Most of the time in our lives we know what we should do. Here are some of the few things that we know:
- Eating healthy and exercise is vital for our well being
- Being caring and loving with our partners is important for the sustainability of our relationships.
- Taking action on our goals is important for success
- Work-life balance is essential for the well being of our families in the short term as well as the long term
and many more other things...
Even though doing what we know is important for our happiness and success, the truth is we do not always do what we know. Why? Well because life has a way of getting us carried away. When we have had difficult days at work and are under stress it's not always easy for us to be loving to our partners even when we know it.
We know we should exercise and we want to exercise. Picking up running shoes and hitting the road does not seem that easy when there are kids to look after or we are seating comfortable in the couch watching our favorite TV shows. We might always have an idea to start a business in our minds, however taking action in the midst of our busy lives might sometimes seem like an inconvenience. We might reason to ourselves that it is not the right time to start a business because kids are still in school or we are still busy with other things. We give ourselves reasons not to act.
To create the outcomes that we want in our lives it is important that we move from just knowing what we want to do or what we should be doing into actually doing what we should do, "moving from knowing, to doing", moving from "I know" to "I do". In this article I would like to share some strategies that you can use in your life to move from knowing what you need to do to actually doing what you know you should do.
1. Reduce your level of tolerance
Partly the reason we sometimes do not move into doing quicker is because we tolerate the status-quo in our lives. It is true that sometimes you need to make compromises in your life to achieve certain things. Compromising on something is healthy as we all have to compromise sometimes. Compromise means that you realize that you have to temporarily give up something in your life to be able to achieve something else.
For instance you might compromise watching your favorite show so that your partner or kids can watch a movie. Or you might compromise going to a gym for a day to attend an important meeting. Tolerance is different though. Unlike compromise, tolerance is usually more permanent. When you tolerate something often you endure it continuously.
It is OK for you to tolerate certain things in your life especially when it involves your loved ones and it is things that neither you or them can change. However, to change your life you have to watch out for what you tolerate.
Often when we think of achieving our goals and changing our lives we think of what we will do. However sometimes what we will no longer do and tolerate in our lives is as important. So my question to you is what will you no longer tolerate in your life to achieve your goals? What will you no longer do? Think about this and make your list. Just to share with you here are the things that I will no longer tolerate:
- lack of exercise
- being impatient
So make your own list. The list shouldn't be just about you but also about what you will not tolerate from other people. For instance, I know that I would like to have positive people in my life and I will not tolerate people who complain about things but do nothing to change them. To move from knowing to doing you first need to be firm and know what you will not tolerate.
1. Set new behavioral standards
Once you have identified what you will not tolerate the next thing to do is to set new behavioral standards. It is true that our habits sometimes make us. When we get used to eating unhealthy and are not exercising sometimes it can difficult for us to adopt new behaviors.
You consciously need to set new behavioral standards to move from knowing to doing. I intentional use the word behavioral standard instead of just saying set standards in your life because I know that any standard you have in your life will be realized through a set of behaviors. An athlete does not just set out to break a world record, he or she also adopts behaviors that support this goal through exercising smarter and harder. So I would like you to set new behavioral standards that will move you from knowing to doing.
Identity a set of one or two new behaviors that you will adopt to move yourself from not just knowing what you should do to actually doing it. Here are a few examples that I have set for myself across my personal life and business life:
- I will not go longer than 4 hours without calling my partner no matter how busy I am
- I will stop eating a lot of meat and have more vegetables in my diet
- I will be more proactive in my business dealings so I can identify potential problems early
What behaviors can you identify and set as new behavioral standards to move yourself from "I know" to "I do"
3. Do not want, become
I always say this. In our lives we often think of what we want however sometimes we do not need to want for anything we just need to become that which we want. Let me explain.
You might be wanting to be more fit right now and eat healthier. Maybe you think about it often and you set out to do it, buy grocery, start dieting, take your running shoes and run. Sometimes what we think does not happen as smoothly as we want. It might be hard to start, you might procrastinate.
I have found that just by becoming that which you want you can move much more quicker to action. What if instead or wanting to be healthier you just decided that you will behave the same way a person that eats healthier would. When you wake up in the morning you would skip bacon and fried eggs and have fruit salad instead.
What if instead of wanting and thinking about starting a business you began to behave more entrepreneurial by buying and selling merchandise. What if instead of wanting and thinking about become a chef you buy a recipe book and prepare decent meals for your friends. What I am trying to show you is that you can become whatever you want and move from knowing to doing. Writers write, soccer players kick the ball, runners run somethings do not require long thinking and planning that leads to procrastination and no action. Kick a ball if you want to be a soccer star, write if you want to be a writer, prepare decent meals if you want to be a chef, start speaking if you want to be a speaker. I hope you get the idea...
When you do the above you will move yourself from not just knowing what you should do to doing what you should do. No more will you say, '"I would like to exercise", or "I would like a loving relationship" or "I want to start a business"... Instead you will say "I exercise", "I am romantic and have a loving relationship".
It takes just doing to move from "I know" to "I do" and I would like you to make this move and create the kind of life that you truly want and deserve.