Putting off going to the gym…

Waiting until the very last second to get the article written…

Getting last year’s taxes filed…and yes, the taxes from the year before filed too…

With our busy lives it’s so easy to put things off–sometimes it’s necessary.

But what if procrastination has become more of a chronic issue? What if it may be impacting your work, your relationship, your health or even keeping you from moving forward with your life? 

In episode 73 of The Thin Thinking Podcast, join me as we learn about procrastination in my interview with Dr. Christine Li, a New York-based clinical psychologist for the past 20 years and more recently has been taking her work online as the “Procrastination Coach.”

Dr. Li is also offering everyone a free gift called the Free Source Library which she will be discussing on this podcast episode. It is available in the show notes.

In This Episode, You'll Learn:

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Rita Black: I'll think about that tomorrow after all tomorrow is another day. Are these words of wisdom or just someone with a challenge with getting things done? Whether you are Scarlet O'Hara and gone with a wind or just someone with a long laundry list of things that must be done, but they don't get done. The list just keeps getting longer. You will love my interview with Dr. Christine Lee, as we dive into all things procrastination and explore the reality of getting it done. So cross listening to this podcast off your list and let's get started.

Rita Black: Did you know that our struggle with weight doesn't start with the food on your plate or get fixed in the gym? 80% of our weight struggle is mental that's right? The key to unlocking long-term weight release and management begins in your mind. Hi, there I'm Rita black. I'm a clinical hypnotherapist weight loss expert, bestselling author, and the creator of the shift weight mastery process. And not only have I helped thousands of people over the past 20 years achieve long term weight mastery. I am also a former weight struggler, carb addict, and binge eater. And after two decades of failed diets and fad weight loss programs, I lost 40 pounds with the help of hypnosis. Not only did I release all that weight, I have kept it off for 25 years. Enter the thin thinking podcast where you too will learn how to remove the mental roadblocks that keep you struggling. I'll give you the thin thinking tools, skills, and insights to help you develop the mindset you need, not only to achieve your ideal weight, but to stay there long term and live your best life.

Rita Black: Hello, my thin thinking friends come on in and cool off. I hope you are enjoying the beginning of your August. My husband and my son are away this weekend and my daughter is away. I don't know if you've been listening to this podcast this summer, but my daughter is away, really away in Germany doing an internship. So this weekend, the house is mine. All mine. Yay. I can't believe it. I'm never all alone really or rarely. I mean, I guess I am at work in between clients, but rarely in my home. And I don't know about you guys. It's such a wonderful feeling to be able to spread out, to do what you want to sing to dance, to run around. And I don't know about you, but I live with two men and they're really, really messy and I'm not the tidiest person in the world. I will admit. However I do. I'm very organized and two men create chaos and I'm constantly organizing their chaos. And I mean, you know, I do have a joke. I said, you know, with regards to hypnosis, , you know, if I was all controlling over your mind, you know, my husband would pick up his socks and, you know, I would have, I hypnotized him long and ago to do that. But obviously, if your subconscious mind or your, even your conscious mind is against the suggestion. So, I have not succeeded yet in the sock picking up department. And I do spend a good amount of my time picking up socks. My husband leaves sunglasses all over the house. My son leaves, well, just every single thing. So I'm super excited just to, not to have to do that this weekend.

Rita Black: And so now, but I am thinking about like, what am I gonna do? You know? And, and I have beginning to percolate all these plans. I could go on a road trip. Okay. Now I could go out to the movies and just watch all the movies that I want, or I could stay at home and watch all the different documentaries that my husband doesn't wanna watch. You know, like I've got this growing list. And of course, what will probably happen is I will not do anything because my list will have become so long. I have to laugh because my daughter called me the other week. And she was, finally, you know, she's away in Europe and every week she's, you know, a 20 year old in Europe. And of course, so every weekend that she is off, cuz she works Monday through Friday doing, research. She has been going, she went to Sweden, she went just Switzerland. She went to Italy, you know, every weekend she and I was like, honey, you've gotta just take some time and be with yourself and connect and, and just be still for a weekend. And so she said, okay, mom. Okay. And, and then she called me at the end of the weekend. She was like, oh mom, you know, I had, you know, this weekend where I didn't have anything, you know, I quote unquote, didn't go away. So I had all these things I was gonna do and I didn't do any of them. And I feel so bad. And I was like, were you overwhelmed by your list of things to do? And she was like, yes. And so I think this is the theme. You know, that we're gonna get into sliding into my episode because I am not gonna procrastinate any longer, getting into my interview with procrastination coach Christine Li.

