Mind the Gap

Mind the gap between decision and action.

Have you ever bought a book and never read it? Or joined a Gym, only for the membership to expire having been barely used? Perhaps you decided that you would like to do something new but found that you didn’t even take the initial steps towards action.

Whether it was starting a new hobby, getting fit, changing jobs or writing a novel the initial enthusiasm fizzled into “the gap” and the action never materialised. So what is the real reason behind the procrastination?

Fear holds many of us back.

Although we may tell ourselves it was a lack of time or money that prevented us from embarking on a new project, the real reason often lies just below the surface. Deep down we feel we are not enough and the risk of failure lies beneath our inaction. Sometimes, it can be that we just don’t want something enough to step out of our comfort zone to grab it.

Given the chance, most human beings will default to easy…we all like what we know. Hence, the ‘status quo’ always has a huge appeal. But whatever it is that is holding us back, procrastination prevents us from living the life we choose.

So what can we do to prevent the “Gap Syndrome”?

Goals: Have a really clear and achievable goal, this will help motivate you and combat procrastination. Writing down your goal will help clarify exactly what you want to achieve. If you have several goals you might want to prioritise them.

Actions: Once you write down your goals, attach time-bound actions to them. Think about who you need to support and encourage you with these actions.

Divide: Try to sort out what you need to do into manageable chunks. As Decartes so wisely advises: “Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it” Remember, small steps are the key, otherwise the task may feel overwhelming. So take small baby steps every day to help build your confidence and things will gain their own momentum.

Start with that first small action today, not tomorrow!

If fear and self-doubt are still barriers then search elsewhere for inspiration. Biographies are a great source of inspiration. Reading about how successful people have coped with failure and overcome incredible barriers can help you tap into your own strength and resourcefulness.

Go into your new situation well informed, otherwise the fear of the unknown will serve to fuel the gap between decision and action. So try to find out what you can, do your background checks, and research alternatives thoroughly. Being well informed will help you feel more confident and excuses will be harder to find. It will be easy to talk yourself out of any action so get really committed to what you want to achieve.

Lack of knowledge feeds the “Gap Syndrome”

Where will you find the time and energy that these new changes require? Do you need to find time to add new activities to your schedule? Remember the vision, the incentives and the payoffs and any sacrifice of time or energy will surely be a great investment. Perhaps the changes you want to make require more physical and mental energy?

The great thing is that as you adopt healthier habits other areas of your life will reap the dividends. For example, joining the yoga class or time spent making smoothies or juicing might seem like a time sacrifice and take lots of effort but you will gain so much energy in improved fitness, peace of mind and good health that your energy levels are likely to rocket. As you make positive changes in one area of your life you will find that it has a knock on effect to other areas. You will become more incentivised as you note these general improvements.

So take the “can do” mind-set with you, start your journey today, and remember... Mind The Gap!