It's Top-Notch Tuesday!

The Emotion follows the action

alarm-clock-smA quote I’ve heard many times came to mind this morning. You know the one, “if you wait until you feel like it, it will never get done”.   Thinking of this quote reminded me of one of the visuals I use in the 6 steps to success. It’s an oversized alarm clock ringing, and this person rolling over and hitting the snooze. Sound familiar? I’m sure, like me, you can relate to that image.

It always amazes me how I can fight the alarm clock every morning, knowing that eventually I will get up. Once I head out the door for my morning run, I am always glad I chose to wake up! Instinctually though, in that moment the alarm clock is sounding, I would rather sleep another 20 minutes.

My good friend has said “there is no such thing as a bad run once it’s over”. Or another one, “I regret that workout said no one ever”.  I bet we all agree these two statements are true, but why is it so hard to live by them.  The answer is simple, it takes effort.  It’s hard, it’s not easy.

People, who successfully complete their workouts 3-4 times per week, fully understand the mindset and meaning of the emotion follows the action. We have trained ourselves…It’s not I feel like it, so now I’m going to do it. It’s, I don’t feel like it, but I know I will be satisfied once I’ve done it.  I call this cultivating a mindset of the emotion follows the action. This is the effort I mentioned earlier.

The word cultivate is an action word by its nature. It requires an effort on your part to make it happen. You must practice, and work at cultivating this truth to become a mindset. The truth is if you wait until you “feel like it” chances are you will never start”.

Of course, we’re talking exercise, but you can apply this truth in reaching any goal. What if you want to go back to school and finish that degree, open your own business, get out of debt, or kick a bad habit? You will never feel like doing homework, risking an investment, or applying the discipline required in getting out of debt and kicking a bad habit. You have to start the process with faith of knowing the emotion will follow and catch up with your actions.

Trust me, although you will still hit snooze sometimes, if you start practicing this behavior it will get easier over time. You will find yourself procrastinating less often and going for it more often!

Remember, first is action, then the feeling of positive emotion…NOT feel the positive emotion then action. One more time, the emotion follows the action. This is a quote you should write on a sticky note. Put it on your nightstand, your mirror, and your fridge as a constant reminder.

Let’s put it to practice.  The Action could be something as small as your night time routine, unloading the dishwasher, or going to the grocery store. It could be a more important task, your workouts, a job assignment, or paying bills. Whatever it is, over the next week, when you catch yourself saying “I’m too tired, busy, or you don’t feel like it”…Force yourself to DO IT ANYWAY! Write down how your emotion was after each task that you went ahead and completed even though you didn’t “feel like it”. You will be amazed!

Kim Martin