Rita Black: Now Christine Li is an amazing human being, but she is also a doctor. She has been working as a New York based clinical psychologist for the past 20 years. And more recently she has been taking her work online as the procrastination coach. She helps people who are struggling with underperforming at work and at home to work smoothly with high levels of productivity. Her unique coaching process is a blend of mindset, strategy, time, and emotion management tips and a deep belief in the power we each have when we treat ourselves with love and good self care. Dr. Li is the author of the book, five minute self discipline exercises, stay motivated, cultivate good habits and achieve your goals and is the host of the podcast. Make time for success. Follow Dr. Li to learn how to ditch the guilt judgment and self sabotaging and unhelpful habits so that you can feel focused and fulfilled in your life. So let's dive into my interview with Dr. Li.

Rita Black: Welcome Christine to the show. I am so excited to have you here. I, you know, one of the things that I, have heard from so many people in our community is an interest in finding an answer to their procrastination issues. I mean, so many of people seem to have it. I, so I am really fascinated in how you got into this field and I wanna hear all about it.

Christine Li: Well, thank you Rita. Thank you for having me here and hello to your community and I have all the answers. So I'm excited to talk about this topic with you.

Rita Black: Cool. Yay. Awesome. Let's dig in.

Christine Li: Let's do it.

Rita Black: So tell me how, how you got into this. I mean, that's so fascinating. Like what, you know, like of all the things, how did you get into procrastination?

Christine Li: Yes, I think there's there's we could have done anything else, but I chose the thing that was actually screaming out at me. And the most obvious thing for me, I have been a lifelong procrastinator. I've been a very severe and chronic procrastinator.

Rita Black: wow.

Christine Li: In the past and so much so that in high school, other fellow English class classmates would write essays about my procrastination. It was really if I didn't know what myself, everybody else was trying to tell me. So it was that bad and that continued throughout college and through my master's program and through my doctoral studies. So that's a whole bunch of years, where we...

Rita Black: But wait a minute. I mean, procrastinating through all of that school that you must have done well enough to, you must have overcome enough to, you know, move from your master's to your PhD.

Christine Li: Interestingly, I would say no, unfortunately I wish that had been the case and there was a missed opportunity. I almost went to therapy as a college student, but I, I skipped that skipped over that opportunity and then went pretty much straight into graduate school. And what I did instead of getting proper help or support for my issues was I just lost sleep. I lost my health. I lost a little bit of my sanity because the work was very intense to become a psychologist. And there were a lot of demands. Some of them amorphous some of them very specific and I just used pure willpower to get through a lot of the obligations because I didn't have the very basic time management skills and organizational skills in place to make things go a little bit more reasonably. So I suffered, but I did make it through . So I did end up graduating and in a good, good amount of time. I wasn't significantly delayed in the time it took for me to get my degree, but I really do wish I had had the information about procrastination and productivity that I do now back then.

Rita Black: Yeah. So, well then how did, where in your life did you start, you know, diving into that and becoming an ex expert yourself? Like how did you start doing that?

Christine Li: Thank you for that question. It was my first full-time job. It was just post training. So my last training year blended into my first job and I was at a major university counseling service and one of the deans at the university asked for a procrastination workshop and because procrastinators tend to volunteer for things they don't have time for. I shot up my hand. Then started doing the reading and the research. And then that's the beginning of the real story that I found that this was actually something that could be fixed. That could be treatable. That was actually quite simple to fix. And that I found to be really fun to dig my, dig my teeth into, because it was the answer for me that I was patient number one

Rita Black: Yeah.

Christine Li: This workshop that I was creating. And by the way, the workshop was a big hit. People thought it was a really good addition to their formal studies. And I think it sometimes just takes somebody recognizing that it's a simple thing that can allow them to shift their whole perspective on themselves and the issue. So whether it's procrastination or weight management or smoking.

Rita Black: right.

Christine Li: Or biting their nails, whatever it is that sometimes we just need to get out of our own mind space about the habit. And then we can do anything.

