Knowing isn’t action, is it?
How many times do you intend to do something but don’t?
Too many times to count, right? I’m right there with you.
I intend to do better either as a mom, a wife, as an [insert desire here], BUT, those intentions have no traction.
What sets those who complete their intentions apart from the rest of us?
Why do so many people start eating healthier and working out in the gym in January only to fade away in February or March?
Is it knowledge? I don’t think so, ever heard of knowledge overload.
I believe it lies in the DOING of what you know. If you don’t do what you know, it’s pointless.
What if you can retrain yourself to act on the knowledge stored up in your head?
Quote: “It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know.” ~ Tony Robbins
Knowing Isn’t Action: Lessons From a Baby
What if babies never did anything about the knowledge they gather around the world around them?
Imagine for a bit that you are a baby. Your thoughts may go something like this…
I can use these legs to stand,
I can use the hands to grab,
I can use these arms to pull myself up,
I’ll just savor this knowledge,
think about grabbing the table,
think about pulling myself up
and think about standing.
Is it the same thing?
Of course, it’s not.
As little ones, it is a given that they will do what they learn.
They explore their surroundings, learn about it, test it, fail, test some more, and then they DO.
What Are You DOING?
Knowing isn’t action but doing what you know is the start of all things great. Continued action in the face of feelings and circumstances takes willpower. But, willpower is limited. Is there a way to tap into it when you really need it?
What are some things you do automatically? You’ve learned and do many things without thinking. When you started out learning about these things, it took effort-willpower to do them. How about now?
- Do you get up in the morning?
- Do you exercise or move your body?
- Do you shower?
- Do you brush your teeth?
- Do you dress before heading out of the house?
So, it’s not impossible, right? You are capable of great things but those great things start with minor things like emptying your bladder in the morning. 😉
Does having priorities play a role?
Let’s take a look at love, going to the gym, and eating healthy.
The Role of Willpower in DOING
Loving You Is Easy Until It Isn’t
When you’re in love, does it take willpower to call that person? Nope.
Does it take willpower to think about them? No.
BUT, what about when your rose colored glasses start to clear? You notice things, don’t you?
Glaring things like faults, habits, attitudes that irk you. What then?
Do you give up on the relationship or do you use your willpower to love, faults and all?
Going to the Gym Is Good For You
Knowing isn’t action, much like watching exercise on YouTube isn’t working out. Like many people, you start the year off with big goals like going to the gym more. But, something happens. You lose steam. You just don’t have the willpower to “Do” anymore.
You know you need to exercise for your health. You know that the gym is a good place to do it, but knowing isn’t enough.
Have you ever thought…
- Maybe you just love sleeping more than waking up to go to the gym
- Maybe you just really dislike the gym
When going to the gym is a priority, you make the effort to set your alarm an hour earlier. You “DO” it anyway.
How about planning exercise routines that don’t require going to the gym?
Instead of using your limited supply of willpower to force yourself to go to the gym, bank it for the tougher things (unless the gym is your tougher thing).
The Knowledge of Good and Evil Foods
Knowing isn’t action, much like when you know you shouldn’t eat the pint of Ben and Jerry’s but do it anyway. You know what your body needs and what it doesn’t. Sometimes you even give it what it needs. But, sometimes you throw health to the wind, eat a bunch of carbs and sugar loaded foods, regretting it afterward. Why?
In the moment, your priority is the sugar high, not health. So what can be done about it?
Make it easy for yourself.
Don’t store the tempting foods in your house. How about going out for treats instead?
Mindful Willpower: The Power of 5-Minutes
Knowing isn’t action, that’s why you need to have a plan.
You have a finite amount of willpower, once it’s used up, what can you do to continue on?
How about not using the willpower until it’s needed?
Make a plan and Do your Plan. This is the secret.
Even if you have to do your plan in one or 5-minute increments until you build up enough oomph to get it done, do it.
My Exercise Journey
This year I started exercising. I didn’t make a declaration at the beginning of the year. No big I’ll DO THIS by this date.
In fact, it wasn’t even my idea.
I started small.
I knew that I could do 5-minutes.
If I could do 5-minutes a day, I knew that this would build some stamina or discipline.
I know that with discipline I can create a habit.
With a habit, I can turn it into a routine.
A routine can be pushed to the subconscious (like getting dressed in the morning) which moves it to autopilot.
Once the routine habit is on autopilot, I no longer have to use my willpower. I can then work on something else.
How about you? What are you using your willpower on? How can you move the knowledge you have stored in your head into action?
Share with me on the Facebook Page – Waiting for Heaven.
P.S. I’m joining my friend Michelle’s Extreme Traffic Adventure. If you have time, want to join us? She’s simplified the challenge this time around into 15-minute daily actions.