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Push Versus PullWritten by Kristin

One of my clients had a bear of a time trying to drag herself out of bed each day, to go to her lackluster job. She tried the usual tricks of placing her alarm clock on the other side of the room, yet she kept ignoring it anyway. She tried going to bed earlier, but it didn't help either.  It was a real problem and she needed help sorting it out. I wouldn't say she was depressed, but I do think she struggled to go to work each day since she wasn't happy with her job.

I told her she might want to look for interim work while we tried to figure out a more permanent and ideal career option. But, she convinced me she couldn't quit her job just yet since she wanted to receive her well deserved year end bonus.  

The solution?  Create a vacuum.  She needed to create some sort of morning ritual that was so juicy and exciting it would almost hoover her out of bed in the morning, onto her feet and ready to face the day with verve!  Knowing how much she liked to swim as a kid (you learn these things about clients when you're a coach), I suggested she might want to go for an early morning, invigorating swim in her very own backyard at the crack of dawn each day.  She loved the idea. Since she was also trying to spend more playful time with her husband, she invited him to join her and now they swim each day before work.

In the winter, they moved the morning swim to a local gym, since this ritual had such a huge impact on their relationship and how they felt all day long. Eventually, she joined a competitive swim league - which was a nice bonus!

Of course, my client also transitioned into a new job within the year. We set up additional 'pull structures' to make the job search process more energizing...since it usually is a drag for most people. 

If there's something you're struggling with, try to create a "vacuum" or some sort of structure that will pull you forward.  Stop trying to push yourself. Find something to pull you instead.

This doesn't mean to set up goals or structures that create such stress that you feel like you're being sucked forward. Rather, it means to set up your life so that you feel a natural pull that keeps you in motion, (yet not frantic).  Choose goals and environments that inspire and excite you.


  • Have a mentor who inspires you to grow.
  • Involve others or get a partner for whatever project/goal that you're struggling to complete.
  • Establish supportive structures and routines during each day that 'guide' you through the day.
  • Create momentum for yourself by starting your day with things you can easily accomplish.
  • Identify a goal to reach or a feeling you want to always have and put a symbol/visual display of that in your work or home as a constant reminder.  
  • Instead of exercising in your basement, find a group class you love going to each week.
  • Design your office as a work sanctuary - a place you love to be in since it feels good to be there.
  • Set up a treadmill desk in your office  (one of my attorney clients does this and loves it)

Final Words: Pushing yourself requires a lot of energy. Conserve your energy and tap into what inspires or excites you and you'll find yourself pulled forward instead. Also, set up structures that make it much easier to reach your goals. One way I do this, for clients in my Inner Circle Program, is by sending them a weekly form with reflection and planning questions.  They love completing it since it helps shape their week. Plus, they get feedback and encouragement from me every week. Partnering with someone else is always an excellent way to feel pulled forward.  

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