Rita Black: Yeah. I mean, something, I talk about a lot in this podcast and, and everything. It, it, everything for me starts with identity, you know, and I think you were talking a little earlier when we were just talking one on one about how procrastination is one of those things. Even though nowadays we're talking about everything, procrastination is something that's a little shame point for a lot of us, if we do procrastinate. And I, and so that idea of ourselves as like that identity of a procrastinator that we kinda label ourselves with kind of puts us in a box like you're saying, and it seems like if then you can unlock that and resee yourself then, and, and then that can start to melt away some of the barriers and the, the beliefs about yourself

Christine Li: Immediately. I did not see procrastination as something separate from myself. I saw it as my character as my personality.

Rita Black: Yes.

Christine Li: And my identity. So it was all of those things. Yeah. Kind of hard wiring. And I do believe there is some hard wiring in me that that leads me to be a master complicator of issues and right. Stretcher outer of time. But all of that is flexible too. And I just needed that piece of awareness to be able to run with it and decide, I actually want a better life for myself. I don't wanna be stuck with this identity of being a procrastinator. It doesn't fit me that far anymore.

Rita Black: Right. And it's painful. I mean, and I think, you know, what you were talking about, how it's so great that, you know, the universe landed this workshop in your lap. And I, I know somewhat for me, with hypnosis, I, I got into hypnosis through stopping smoking with hypnosis and, that it's kind of like you're in so much pain that you become willing. And then when something, like you said, you're like, you become so hungry for the an oh my gosh, there's these answers. And then your brain starts to assemble it in a sort of strategy to get out. That's so great that you had that ability now. So I'm really curious, like, why do you think, I mean, here you are with all of your knowledge about human beings and the brain, like, why do we procrastinate? So what have you found out from working with all these people who have this challenge? Like why do we procrastinate?

Christine Li: I love how you talk about these issues, by the way.

Rita Black: Thank you.

Christine Li: Put that in there. I, I agree with you that it's very much an identity issue. It's how we see ourselves. And my own little theory that I'm still crafting is that we function at the level at which we see ourselves. So if we're actually not believing in ourselves, or we're not thinking of ourselves as consistent or responsible or good with time, then really our mind and our bodies are going to search for coherence with those beliefs about ourselves, because that is just what the mind and body is meant to do. And that's why it's so important to do all the work. Do all the investigation, do all the coaching and therapy that you can fit in to learn about yourself, to unpack why is my feeling about myself at a lower level than it needs to be? If, if indeed it is. And I think that's why there's that critical, harsh yelling, berating voice that some of us have, I think a lot of us have that.

Rita Black: Right. I think every single human being has an inner critic.

Christine Li: Yeah. Yeah.

Speaker 3: And, and do you feel like the inner critic is creating, like, you know, I feel like there's that inner critic and that's the part of you, like you're not enough. And so then, like you were saying, you need to shoot up your hand and take on more. But is it also the part of you that like overwhelms you so that you're just like, I'm not gonna do it at all? You know what I mean? Like, it seems to me like if I'm, I remember cuz I, I used to procrastinate a lot on like things like weight management, things like exercise. I would be like, I'm going to work out seven days a week and hour and a half a day. And then I would just go and I'd be like, I'd get so overwhelmed. And I was like, I'm not gonna do it at all. Right. That all or nothing mentality. Yes. And I see that a lot with other clients and students of mine too. I mean, is that something that is part of this procrastination package?

Christine Li: I think very much so. And I think that example is a very familiar thing that I've done myself, for sure. Even recently. And I think that's part of two things come to mind. One is kindness to yourself and one is being reality based. And when we're kind to ourselves, we set really easy doable reachable goals.

Rita Black: Yes.

Christine Li: And then we, we meet ourselves there but that's when things are good, right. When we're feeling healthy, when we're feeling like we have enough time space to do it, when we feel okay. I, I have a new vision for my body and my health. And I wanna step into that. That's when everything is going well. But if we're under stress, then that's challenged. If we're time crunched and procrastinating, then that never gets to be activated.

Rita Black: Right.

Christine Li: And then we end up with the yelling voice inside of us saying, see, why did you even try? And so there's this demoralizing cycle.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Christine Li: That we're doing privately, nobody knows we're doing this except maybe our best girlfriends.

