You’ve reached the end of the planning stage and now it’s time for action.
You know what you’ve got to do. You even want to do it. You think about doing it. You put it in your schedule. But actually going into action? Maybe not right now. Maybe you ought to pair your socks. That’s probably quite important. Cleaning out the back of the kitchen cupboard probably ought to be the next thing. There was sorting out your email inbox, that was a thing that needed doing. Oh look, it’s lunchtime.
Maybe we could reschedule that run for tomorrow?
Then the doorbell rings. The phone. A crisis or a drama. Reality gets in the way of the best laid plans for going into action.
Why do we delay acting on our intentions? Especially the healthy ones? Once we get going, leave the start line and head out into the fresh air, endorphins and achievement kick in and we wonder why we ever thought painting the radiator was a better idea.
So have a think about what your “action primers” are. The things that actually get you out the door. They are probably things we’ve already talked about:
The accountability buddy – set a date to do something healthy together OR tell them you’re going to do it and ask them to check
Your schedule – you’ve planned to walk the dog every day at 6.00, set the alarm, get up and go before you’ve given yourself a chance to think about it
Your goal – You’ve agreed to run that 10k race in 12 weeks, you’d better get your 6k run in today
and one thing we haven’t:
Your trigger – it’s 6 weeks in and you always clean your teeth and then do your kettlebell workout
But sometimes your primers are not strong enough to get over what’s inhibiting you. If there is no instant reward nor negative consequence the devil on your shoulder says “why should you do the right thing when nobody’s looking?”
Some inhibitors and how to conquer them:
It’s overwhelming – con yourself
e.g. you’ve never run continuously for more than 5 minutes before and your walk-run schedule has got you up to 6 minutes of running. Just lace up your shoes get out of the door and tell yourself you can do 5 minutes running. If you have to walk you have to walk. But at minute 5 if you’re still running it’s a bonus.
You’ve got competing priorities – surprise yourself
e.g. you really ought to change the bed/ring your mother/cut your nails – don’t think about it just change tack get your running gear on and go, without making it a big thing.
You can’t find a reason – plan a reward
e.g. you’re hungry, it’s lunchtime – you can have lunch when you’ve done your 20 minute power yoga routine
Getting on with your regime is not a “curtain raiser” you don’t have to make a performance of getting into costume, rehearsing and making every fitness outing an oscar winner. Just get it done, go into action, before your brain stops you.