That’s seven gym’s scoped out, four Trainer’s spoken to, five diet’s I’ve compared and now I’m sitting on my couch with a glass of wine still in the same place I was last week, last month, last year.
To take action means to act upon achieving a particular result. This can come in many forms and can come many times throughout our health journey, however, in this article we’re going to focus on taking action in the first step.
Scoping out every gym in the area, comparing each one in cost, location and offerings but never joining one. Reading up on the 10 most popular diets for weight loss, discovering which best suit your needs, buying some food to fit the plan but never following through with cooking the recipes. Reading articles about food psychology and browsing different specialists to help with binge eating but never calling to make the appointment. There’s no doubt that each and every one of us women have at one point or another have failed to take action. We gather all the information, we compare all of the results, we improve our knowledge to where we can confidently make a decision and then…we do nothing. Why?
It’s easy to blame the answer to these conundrums on things like procrastination, lack of motivation and insufficient skills or talent, however, when you delve deep into how much effort, focus, motivation and skills are required for the set up, more often than not you’ll find less is required for the action. Let’s use an example of someone looking to change careers. They do a course, gain the qualification they need, find out about the industry, scope out available job opportunities but never go into a new workplace to apply. Do you think it would take more effort, motivation and skills to complete the course or to go in and apply? I think we can all agree that more of those three traits would be required for the set up rather than the action. So if it’s not skill, talent, procrastination or motivation, what is it that halts us right before action is taken?
1 – We get caught up in motion.
The wonderfully talented author James Clear was the first one to introduce me to the difference in motion vs action in his book ‘Atomic Habits’. In this book James cleverly illustrates this as a common mistake smart people make, being in motion but not taking action.
Motion vs Action
“When you’re in motion, you’re planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they don’t produce a result. Action, on the other hand is a different type of behaviour that will deliver an outcome.”James Clear, Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones.
For example, gathering information about different gym’s is motion, signing up and doing a workout is action. Comparing food plans to see which best suits is motion, making and eating the meals is action. Looking into possible ways to help your relationship with food is motion, seeing a wellness coach is action.
Motion is vital, without it we would never do any research, comparisons, take time to think or upskill ourselves, however, it’s important to remember that motion alone will not produce a result. Even more important to remember is that sometimes motion can give us a false sense of achieving something when in reality it can be the very thing that’s stopping us from taking action to actually achieve it.
2 – We lack the self-belief to move forward.
If you’ve read my article on ‘reigniting self-belief’ you would know how much I value self-belief when it comes to achieving goals. Self-belief allows us to not only set goals which are realistic (ones we believe we are capable of achieving) but also gives us the confidence while working towards them to take the steps necessary. Without sufficient self belief it’s easy to do all of the prep work but be halted by the fact that you don’t believe you can go any further. Let’s use the same example as earlier with someone looking to change career paths. They know what they want, they do everything they need in order to make the transition but they lack the belief in their ability to do the new job well so they never apply.
3 – We allow fear to hold us back as a defence mechanism.
Setting goals can be scary. It opens up a part of us that has to be willing to admit we want for something more. This can be exciting and frightening all at the same time. When we work through the set up we can stay in a ‘safe zone’ of excitement but when we go to take action we step out of this zone and into the unknown. This is a space that we can label with risks like getting hurt, losing money, wasting time, being embarrassed and the list goes on. The truth of the matter is though, this is also the space where you can feel the most fulfilled, exhilarated, self-worthy and you can gain the most rewards. This can happen a lot in a gym scenario. We do all of the research, set the goals, pick the gym, maybe even join up and start paying a membership, however, become too frightened of people staring that we decide not to actually go.
So what can we do in order to ensure we follow through and take action to achieve our desired outcome? Here comes your 4 steps to success!
1: Identify one of your goals you are struggling with and what is holding you back from taking action.
Example: Losing Weight – I’ve been caught up in motion without realising it, fear of commitment.
2: Identify the obstacle and what exactly is stopping you from taking action.
Example: Fear of commitment – I’m scared if I join a gym for 12 months and then I move away or my circumstances change that I’ll be paying for something I’m not using.
3: Strategise a way you can stop that from stopping you
Example: I can look up alternative shorter gym membership options and pay a little extra so that I don’t have that fear.
4: Take Action to achieve your desired outcome and if not today then put a time and date on when you will and mark it in your calendar.
Example: I will call the gym now to discuss options and I will go in after work tomorrow evening at 6pm to join up. When I call today I will set an appointment with someone so I make sure I go.
Remember the 4 steps to success don’t work unless you do. Don’t get caught up in motion and spend time, money and effort on remaining in the same place. Take action and watch the roll on effects of stepping out of the comfort zone.
Last but not least, as always, if you are having trouble with any of your 4 steps to success, don’t hesitate to contact me through our contact page on this site or our socials.
When women support each other, incredible things happen.