Rita Black: Right.

Christine Li: But they're doing it too. And I just say, let's get out of that. And let's have exercise, weight management, getting out of procrastination, be a really fun journey because that's the only way that it's gonna be really sustainable is if we see constant wins and if we feel better and better and better about our own ability to regulate ourselves and our moods and our calendar, calendar management is huge. Right. But to make it really easy to do, we don't need all the notebooks, we just need one that works For us.

Rita Black: Right. Yeah.

Christine Li: And to, to take your time, step by step to really explore, what do I love? What is fun about the gym? What is fun about exercising? What's fun about moving without, without the, the weight of needing to lose weight.

Rita Black: Right

Christine Li: Right. Without, without the social stuff that is so burdensome and screwed up sometimes.

Rita Black: Right.

Christine Li: About weight management. Let's make it about my goals, my healthy goals, my love for life. And my love for myself. Let's make it that much more easy.

Rita Black: Yeah. You're bringing it home to you connecting it to your values and, and coaxing yourself forward, right?

Christine Li: Yes.

Rita Black: Teasing it out.

Christine Li: Yes.

Rita Black: I have noticed too, and I mean, I certainly again have fallen prey to this, but when I was smoking and overeating and again, I see this in my smoking clients and my weight management clients is that food, snacking cigarettes, vaping, are great procrastination tools, you know, like, well, I could get that done, but I'm gonna, I'll just smoke a cigarette and then I'll dive into that. Or I clean that office of mine or, you know, like, oh, I will come home and exercise, but first let me get a snack or, oh, I'm a little stressed about making that phone call to the bank. And then we end up in the refrigerator instead.

Christine Li: Yes.

Rita Black: Do you hear this a lot?

Christine Li: It's that big, huge door. You're making me think that for the first time. Wow. Why is the refrigerator door that big Yeah. And I think the way to take the, the pressure out of those habits is to know that those are just habits, right, right. That there's a twinge inside of us, of boredom or frustration or stress. And then we seek our comfort. And that is understandable. That's actually a smart thing to do to make yourself more comfortable when you feel stressed, however, is that matching with your larger, deeper goals?

Rita Black: Right.

Christine Li: And sometimes it does. And oftentimes it's not a good match that really you're wanting just to have a pure bit of focus for half an hour, that you would give anything to know how to focus on what you need to focus on for half an hour. And I think it's really, again, just stripping the, the judgment and the nasty voice out of the picture, closing the refrigerator door, setting the timer and going for half an hour and just sitting with that stress instead of trying to run from it. And it's surprising

Rita Black: And accepting the stress like accepting, like it's normal for me to feel this feeling. I, and you're kind of in your, I, I have a term inner coach, like you're sitting with your, your inner instead the critic, the coach is kind of like, okay, we can feel this feeling. It's cool. We aren't gonna die. And, and here's the timer and we can just, we can focus, even though we might not focus fully, we can focus. Do you use timers? Is that sort of a tactic that you use to focus the mind? I mean, I love it. I, I do have like things like timers and stuff like that.

Christine Li: I have 'em all around, but I don't tend to use them that much. I use them more for demonstration with clients than I do for myself. I have become kind of a, the reverse of a procrastinator lately where I just really love getting things done.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Christine Li: I have learned recently that one of my core needs is to feel accomplished. So.

Rita Black: Yeah

Christine Li: it's an irony. Right. But , but I think it was a real eye opener for me to realize that some things that I love to do is to feel accomplished in life. And that's why I get involved in teaching and building courses and doing the coaching because each new thing is thrilling. When I see someone change, I see a change in myself. And so I don't really need timers anymore. Will I use notebooks? Absolutely. I can do a lot of writing to keep myself on track in, in a certain way. And do I get distracted? Of course I do. There's so much to get distracted with these days, but these days I don't do the additional hurt of yelling at myself for getting distracted. So back in the day, I would get really distracted, be really distracted and then be so upset with myself for doing that these days. I'm more likely to think, oh, you probably didn't sleep well last night or this thing is probably really draining. And so things now become more of a feedback. For me, you know, they're, they're teaching me about what I need more than giving me reason to yell at myself again, I basically stop yelling at myself is

Rita Black: I love that. Yeah. And I, I mean, I think, yeah, absolutely. And also it sounds like, and this is something too that I talk about on this podcast and with my students is, learning the lesson, being an apprentice basically of, you know, like instead of, oh, I blew it. So I'm just gonna start over again tomorrow. You know, it's like, that didn't work for me. So what didn't work for me, me and how, and I love how you're like observing like, oh, I'm really tired or I was really tired and therefore I got really distracted.

