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Leap into Action!

Written By: Anna Presso on January 21, 2009 2 Comments

A while ago, a small-town newspaper advertised: “Read your Bible to know what people ought to do. Read this paper to know what they actually do”. This is so often the case, for so many of us, isn’t it? That difference between what we know we should be doing and what we actually do:  I should feel less stressed, drink less, weigh less, spend less…  I should drink more water, study more, eat more veggies, have more control over my life, stop being late, give up smoking, make some changes…. 

So why don’t you, then? Why does it seem sometimes so hard to take that leap, from knowing it to actually doing it? From my experience, the following reasons always show up at the top of the list: 

* you don’t have a clear objective: – “I’d like to exercise more” it’s not a goal, looks more like a wish really. Likewise, anything that starts with “I wish” or “I should”… add a “sometimes”, “maybe one day” or “when I’ll have the time” to that and you got so far away from the track, you have to take a plane back. What works? Try “I will add an extra 30′ of exercise, 2 times a week, for 3 months”. Now you’re …moving! In the right direction, that is.

*  lack of self-confidence: – not believing you are perfectly able of achieving your objective simply shoots in the head the whole idea. How to fight it? 1. up your self-esteem and self-confidence (I recommend getting professional help on this one – when successful,  it truly pays back for a lifetime) 2. break down the goal into smaller steps, each objective will appear more do-able. 3. both.

* addiction to instant gratification: – “I want to feel good Now.” How to fight it? Decide for yourself if it’s more important for you to have the “reward” right now ( although it might be damaging in the long term) or you can delay your feel-good moment for a more solid and enduring one. If you answer “yes” to the first one, then light up the cigarette, finish the bucket of ice cream, keep doing what you “shouldn’t” be doing anyway.

* inertia – in “Psycho-Cybernetics” Dr. Maxwell Maltz compares the unconscious mind with a thermostat, whose job is to detect any deviation from our comfort zone and regulate our behaviors so that we can preserve the status quo; any change you start making will signal “beep-beep-beep – you stepped outside the circle, you need to return immediately!!” Interesting! While it’s certainly useful for survival (prevents you from stepping with no warning onto unchartered territory, which may involve risks and dangers), it also stops you from changing things for the better. How to fight it? Simply be aware of it.

*  you don’t want it enough – let’s face it: you want to redecorate the house, but you don’t want the dust and noise and the expenses. If the desire is not burning enough, or things didn’t get bad enough, you ain’t gonna move a finger! What to do? Ask yourself  “how much do I want this?/how important is this for my health /relationship/future?” etc. Measure it on a scale from 0 to 5. If it’s not 4 or 5 out of 5, don’t even start. If someone makes you do it (hmm…let’s just assume), you’ll do it half-hearted anyway. Put that energy and time into something you really want.  

*  you don’t know how – as simple as that. What to do? Depending on the case, sometimes the situation requires a very good tried-and-tested set of methods, for efficient results. In this case, enroll a specialist. In simpler cases, all you need to do is just stop. Just don’t do it anymore.

* somebody talks you out of it, before you even got a chance to take the first step. What to do? Send them to me. I don’t guarantee though that once I’m done with them, you’ll remain best friends. Which you weren’t, anyway. 

 So get these out of the way and leap straight into action! Do what you want to do. Get what you want to have. Be the person you want to be. Or who your dog thinks you are, or whatever… 

 

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2 Responses to “Leap into Action!”

  1. laura says on: 26 January 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Brilliant!

  2. wizzkid says on: 29 January 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Hello,
    I liked this – I think I will add it to my arsenal of ready-made lists. Maybe you could add another – Don’t wait for the perfect action, but rather take an immediate step in the right direction immediately!.
    This just to fight procrastination – “I will quit smoking once I don’t work in a stressful environment anymore” and all that cr*p.

    Regards,
    w.

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