“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.”
– Walt Disney
Two things strvtmvmnt is big on: Get moving. Keep moving. It’s not enough to want to get moving; you have to actually get up and do it. And then it’s not enough to have done it; you have to keep going. The caveat is that it takes much more effort to get moving than it does to keep moving. Continuing to move is really just a matter of motivation and momentum. Initializing the activity, however, takes a fair amount of inspiration and motivation, alongside a high level of energy.
So, what’s the secret to getting moving? I hope you’re sitting down, because this is going to blow you away. Are you ready?
Here’s the secret: there isn’t one.
Plainly put, you just have to DO it. You have to make the conscious effort to go out and do the thing you have in mind to do, whether that be yoga, running, starting a business, writing a book, or any other of the many many many things you can set out to do. And while there is no secret to get you up and going, there are things you can do to help you facilitate the process:
- Don’t fucking talk about it. Research shows that talking about something has the opposite effect of motivating you to do the thing you want to do.1 When you talk about doing something, the general idea is that you are creating the conditions to be held accountable for doing the thing. This actually backfires: “The researchers concluded that telling people what you want to achieve creates a premature sense of completeness.” You’re actually less likely to follow through. If you’re going to tell someone, tell the person who will actually hold you accountable. That friend who’s gonna call you out on your bullshit when you don’t show up? Tell them. They’re on your side.
- Create the conditions for your success, but don’t set yourself up to be perpetually preparing. Conditions will never be perfect. Let me say that again, but louder: CONDITIONS WILL NEVER BE PERFECT. So stop waiting for perfect conditions. Wanna get to running but don’t have the shoes for it? Do HIIT at home while you save your pennies. Wanna get into yoga, but looking at studios is daunting? Practice with a YouTube video series to start, or check out a live class from the comfort of your own home with Flow Via.
- Put it on your schedule. Write it down. Create manageable milestones. Setting a goal to run a marathon when you haven’t run a mile is a little … ambitious. And likely to put you off running when you discover that the first mile sucks no more how often or how far you run. A 5k though … that’s manageable. Run a 5k, and then look at what it will take to build up to a marathon.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it’s a start. Write it down for yourself instead of talking about it to the world, and set manageable goals to start. Simple. Keep it simple up front, and as you progress, you’ll find it easy to keep it simple. Now go forth and do the thing.
1Gollwitzer, P. M., Sheeran, P., Michalski, V., & Seifert, A. E. (2009). When Intentions Go Public: Does Social Reality Widen the Intention-Behavior Gap? Psychological Science, 20(5), 612–618. Retrieved from https://s18798.pcdn.co/motivationlab/wp-content/uploads/sites/6235/2019/02/gollwitzer-et-al-2009-when-intentions-go-public.pdf
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