Christine Li: Yeah.

Rita Black: Yeah. That's, that's great. I mean then, then the next time it comes around, you know, better to, or make sure if you're gonna have to do something super focused that you're rested, right?

Christine Li: Yes. And even accepting, this was just the wrong time for me to try this.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Christine Li: It's okay.

Rita Black: Oh yeah.

Christine Li: You know, not, not everything has to be perfect. And I think there is a very perfectionistic pressure on everyone from somewhere.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Christine Li: You know, probably from every, I'm gonna put everything on formal schooling, but you know, to, to really put in all of your effort, I'm a big believer in like, if we can get it half done and out the door, let's do it that way. it's okay. It's okay. Not to be perfect with everything. Most everything is, is just Gar in the garbage can soon. Right? In, in, in our memories, in our literal garbage cans, why are we trying to perfect everything and blowing all of our day's energy on these small things like emails. Right. Just get the answer out. It's okay. It's okay.

Rita Black: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I think it, a lot of times does it comes from fear of judgment, fear of, self judgment primarily too. Yeah. Cause that critic critic in our head, that says, you know, you've gotta do it better, faster, more. I mean, I find it's interesting. My daughter is, doing an internship this summer and she's got time. She was very, very busy on her last term and she just called me the other day, just so upset cuz she was like, I just have this, all these expectations of what I was gonna do over the weekend and I didn't do anything. And I feel so bad about myself. And I was like, oh honey, you know, it's, really, maybe you just need to unplug and you know, we need some self-compassion here. But we do as human beings, I think just have this tendency to, okay, well I'm just gonna do this well then, but then I should also do that. And then, then I should this and that and this and that before you know it, you have this huge list and, and then, and then we tend to do what my daughter do. It's like, ehm, not gonna do anything.

Christine Li: I call that self combusting. Yes.

Rita Black: Oh I love it. Do term.

Christine Li: Yeah. I wanna address what you said a minute ago because it, it, isn't just our self judgment. There is really a fear of other people's judgment as well. I don't talk about it that much because I've kind of gotten over that for myself, but it is such a limiting factor for people and their concentration. I think when people are over focused on what other people might think, it really drains the creative life out of us because we're half creating out of fear and who's gonna create really good stuff out of fear, you know?

Rita Black: Yeah.

Christine Li: I don't think Hamilton was created out of fear. I just think it

Rita Black: No

Christine Li: Created out of just pure flowing genius. This is my idea of what he did, but, but you get what I mean that really we wanna be centered and stable as best as we can and feeling whole and feeling safe that we're not risking life and limb. When we put our creation out, whether it's an essay or a play or your Magnum Opus, whatever it is, it should be with joy and it should be with openness for how it will be received. And we cannot guarantee how it will be received and we never could.

Rita Black: Yeah.

Christine Li: And that's not the reason why we did it or it shouldn't be

Rita Black: Well, you know, can I ask you about this? Because I think, piggybacking on this idea is this idea of like for instance, exercising and going to the gym. I mean, not that we all go to the gym, in fact, gyms have been closed for two years, but I, I see people will put off exercise or you know, say, oh, I'm gonna go to the gym and then they don't go to the gym. And then, and there's this general feeling like I'm not going to the gym, I'm not exercising, but when we start to look underneath it, one of the fears is how they will be perceived at the gym. Like how other people will look at them. Mm-hmm so I guess my question to you is do you find that then a lot of these things that you're talking about, like that fear of other people's judgment isn't necessarily conscious, but sometimes it's subconscious like that. You're not exactly sure. Like, I don't wanna do that essay. Right. And you're, and, and you put the focus on you. Like I'm not doing it and I just am lazy and I'm not getting it done. But underneath it is like all these different feelings. Like I, I don't know how to write the opening paragraph. My professor is, you know, has so many other students who are more brilliant than me, you know, all these other things that are going on that we aren't really conscious about. But if we stopped and took a breath and we said, what are all these fears? Are they real, you know, do you, is that something that you have people

Christine Li: That's absolutely what I would have people do. It's to really stop for a minute or two and look and say, what is the ferociousness of this fear from what, what are we really talking about here? Is it the language? Is it the context? Is it the threat of losing a job? Is it some irrational fear that you had from a long time ago that you didn't even know was still chasing after you and it's different for everyone? So that's why you and I do the work of listening and observing.

