Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Going to 'run that marathon', 'write that book', 'lose the weight'? Why is it so easy to make goals and yet so very hard to actually see them through?

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We all know procrastination is the enemy, the killer of goals, and yet most of us can't get started without it. Ironically, I've spent the last five minutes examining my pores and general T-zone area before I felt equipped to sit down and start this post. It's not that I didn't want to write tonight, writing is pretty much my favourite pasttime, it's just that somewhere subconsciously there's an inner battle stopping me from getting my arse into gear.

We often think we want something and we'll 'do whatever it takes' to get it, when in reality we'll give up pretty quickly when the sh*t hits the fan claiming: 'it's just not for me' 

I'm fascinated by the concept of grit, habit building and stories of overcoming addiction. As someone with pretty much zero willpower and a general repellence of 'delayed gratification' I've often struggled to stay on diets, follow training programs, even finish a flippin' book, although I'm convinced I'm dedicated to reaching that particular end result. We beat ourselves up for being lazy, for wasting time, for not being good enough, but are we looking at this all wrong?

In Mel Robbins' book The 5 Second Rule she states 'If you have an impulse to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill the idea.' Essentially, we can't wait to feel motiviated before we do something, to be 'in the mood' or to 'feel inspired' we've simply got to do something, ANYTHING. This actually makes a lot of sense, it's why so many of our goals end up as 'all talk, no action' we quite literally never act. 

I write songs, in fact pretty good ones these days (shameless plug: but there was a time when I just couldn't write. I'd set aside a day to work on a song and then waste hours on YouTube, cleaning the flat and texting everyone in my phonebook, only to feel sh*t about myself, convinced I wasn't meant to be a writer. This would change however when I had studio time booked in. When you're in a studio that has been paid for and there are expectations you can't simply swan around until you feel ready, you just write. Not to say every studio session was a success, it wasn't, but inevitably something was always made by the end of the day. 

I started thinking about all the things I have quit along the way, would I still be in the same situation had I applied The 5 Second Rule and built that goal into a habit? I'll never know now if I could have been fluent in French or the world's best Yoga teacher but what I do know are the goals I want to achieve in the next year and that those won't happen unless I take action, to plan in the time and to get sh*t done. 

What are your goals? What behaviours are stopping you from fulfilling them? Do you need to act rather than just think? What's taking up your time, is it useful to you?

I may have procrastinated this afternoon and hey maybe this will be the worst blog I've written, but instead of spending the afternoon on the sofa like I wanted to, I got up and acted on my goal and for that I'm feeling pretty smug. 


Liz Morphew

Psychologies Magazine Ambassador and Contributor, Singer Songwriter

Psychologies Magazine Ambassador & Contributor | Singer Songwriter