Do you ever find yourself madly taking action, any action, as long as you’re doing right?
Frenzied weight loss activities – cutting this. Adding that. Starting this. Stopping that.
Or perhaps you’re stubbornly adhering to the most familiar action?
That approach you’ve tried before – that got too hard. Too restrictive. Too boring to stick with last time.
Potentially working like the wood-chopper with the blunt axe? Too busy to sharpen the axe. Hacking away inefficiently and seeing slow to non-existent results.
If it didn’t get you the result you’re seeking last time perhaps there’s value in stopping and taking the time to lay the ground work that will see you get the results for your hard work.
Exercise is the perfect example. It’s something that can all too often be started with a hiss and a roar.
You feel really good after a strong session. Proud of yourself. (as you should!)
I’m a huge fan of exercise – I LOVE IT – however it’s not just something you endure to reach a goal. It’s a part of life. It needs to compliment and support everything else that is important to you – and you need to be committed to it, for life. (at least for as long as you want to keep the results anyway!)
Let’s dig deeper with exercise. We’ll take 1, AWESOME exercise: the Lunge.
If within your session you’re just madly lunging (or curling Or crunching OR whatever!) with crap-o-la form, with limited range of motion, with low intensity… then the most valuable thing you can do is STOP and sort your lunging out!
I super-love-to-Lunge however even if YOU don’t (!) it’s a metaphor for anything that is taking your time and energy… perhaps even sucking your money and also your hope, without delivering you a result.
Where are you madly taking action – and not seeing results – where the most valuable thing you can do is stop and sort your approach out? (my ‘Action Equation’ is at the end of the post to help you out!)
It feels good to be doing something. To take action.
Perhaps sign up for a gym membership.
Or maybe buy a book.
It feels SO GOOD that the pain you were feeling prior to taking that action – that motivating pain that pushed you to take the next step – it dissipates the second you’ve taken that one action.
You get lulled into a false sense of security: “yeah, I’ve got this under control – I joined the gym or I bought that 5:2 diet cook book.”
=> Feel certain in your ability to achieve your goal however never feel secure enough to get complacent and lazy. Or to remain ignorant of what isn’t working.
One Action will not secure your result without consistent follow up actions AND constant and never-ending improvement.
Wrong Actions will not deliver your result.
My Action Equation:
(your guidelines to taking the Right Actions Consistently)
1. Has this approach worked for me in the past? (filling in a food diary to establish eating patterns/triggers and the emotions/circumstances surrounding each) OR do I have evidence that I trust of it working for someone else? (cutting refined carbs and doubling fibrous veg).
2. If this approach didn’t work for me in the past:
2a. Did I give it my best shot? (Rate your effort. 1-10. If you were any less than 8/10 committed, then you didn’t give the approach a fair chance)
2b. Has anything changed so that I’m more likely/capable of giving it my best shot this time?
(Be honest with yourself – you know the definition of insanity! – are you going to give this approach an 8+ effort this time?)
3. What systems/accountability to I have in place to help me be consistent?
(this is called stopping and laying the ground-work). Anything is doable for a couple of weeks. What tricks have you got up your sleeve for when the novelty starts to wear off, as it will?
4. What is my strategy for continually upgrading my approach? (think of who inspires you, who you can ‘model’ and what will stretch you to better YOUR best).
(how to follow my Action Equation!)
1. if YES Go To 3. => @ 3 take the time STOP and Lay The Groundwork for your success. => @ 4 take the time STOP and Lay The Groundwork for your ongoing success and constant improvement.
1. if NO Go To 2. => @ 2a. If you gave it your best shot and it didn’t work it’s time to head back to #1 and decide on a new approach.
=> @ 2a. If you didn’t give it your best shot and it didn’t work it’s time to decide @ 2b. If anything has changed so you’re more likely/capable of giving it your best shot this time?
2b. if YES Go To 3. => @ 3 take the time STOP and Lay The Groundwork for your success. => @ 4 take the time STOP and Lay The Groundwork for your ongoing success and constant improvement.
2b. if NO Go To #1 and decide on a new approach.
It’s like one of those ‘choose your ending’ stories right? It absolutely is your choice.
I believe the sticking point for most people is #2a. You didn’t give it your best shot and it didn’t work.
There is zero value in being disappointed by the results you didn’t achieve with the effort you didn’t make right?
Your decision now becomes “do you have faith in your ability to achieve the result?” and if so “is the result worth the sacrifices that are necessary for you to achieve it?” (I have this self negotiation regularly!) OR are you content where you are?