Rita Black: right.

Christine Li: And wondering with our clients, because it's complicated. It's not always top of mind, an easy response. When we ask the question, what are you afraid of? Because it could be a multiple of things that we're afraid of.

Rita Black: Right.

Christine Li: We can be afraid of. And we can be afraid of feeling states, even that I don't like the feeling of being frustrated. So let me just steer clear of anything that, that has a whiff of being frustrating. And that's a lot of things, right? in life that, that we can end up avoiding. And so the trick is really to just say, I am well enough inside of me as I am. That I can make different, healthier decisions for myself going forward. I no longer wanna be ruled by my fears and the things that make me feel frustrated. I know that I can overcome each one with just a small shift in habit or a small shift in my mindset. It's not rocket science. Everyone is capable of this and I no longer have to proceed as if everything is a landmine. That's about to explode.

Rita Black: So true. I wonder if you, I mean, I'm sure you must have a, because building on this thought, I think people get in the habit and I know you have a, you actually have a habit. Christine has something for us at the end, but people get in the habit of, even though they might have these feelings coming up, they might ha like these fears and everything, but if you said to them, well, what are you afraid of? It's like, it doesn't even matter. I just gotta get it done. Right? Like that, that, or like, I gotta get it done. I gotta just suck it up and be good. And I just gotta do it, you know, like why, you know, that you like, so they get their brain gets. So in the habit of doing that, like you could explain, take a breath, do this and that. No, but you don't understand. I just gotta get it done. You know, like I just gotta suck it up. Do you see that as a habit that, you know, that, that kind of like bulldozer, like, and then they don't do it, but they're, they're saying that, you know,

Christine Li: I think that's, there's a whole subset of people. And I used to be in that group no longer, uh, who feel that they can only do their best work and they can only focus at the very edge of the deadline. They're they're up against the wall of the deadline. And I do think for some people, including people with the, the attention and deficit diagnosis, where there is a reality to that, that the, the, the hard limit ends up enabling the person to feel more focused, to activate their powers of focus.

Rita Black: Yes.

Christine Li: But I think for a very large subset of that subset of people that they have not given themselves the opportunity to try to work in a more calm, extended over time style. And therefore they feel that that's the only way that they can function, because I feel like our brains are really flexible, including the ADHD brain. And I feel that our habits make us think that this is the only way this is the only way. That's the only way mm-hmm . And we fool our, we get fooled by our own habits.

Rita Black: Right.

Christine Li: By the strength and the familiarity of our own habits.

Rita Black: Yes, absolutely. So, what, I mean, what would you say if I were struggling? I know you've given already some, some great advice, so, but what would you say the very first step would be as if like I was, you know, Christina, I'm not getting to the gym and I really wanna get to the gym. What should I do? What would be step one.

Christine Li: Step one. I have so many different types of step ones.

Rita Black: Oh, okay. So you, so give us three steps ones.

Christine Li: Okay. Yeah. Three steps. One would be, it, it never hurts to become more mindful about what's going on. So just to, to just write down the three reasons why you want to go, and the three reasons why you haven't just be really pragmatic and objective about it, no judgment. Right. And see if you can adjust one of those reasons tomorrow and try again. Okay. So it was really attempting it with love for yourself and a reasonable expectation that this is doable and then adjusting the circumstances. So maybe it wasn't it like you had to get your clothes on and you were resisting that. And so I've read, people say, sleep in your gym clothes, because then you wake up. And the next thing you do is you put on your sneakers and you go to the gym, people do this. This is not unheard of. And so we wanna use our creative problem solving brain to get us to get out of the feeling of being stuck. Cuz it's just a feeling we're not literally stuck. No, one's literally stuck. And when you realize that you then realize, oh, this is not something for me to stay continually stuck with. I have to find my way outta here. Even faster than I thought I might otherwise be able to. This can just only take me a day to turn this whole habit around and get to the gym. The other thing is to say, maybe the purpose is just to get you to the gym. You don't even have to enter the gym, but you have to get to the parking lot of the gym. You know, so maybe there's some greater resistance to actually doing the physical exertion, but you know, maybe when you get to the parking lot, you realize, oh, I actually want to go try the new bike that they have at the gym. So to get yourself in the vicinity that you want to with, again, that feeling like there's nothing to fear that frustration is, is just a term and it's a fleeting feeling, but what I'm gonna get from this gym is I'm gonna feel better about myself and I'm literally gonna feel better about myself. My health is gonna be better.

