As you likely know, you can't get what you want without some effort.
Lately, I've been thinking about the importance of action. I feel like so much attention is given to goal setting, dreaming bigger, consistency, and planning but the reality is without action none of it ends up giving us the results that we're looking for. I can have an amazing plan and even review it often but without action, I'm not going to get what I really want. This applies to consistency as well. I was on a Faith Activated call the other day and a question that was asked was, “Do you have trouble with consistency?” of course a lot of people said yes. The coach challenged that, saying basically, “You don't have a problem with consistency, you have a problem with consistently taking the action that's going to get you what you want.”
Think about a particular bothersome or troubling area of your life, an area where you have seemed to have the same goals or desires for a long period of time.
Let's use weight loss or more exercise or better eating habits because those are things that many people can relate to. And let's say you wanted to improve in each of these, or at least one of these, areas. And it's still something that is not where you want it to be.
If you take a look, an honest look at it all, I believe that it's highly likely that there has not been consistent action. I know that's definitely the case for me. I know that I have a tendency to be rather all or nothing. I'm very focused on my health goals or I'm on autopilot.
So here's an example: if my goal is to feel better and lose 30 pounds, then some realistic action steps are :
So maybe the next step is planning how this is going to play out.
But if we don't actually do the workouts and if we don't actually eat the healthier foods and avoid the junk it's unlikely that there's going to be much of a change.
So we’ve planned and set ourselves up for success by laying out some action steps.
So how can we do that?
Now it's time for me to be brutally transparent and honestly, this makes me uncomfortable. Even though I feel like for the most part, I'm an open book. But I know that you may be feeling this way in an area or two of your life as well.
I recently saw a quote from Mel Robbins that I've seen before that says, “Instead of ‘I don't have time’ try saying, ‘it’s not a priority’ and see how that feels.”
Now for some things that may be a huge reality check and a motivator for change. But in some other areas, it may be a way to help you give yourself a little bit of grace. We can't change everything all at once and trying to do so can lead to frustration. Now absolutely, we can use one good habit to build on another and make it easier, but there still are times when we can't fit everything in. So for me right now I am most focused on finishing out my nursing contract and working on a lot of different areas of my business. I am taking care of myself in terms of sleep and my stress levels. I am not always eating healthy - it kind of goes up and down I know that eating less processed stuff and more whole foods is something that would help me to feel better and more energetic, but that is an area that I am kind of just coasting along with right now. The same with my workouts. I know that they help me to clear my head and feel focused and energized, but my sleep, work, and travel schedule are all over the place, and I don’t fit them in every day. I do try to listen to my body and know that when I start getting more anxious, or more tired or irritable, I need to at least go for a walk - preferably in nature. I had started out the year training for a marathon. And then I realized that the timing for that was really bad, and I, as I often do, had taken on too much. So right now it is on the backburner. Not because I don't have time, because I could make time in my schedule if I really wanted to, but because I realized that yes, it's something I want to do.
I’m a “want to do everything” kind of person. So I have to continually remind myself that as much as I want to, I can't do everything, or at least not all at once. I have to decide what my priorities are for a certain season of life, and so do you. And keep in mind that we can change those priorities at any time.
What are your top three priorities?
Be honest with yourself about this - don't just give the “right” or expected answers. God may be very important to you and be at the top of your list in terms of love and devotion and your family is likely right up there too. But when it comes to working on those particular areas, they may not be a top priority in your life right now. That doesn't mean that you're going to neglect your spiritual or family relationships - it may mean that they are in a very good place and you're able to just stay consistent with what you're doing.
Once you know your priorities, what are you going to do in each of those areas? Take a bit of time to plan it out. But make sure that action is on the agenda as well. What specific actions are you going to take? And how can you set yourself up for success? Brainstorm some ideas. Here are a few suggestions to get you started: