Knowing What to Do Isn’t the Same as Doing It

I know what I need to do but taking action and doing it is quite another matter.

Image for post
Photo by Ethan Sykes on Unsplash

I am currently out of shape. Right now, I am pretty sure I weigh the most I ever have. Though I’m still strong and have rather good endurance, my clothes are fitting poorly and I feel off.

What do I have to do to fix this? Diet and exercise, of course. There’s the solution, right there in front of me. Maybe if I didn’t have T-rex arms I could reach it.

But that’s not the truth. It’s not outside of my physical reach.

I am not taking the actions I know I should be.

Still eating portions that are too large. I’m not taking my daily walks like I was. Haven’t stopped eating carbohydrate-dominant foods. I am allowing myself to be easily distracted and inattentive.

Is this depression? Partially, but that’s also an excuse on my part and I know it. There is no shame in fighting depression, I’ve been on this particular battlefield most of my life. While this state of mental being is not helping matters, neither is it to blame for this.

I am well within a comfort zone, which is not actually entirely comfortable. But the fear of what’s on the other side of it is triggering the dontwannas and associated inaction.

So I am completely and totally aware of what I need to do. How do I make myself do it?

Accountability and discipline

It is super easy to claim a lack of discipline for not doing something. Similarly, a lack of desire can go into this as well.

Yet I know from personal experience that it takes resolve to make anything happen. Consciousness creates reality. How? By employing mindfulness. Mindfulness is conscious, current awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. That awareness, in turn, opens you to influencing, controlling, and changing what you are thinking, how and what you are feeling, and intent behind your actions.

Sometimes it’s just easier to think and feel but not do. That’s where I am at right now. And my thoughts and feelings are not focusing on taking action, despite knowing what action I need to take.

What’s missing? Drive? Desire? Focus? Quite probably all of the above.

Being accountable means that I am not blaming anyone nor anything for my inaction. This falls to me. I have to desire to make a change and take necessary actions or nothing will change.

I have never been a smoker, but every former smoker that I do know made a decision to quit. Almost all of them quit cold turkey after that decision was made.

This is a perfect example of being accountable and disciplined. You don’t just almost act of half-act, you take action. You practice self-discipline and make shit happen.

I’ve done it before. Lost the weight, recovered from the injury, gave my complete and total focus on conscious reality creation. I can do it again. But right now I know what I need to do — but I am not taking the steps to do it.

How do I change that? I have the accountability, where do I find the discipline?

Changing and creating habit

The best way to make a change that sticks is to create a habit.

Lots of things that you do are habitual. Many you just don’t recognize as a habit, per se. Writing articles daily is a habit I have been able to cultivate over the last 10 months, for example.

I have a lot of other habits that are both good and bad. Chewing off fingernails, eating when bored, browsing social media when I should be doing other things, and so on.

The other problem I run into is that when a habit that I am attempting to create falls off, getting back on the bandwagon tends to be extra-challenging. This is in part because I am annoyed with myself for falling off in the first place. Another part is that it often takes twice the discipline that it initially did to restart when you stop.

Two such habits I keep starting and stopping? Meditating and reading daily.

For a while, I was a champion of meditating every day. I began to time myself and do 15 minutes daily. It felt good, and it reset my mind in ways that only meditation can do. Being fully present in the moment and focused on breathing will do that.

I currently am working my way through two books. One fiction, one non-fiction. For a while, I was getting up in the morning and reading on the couch in the living room, which also made for cuddle time with one of my cats.

Both of these have fallen off. When I do not awaken at the time I most desire to (I don’t currently use an alarm, I tend to be up with the sun and/or my wife’s alarm) I get thrown.

Who can change this?

Knowing what to do and then doing it

I have all the power here. Nobody but me can make this change. So I need to change it.

How do I will myself to be disciplined, change and stick to a habit? There are a couple of options I know of.

· Set alarms on my phone

· Find apps for the phone to assist

· Get an accountability partner (and use them)

· Stop punishing myself when I fail

The last is the most critical, frankly. I tend to get irked and annoyed with myself when I don’t get the thing I set out to do done. That sets off a negativity spiral, and that just makes me more irked and annoyed and before too long inaction occurs and I am like a song on repeat.

Or worse, a program on the computer that half-loads but constantly crashes instead.

I know what to do. Only I can do it. I know what I need to do but taking action and doing it is quite another matter. Discipline, accountability, and focus are entirely up to me. But I am not alone, and I know I can get help from others on this journey.

What do you do when you know what to do but haven’t worked to do it?

You are worthy and deserving of using your mindfulness to find and/or create the reality in which you desire to live. When all is said and done you and I matter, as does this moment.

Here are my Five Easy Steps to Change the World for the Better

Written by

I am a practitioner of mindfulness, positivity, philosophy, & conscious reality creation. I love to inspire, open minds, & entertain.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store