Rita Black: Right. Would that be the same as I know, my, my husband is a writer and, he, like, you know, sitting in front of an empty page is sometimes very daunting, especially when you have the great American novel to write or, you know, you have some sort of big project. Right. And I know being a, a, you know, all the schooling you did, I'm sure you had to sit down and write a lot of papers, is giving yourself permission. Cuz like one of his tricks is to just give himself like when you say getting in the vicinity of something like sitting at the white paper, but just saying, okay, the first, the first paragraph can just be crap. Like it can just be pure crap. It does not in fact it should be crap. Like it should be really, really bad. Have to be good. Yeah.

Christine Li: It'll be crap. And that's what we know. And if it's not great. And when you said we're, we're fearing the blank page, then my thought goes to, well then let's have no blank pages. Let's put a word on each page to start us off. Right,

Rita Black: Right, right.

Christine Li: Yeah. The word is purple. And then we go from there that there's really the, the, the fear is it's our projection onto the innocent page. I think of our fears like that, that our work isn't asking anything of us, except for what the work actually needs. All the fear stuff is not actually the work. The fear is us. Yes. The fear is what we are generating and what we're making the work be. Right. But the work is not that it doesn't exist like that.

Rita Black: So true. So, so what is the third? So we have the getting mindful, getting into vicinity of it. And then what would be the, another juicy first step

Christine Li: To make it a, a binary event where it's either a yes or a no, that we're gonna look at the, a big calendar, a big whiteboard calendar or big paper calendar. And we're gonna say to ourselves, okay, two days out of these seven, I'm gonna have a check mark on there and have it be, or yes or a no, can I do this? This is what I'm setting up for myself. I'm doing this. And I'm saying, this is reasonable to do. I'm saying I want to do this. I'm getting support. I'm gonna meet a friend to meet me at the gym on Wednesday and Friday. So I do it twice this week. And if you don't do that, you just observe what happened, what got in the way.

Rita Black: Right

Christine Li: How do you feel about it? What would it have felt like if you had made it twice that week? What is the difference? And to really just go through the failure cycle failure to meet your goals with a whole new inner voice. With a voice that is more just exploring you, like, okay, what exactly went down? this, that you didn't get there. It's okay. But the goal is to do it next Wednesday and Friday. Right, there's always another opportunity too.

Rita Black: Right. Right. I love it. That's great. Those are really three great first steps, everybody. Well, is there anything else you, you feel like would be important? Like any little last words, because I know I wanna ask you about your, what your, Christina's offering everybody a free gift, so I wanna hear about that. Maybe you can tell us about that and we can talk about like, how that will be useful, because I think, what these things are right at. Well, I'll let you explain and then we can dig into that.

Christine Li: Okay. Sure. Uh, the free gift is called the free resource library. It's not a spectacular name, but it is accurate.

Rita Black: I like it. .

Christine Li: Thank you. It has 12 downloads in it. So it's in a, a assemblage of free resources for you and they are more pragmatic. They are planners. They are templates. They are little questionnaires for you to just dig into. And I think everybody's gonna be different. Everybody's gonna gravitate towards a different download or two. One of them in there is called the mantra maker. And that would be a good place to start. If you happen to be someone who's a very negative thinker, or if you're yelling at yourself really intensively, it's a way of flipping your self statements to the positive so that you have a new, more positive, more supportive mantra to say to yourself,

Rita Black: Oh, I love it.

