Does life feel stagnant? Do you go through each day feeling that there has to be something more but you don’t take any action on it? Even on days, you do feel like you’re doing something do you feel like you’re spinning your wheels?
Deep down you know that you can do better than this. This constant productive procrastination. You’re not taking action on the things that you want to act upon.
These are some of the reasons that you’re not taking action in your life.
“Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action.- Theodore Roosevelt
You Over Plan
Overplanning can kill your productivity. Why? When you overplan, you are constantly “researching” ways that your plan can be better.
Imagine you’re learning to play a sport like tennis. Would you first study all the advanced techniques and motions of the sport without even grabbing a tennis racket? The best way to do it is to learn the fundamentals and start playing.
Taking action can be planning. Having a plan is great but over-planning will kill you from doing anything productive.
There’s an infinite amount of information out there. At least far too much information for a single person to process. It makes it too easy to go back to the drawing board when you see some “new” information that may slightly contradict your own.
We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough.- Helen Keller
You Start Over Too Soon
Are you someone that goes on “yo-yo” diets? Or do you start over your process because you feel like it’s not going well enough? Do you quit a process because it doesn’t hit your expectations after 1–2 weeks?
Constantly starting over is wrecking you from pursuing your goals. The truth is, there is no magical process out there. The only way to train for a marathon from zero is going to take months and months of hard work. Maybe you won’t get it right the first time and be perfectly optimized but at least you took action to make progress towards your goals.
This mindset is a mindset of expedience. It’s the temptation that there is some secret out there that no one knows about.
The real secret is in your mindset to be consistent along enough to eventually persevere.
“If it was easy, everybody would do it.”- Eric Thomas
You Look For Shortcuts
If there was a shortcut to success everyone would do it. Shortcuts are chasing the dragon. They don’t exist without something being sacrificed. When you take a shortcut, you sacrifice:
- The wisdom and experience you gained from your challenges.
- Empathy for others that are pursuing similar goals the difficult way.
- Sustainable success.
When people take shortcuts, more often than not, it eventually comes back to get them. Either success isn’t sustainable because it’s found out that they’re a fraud.
You Fear What May Come
Deep down, do you feel like you’re afraid to jump into the deep end of taking action?
Does the idea of living in “Potentialville” make you feel more comfortable?
What I call “Potentialville” is the feeling that you could reach your goals if only you had enough time and resources to do it. It’s that thought that “I could become a full-time writer if I only had 8 hours a day to dedicate all my time to this.”
With that logic, if one hour a day was dedicated to writing, it should only take 8x as long.
Leave “Potentialville” and start to find out if you have what it takes. Even if you fail, at least you can close that chapter of your life and know you left everything on the table.
You Pursue The Endgame, Not The Process
If you hate working out but have a goal of getting 6 pack abs, you’re going to have a lot of difficulties getting there.
The only way to have sustainability to make shifts in your life is to love the process of what you are doing. I have been writing online for about 3 years. I’m not going to lie, being a writer sounds cool but if I didn’t love doing it, What would be the point of pursuing it?
About 4 or 5 months ago, I decided that instead of going hard to hit a goal for the sake of hitting a goal, I am going to focus on the process of achieving them. That subtle shift in mindset has changed everything for me.
I look to create systems for myself. Somedays the systems may seem monotonous. Eating the same things day in and day out. Writing at the same time day in and day out. Working out at the same time everyday.
When you’re doing something that you’ve never done before, you don’t know first hand what it will take for you to get there. The only way to do it is to make progress each and everyday. Experience the ups and downs. Find out what it takes to get there.
“Never make excuses. Your friends don’t need them and your foes won’t believe them.” ―John Wooden
You Constantly Make Excuses
Do you ever have goals that are secrets from others? You don’t want to tell others because something deep down you don’t believe you will achieve it. Maybe you want to save yourself the embarrassment of having to make an excuse in the future?
If you were honest with yourself, how much time a day do you think you waste? If you did a hardcore time audit of your entire week, what would that total come to? 10 hours, 15 hours?
If you are going to objectively look at how you spend your time, understand your priorities first. Watching a show with a loved one may not actually be a waste of time as that can help build your relationship. Walking your dog might be an opportunity for you to unwind for the day.
You’re Too Hard On Yourself
This may seem to contradict the section above but you may beat yourself up too much for your shortcomings. If you are wanting to wake up and take action everyday to keep pursuing your goals, don’t beat yourself up for not being a super god that is like someone on the limitless pill everyday.
When you constantly beat yourself up, you’re like that parent who yells at their 8 year old for striking out in t-ball game. Most of the time, those kids end up falling out of love for the sport because of the association they have with a bad feeling when playing that sport.
If you want to run a marathon, why would you beat yourself up for missing a single workout? Is that constant negativity going to make you want to keep pursuing it? Eventually your brain is going to associate running with you punishing yourself. This will cause you to want to run away from the goal you are pursuing.
We all have shortcomings. Not everyday is going to be our best day but making the best of your day is the best we can do.
Taking action in your life is not easy. Often when pursuing something we have never done before, we don’t know what we are doing. This is only natural. As human beings, we feel uncomfortable in the unknown so we default back to what we do know.
Planning is not a bad thing. It’s when we plan for planning's sake that it becomes a bad thing. I know in my past I’ve wasted entire days trying to draw out this master plan for fitness and writing that was a 6 months out just to toss it to the side after a few weeks.
Look at the day that is right in front of you. If you feel a little aimless, ask yourself what you need to do today and this week to feel more grounded.
After this, start taking action on your life and be okay with things not turning out the way you expect them too. That is all part of the process of growth.