How To Take Action When You Don’t Feel Like It

We all have days when we feel like we can tackle anything. Nothing is out of reach, and you’re ready to take action and achieve your goals. Of course, we all have opposite days too, when we don’t feel like doing anything. Perhaps you’re tired, bored, procrastinating, or simply not “feeling it”. Whatever the case, it can be really difficult to take action when you feel unmotivated.

Please don’t feel bad about it. You’re human like the rest of us, and we’re not designed to be in the “action state” every second of every day. Sometimes, we need to rest, recuperate, and come back ready to take action when we’re ready.

However, if you find yourself continually struggling to take action, I can help. If you’re running a coaching business, you need to be as productive as possible for as long as possible. Coaching can be a demanding career, and the consequences of not taking action are usually not in your best interests.

So, how can you motivate yourself to take action when you don’t feel like it?

I answer this question in this episode of The Mindset Coach. I also share top tips to help you do the things you need to do, even when you don’t feel like doing them.

You can listen to this episode of the podcast below or keep reading…


1. Understand the action you need to take

Did you know that one of the most common reasons for not wanting to take action is not knowing what action you need to take in the first place?

Not fully understanding the necessary action leads to procrastination. So, here’s what I recommend you do. First, get clear on your goals and what you want to achieve. Then, grab a piece of paper or open a new word document and create a list of all the things you need to do to make your goals a reality.

Next, time-block different tasks on your list. So, next to each task, write down how long each one will take you, whether it’s 15 minutes, 45 minutes, two hours, etc. Now for the fun part. Grab four different coloured post-it notes and write down the tasks that will take 15 minutes on one of the colours. Then, do the same thing with the other tasks and choose a colour for the 30-minute tasks, and so on. Use one post-it note per task.

At the end of the exercise, you’ll have a nice selection of post-it notes detailing the tasks you need to complete to achieve your goal. Then, stick the post-it notes somewhere you can see, such as a whiteboard, notice board, or even on the door of your fridge.

You’re probably wondering what the point of this exercise is? Well, let me explain. The next time you feel like procrastinating or doing anything but the very things you know you should be doing, grab one of the post-it notes and start working on the task. If you only have 15-minutes to spare, choose one of the 15-minute post-it notes. If you have more time, choose one of the post-it notes that includes a task that requires more time to complete.

You don’t have to get super picky about which task you choose because you already know that the tasks you wrote down are necessary to help you move towards your goal. So, start to work through them. Action breeds action, and before you know it, you will have completed a bunch of productive tasks that you might otherwise have ignored until the very last minute.

To add some more motivation to the mix, I suggest putting your completed tasks (in post-it form) into a glass jar. That way, you’ll have a visual representation of the action you’ve taken and just how much you’ve achieved. Seeing the post-it notes collecting in the glass jar will help you to stay motivated to keep going and continue taking action, even when you don’t want to!

You can watch the video of this episode below…

2. Once you start taking action, keep going!

The first step of actually taking action can be difficult, especially if you’re not feeling motivated or inspired. However, when you do start taking action, keep going!

By simply passing the two-minute mark, you’ll be much more likely to keep going beyond that. You don’t have to take giant leaps either. Slow and steady wins the race!

It’s better to take small steps at first and then increase the time and energy you put into things as you go. If you do too much, too fast, you might end up feeling tired, fed up, and ready for the next downward spiral of avoiding tasks that need to be done.


3. Try “The Five Second Rule”

Mel Robbins came up with ‘The 5 Second Rule’ and even wrote a book about it. Basically, you have 5 seconds to take action before your brain shrugs and says, “never mind, let’s do something else (or nothing at all)”.

An example of this in action is when you’ve set the alarm clock in the morning, and it goes off. You may be tempted to hit snooze and sleep in, or you could count down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 in your head, and when you hit 1, you get out of bed.

Using The 5 Second Rule to motivate you to spring to action is a great way to get in the zone, even when you’d rather do something else.


4. Why are you doing what you’re doing?

My next tip is to remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. What is motivating you to take this action? What do you hope to achieve by taking this action? Hopefully, your reasons for doing what you’re doing is enough to motivate you to keep going.

Reminding yourself of your motivating factors helps to ignite you into that energetic space and mindset to want to take action. You can create reminders for your office so that when you feel like giving up, you can look at the reasons why you’re doing this in the first place.


5. Identify your motivating factors

Another great activity you can try to bring your motivating factors to the top of mind is by answering these four questions while thinking about the task you’re putting off:

  • What will happen if you do it?
  • What won’t happen if you do it?
  • What will happen if I don’t do it?
  • What won’t happen if I don’t do it?

Answering these four questions will help you identify your motivating factors and the positive and negative consequences of taking or not taking action.


6. Change your mindset

My final tip requires you to use your imagination, so I want you to really think about this one. Let’s imagine it’s 15-minutes after you’ve successfully completed the task you’ve been procrastinating or resisting.

Take a deep breath and imagine how you will feel in that moment. You’ve finally completed the task, and now, you can take pride in the fact that you didn’t give up. You kept going, and you took the action needed to help you achieve your goal.

It feels good, doesn’t it? If you want to feel that way, then you have got to complete that task. Focus on the end goal and go out and take action to make that goal a reality.

I hope you enjoyed these tips, and I hope that they help you overcome any mental blockage that’s keeping you from taking action!

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