Christine Li: And I, I it's the simplest one of the bunch, but I think it's one of the more important ones because it helps you get out of that stuck. I'm a terrible X, Y, Z person. I'm trapped by my negativity. I'm trapped by my anxiety and my mindset. I want everyone who's listening and anyone who's not listening to feel like you have options to feel like you have agency and you have power. You have such tremendous power to utilize in the way that you want to . So let's, let's use that for your needs now instead of to beat yourself up or to make yourself feel like you've fall into the same loop again.

Rita Black: Right. I think mantras are so powerful. And the fact that you have that as a, like a worksheet is really fantastic, cuz I do think that they can be like a little, if you're stuck in a hole, it's the rope out of the hole, you know, it's because it can literally intercept a thought process

Christine Li: Yes.

Rita Black: And offer an alternative route. Right. You're just like, here's that alternative, but you know, I am, I am safe and okay to go to the gym or, you know, I love the way I feel when I leave the gym, you know, or something that is gonna help your brain just move to a different side. You know, I, I worked once, this is just a little side about the, the mantra thing, but, and then I wanna hear another one, but I worked with a, sports therapist once and, and he said he would work with clients who would come in like students who Hmm. really quickly, in a bad mood because they blew the game or whatever. And, and all he said is, all I had to do was ask them, you know, like they could say a million things about why they were bad and what was bad about their game. He said, all I had to say is what do you like about football? And then they would start talking about it and it would completely change their mind state. And I see mantras as that, like it's an interception and it pulls you into a different mind state in, in a second, uh, emotional state, mind state, physiologically, whatever. So one more thing to wrap up.

Christine Li: Yes. So I, I wanna comment on what you just said. I think, you know, mid conversation, mid episode, I said that get yourself into coaching and therapy as best, as best as you can. Some of you might not want to, and that might not be your thing right now. And it's these kind of small, powerful shifts that you can make for yourself. That can do just that amount of work that you can get a huge benefit from the observations you have and the release work that you do within yourself. And I love Rita's demonstration of what do you love about your life? What do you love about your sport? What do you love about the gym? That it can just be a simple turnaround of how you're looking at the situation that can help you to release the grip of that? Oh, I have to be stuck. I I'm keeping myself stuck. This always has to be the, the same way because you wanna get the vibe of really everything is changeable. Everything is transient. I am super powerful in making these changes happen in my life. I have the free resource library. Get my mind going and to think about the different things that I have at my disposal. Now, by the way, I should leave the link so that your followers know how to get the library. It is procrastinationcoach.com/library, and, just stay in touch with me. Absolutely. I'm happy to help any of you who would love to stay in touch with me after this session.

Rita Black: Yeah. And Christine is amazing and I will be definitely putting that link in the show notes. So definitely check it out. And, you know, I, if you are on my email list, you will be getting it in the email list as well, or in the emails that go out.

Rita Black: Well, thank you so much for coming today. This has been really great and really fascinating. And, I, I'm very excited about, we were talking a full disclosure. We were talking about before we started talking, on recording, um, all the work you're up to. So I'm, I'm looking forward to having more and definitely get on, get the download so that you can get on Christine's email list and hear more about what she's up to, because she's really providing a lot, a great service for people getting them going in their lives. So

Christine Li: Well, Rita, thank you. I'm so glad I've gotten to know you better today. Before this recording, during this recording, you have a beautiful view on these topics and on the human identity and way of functioning, and you have such compassion in the way that you speak and, and, and see people through their journeys of healing. So thank you for, including me in your work too.

Rita Black: Oh, wow. My goodness of you are or more than welcome. It's been a pleasure and a blessing to meet you. Thank you, Christine. Thank you so much.

Christine Li: Thank you.

Rita Black: Thank you, Christine, for that amazing interview and those of you, dear listeners, please check out the show notes for her free resource library and have a wonderful week. And remember that the key and probably the only key to unlocking the door. The weight struggle is inside you. So keep listening and find it.

Rita Black: Do you wanna dive deeper into the mindset of long-term weight release, head on over to www.shiftweightmastery.com, that's www.shiftweightmastery.com Where you'll find numerous tools and resources to help you unlock your mind for permanent weight release tips, strategies, and more. Be sure to check the show notes, to learn more about my book From Fat to Thin Thinking, unlock your mind for permanent weight loss.