Preparation And Action To Combat Inertia

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Inertia at the very early stages of an endeavor can usually be attributed to not having a clearly laid out plan of attack. If you’re just starting out then by definition you have very little practical experience with the area in question. You have some ideas about where you’d like to end up, some images in your mind, some pleasant sensations when you think about attaining your goals. But they exist solely in your imagination and that’s the problem.

The ephemeral nature of your plan might be what’s keeping you from getting started. In your mind the endeavor is big, unwieldy, its dimensions unknown. There’s no clear entry point. Your expectation might be that things will eventually fall into place on their own. They have to because you want them to so badly, right? Wrong. People who actually do achieve the outcome you’re hoping for don’t get there by imagining how things can be or by waiting for them to fall into place, they get there through a series of concrete behaviors.

In terms of motivational interviewing, if you’ve got goals and aspirations but have been experiencing the inertia we’re talking about then you’re at the contemplation stage in the stages of change and your task is to move to the preparation stage. This means actually putting pen to paper to come up with specific steps for how you’re going to get from where you are to where you want to be. You need an actionable plan.

What we recommend you do first, even before making that plan, is to designate a block of time every day that will be exclusively devoted to your endeavor. You can sit there and do absolutely nothing if you want to, but what’s important for your psychology is that you be fully aware you’re in that block of time while you’re sitting there doing nothing. Chances are you’ll feel the need to do something because suddenly your endeavor will have become real. Doing nothing during that time will feel like wasted time. If this happens to you, use the time to first make your actionable plan and then put that plan into action.

Remember that doing something, anything to further your goals, even if it seems rather insignificant to you, is preferable to doing nothing at all. Just choose a point of entry, based upon your specific plan of attack, and go for it. Any point of entry will do. It’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to have to pivot along the way, almost everybody does. At least you’ll be in the game though, gaining practical experience and learning from it, which is infinitely better than staying on the sidelines, continuing to imagine how your life could be without actually doing anything in the real world to make it that way.