Starting any new journey, whether in fitness or life, can feel a little daunting. Often the end picture seems so far away that we can stop a work in progress due to a perceived lack of motivation, or procrastinate to the point of not even starting. Rather than focusing explicitly on the end product, why not break it down into memorable milestones depending on where you’re at in the journey. At least that way, you can enjoy the trip towards reaching your goals.
Before we get started on any journey to ramp it up, whether it be in career, relationships or health and fitness, it’s important to break it down and identify where we’re at right now. It’s no use trying to ramp it up if we haven’t even thought about wanting to create change in our life.
The 3 States of Inertia
I’ve identified three states of inertia that stop people moving forward into action. Where do you fit in?
The invincible state in the top right quadrant, is one where we are on the momentum ride - feeling energetic, happy in body and mind, experiencing great personal relationships and making a positive contribution to the world. It’s a state of flourishing and can permeate your career, health and life. . This person is someone who is able to experience continued success and embolden others to follow their lead. That’s what we’re striving for.
Unfortunately, many people struggle in aspects of their lives and most of the time they become paralyzed by possibility. There’s so much conflicting information in the media about what job you should have in order to be successful, where you should live to best bring up your family, what to eat to be healthy and the list goes on. It’s no wonder people might be indecisive or accepting of where they are right now in the
status quo – both harmful mind-sets that result in no action.
The bottom left quadrant describes the ‘inanimate’ – those not accepting of the situation they’re in but are indecisive over the steps that need to be taken. They need action guidance in the form of a plan and some advice on the very simple first steps of how to begin the ramp it up journey.
Those in the ‘indifferent’ quadrant suffer the same indecisiveness, yet are happy with their situation. They are sailing up the ‘River Denial’ and see no problem with being below the success line. In many ways people who fall into this quadrant are a harder prospect to get through to because they do not feel they need to change. It’s a mind-set shift that needs to take place in order for them to move from that position, which can come from some powerful self-evaluation.
The third are those who are ‘inclined’ to move towards invincibility, but haven’t managed to take the first steps towards their goals. Their thinking is positively re-framed and implementation is all that is required.
All of us have people in our circles – loved ones, clients, work colleagues, maybe even ourselves - who we can identify as being in one of the three stages of inertia. Movement from all quadrants towards the top right is possible, but we need to know how to move from the inertia stages and inevitable fail cycles they create, to achieve lasting success for real change.
Wherever you find yourself, there are some simple, effective ways to move towards ‘invincibility’ and to ramp it up.
Strategies for the Inanimate
- Don’t wait for motivation – take action and the motivation will come. Too often we use the lack of motivation as the reason for not doing anything, but it’s the other way around. When you take action, you often become motivated by the results, allowing you to take more action and ramp it up even faster.
- Ask yourself “What is stopping me from taking action right now?” Don’t worry about the things you can’t control. The only thing you can control in any situation is YOU!
- See a trainer, coach or mentor - find someone you admire who has been on the journey you want to embark on. Part of ‘breaking it down’ is getting advice or knowledge from those in the know.
- Fail to plan = plan to fail – make a plan for ramping it up that includes SMART goals (make sure each goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented and Time-based).
Strategies for the Indifferent
- Ask yourself these two questions - “What is I want that I don’t have?” and “What is it I have and don’t want?” Write down the answers in two separate boxes on a piece of paper. The idea is to minimise or get rid of the things you don’t want and set some goals around what you do want.
- Follow the ‘If This, Then That’ principle – find a decent reward that you’re going to give yourself when you achieve your set goal. An example might be “If I commit to losing 5kgs, I will shout myself dinner at my favourite restaurant (minus dessert!).” That will get you emotionally involved in the game around ramping it up.
- Understand whether you’re indifferent to your current situation because you fear failure, or fear success – some people are driven by their skill-level and will not do something because they fear they might look or feel incompetent.
- Others are so ingrained in the status quo that they fear the changes that result from ramping it up and undertaking a new journey. Which side do you fall on?
Strategies for the Inclined
- As Michelle says, “JFDI”. If you’re at the point where you’re inclined, it’s just about getting started and taking action. It’s about accepting that whatever has happened in the past is just that – in the past. We need to think about the here and now and move forward from this point into a positive future.
- Remember it’s harder to unlearn a bad habit than to learn a new one – habits will be formed somewhere around the 21 day mark. By keeping at the same rituals for approximately 21 days, you can expect new neural pathways in your brain to develop that will allow you to ramp it up even more. Keep those going for a few months and you can expect transformative thinking regarding previously negative behaviours.
You can start to see how a good plan based on sound advice, and action are the key steps in getting people from the stages of inertia to a point where they are ramping it up – invincibility. By breaking down where you’re at now and employing some of the strategies depending on which stage you’re in, it is possible to move towards that flourishing state. You’ll know you’re there because everything in your life suddenly ‘clicks’ and the sense of happiness you feel is something you carry throughout your life like a badge of honour.
Article contributed by Greg Sellar