I’m not only saying “Just do it!”, instead I’m saying “just become it”.
I don’t buy junk food to bring home. I don’t do junk food. The idea of buying it repulses me, even though I’d get pleasure from eating it. Why? I thought about it, long and hard. About the kind of life I’d have if I continued to eat it, and I decided the person who eats junk food, that version of myself, that’s not me. That’s not who I want to be. I want to be healthy, and happy instead.
I don’t just not buy junk food because it “would be bad for me and I’m trying to eat healthier”.
I don’t buy it, because that’s not who I am. I’m not someone who abuses my health for short term pleasure. I no longer see it as food, or something I’d put in my mouth. I now view it as unclean.
If there’s one thing you could adopt as part of your character/identity/image of yourself, I’d recommend this: I am someone who does the right thing.
It makes things simple. Just ask yourself “Is this the right thing to do now? no. what’s the right thing?” Then you do the right thing, because that’s who you are. That’s “in character”, it’s congruent with your identity. The right thing could be to watch netflix, but only if you’ve done everything else you want to do that day or it works to watch an episode as a study break etc
You can write it on a paper you tape onto a cardboard backing. Put it somewhere visible to remind yourself of who you are. “I’m someone who does the right thing. What’s the right thing to do now?“
If you aren’t “doing the right thing” after deciding that’s who you are, think “I’m not being myself today, this isn’t like me”. Don’t beat yourself up, but simply recommit to being who you’ve decided to be. Feel the dissonance, the uncomfortable gap between your self image, and what you’ve done that’s been “out of character”. Then go do ‘the right thing’ after counting down from 5, because that’s what you do. Keep reinforcing that self image, until it’s a part of who you are, not merely something you “want to get better at doing more often”.
Who are you? Who you decide to be will determine what you do, and what you do determines the life you have. You don’t need to convince yourself to do the thing or to feel motivated…embrace doing it as part of yourself, part of your core, part of your soul. You ARE someone who does that thing.