. 

The slightly more rational part of my brain that had made the goal a long time ago to attend the temple at least twice a month and that knew staying in bed was not really the healthiest way to “take care of myself” right then, decided that I just had to put on a dress and drive to the parking lot.


I put on a dress, grabbed my temple bag, a journal, and my phone, and drove myself to the temple.

I didn’t go in.

And that’s completely okay.

I got myself up, dressed, and out the door.

While in the parking lot, I took the time to read some devotionals, pray, and journal. I walked around the temple grounds and considered my recent funk and what to do about it.

Other times when I have used this technique, I have gone into the temple. That’s okay, too. 

Next time you don’t want to do what you think you should do whether it be

  1. Working out

  2. Going to the temple

  3. Going to work

  4. Going on a family outing

  5. Attending church or

  6. Trying a new activity

Try this technique. All you have to do is dress up and show up. If you don’t go in, that’s okay. If you do go in, that’s okay. If you don’t participate, that’s okay. If you do participate, that’s okay. 

It was worth it to me to get dressed and get out the door. I took action. It created energy for my day. My thoughts changed. I took action.

I believe that Heavenly Father took notice of the action I did take – be it ever so small. I made an effort to go to the temple. I think there is power in just that.

#action #thoughts

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