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Why can’t I make progress in anything I do?

Find out how to start getting things done


Are you someone that aspires to do things but never actually gets around to doing them? Do you know why? You are about to find out…

Why is it that some people are so good at achieving things, at pushing themselves and reaching their goals whilst others just aspire and never actually end up doing anything?

There are many books on the subject of motivation and why some people achieve their goals, whilst others don’t even get off the starting block. One of the primary reasons why some people never achieve what they really want is that they don’t take small steps. They try and do everything all at once or jump in too deep. This does two things which negate the whole aspirational process:

  • Jumping right in at the deep end and doing too much all at once makes it harder to stick to something and makes the task more difficult.
  • Doing too much at once can also put you off and make the desired task more of a chore and more likely to put you off from trying again.

Let’s take some real life examples and see how they could be done better.

Imagine you want to start a fitness regime just at home. You don’t want to go to the gym and you just want to start at home doing press-ups, pull-ups and maybe some crunches. Somehow you never get started. This could well be because you are setting too high a goal for yourself and your mind puts you off even starting.

Maybe you want to do 20 push-ups and you never get round to it. A good way is to set your goal to a much lower one. Tell yourself you will do just 5 or 2! This may go against traditional goal-setting beliefs but you know, something is better than nothing. If with your high target you never actually get off the ground, then it is better to set a smaller target - a smaller step, leading to where you want to go.

This same principle can be applied to most sporting goals. Many people are turned on by big goals and set their sights big and then go all out to achieve, beat and surpass them. However, the majority of people are actually the opposite. They hate goal-setting, they may not even understand it and they get scared when it comes to starting on a sporting/fitness journey. This is why you see a lot more fat and unfit people than sporty ones!

These “non-goal-setters” are better off just doing “something” as and when. It doesn’t have to be anything major. Instead of planning to go out for a 30 minute run (which you actually never do), you can just go for a quick 5 minute walk - but you do it right now; no planning. Instead of going out to the gym and working out 5 times a week, get down on the floor right now and do 10 push-ups. If you feel like it, do another 10 afterwards. If you feel like it tonight, do another 10.

The above concepts all come down to one crucial Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) principle and that is: “winning starts with beginning”. If you never start, you will never win. So the idea is to just start and see how you go. Don’t worry about the big goals and the big plans and all the things that you have been meaning to do for so long and you just never get round to them.

Below are some examples of things you may have wanted to do for a long time but you just never get round to them and their respective alternatives. Try out these alternatives and see if it makes life easier:

That special dinner date you have been wanting to have with your partner.
Instead try going out for a coffee or a drink with them right now.

That big house clean-up you have been wanting to do for years!
Instead clean out one cupboard but do it right now. Next time, when you feel like it, clean out another area. No need to think of the whole task. Just do a bit but you do it NOW.

That big diet you have been wanting to go on for years!
Instead replace one meal today for a protein only meal. If you feel like it, do the same again tomorrow. They will all add up to weight loss.

Those big muscles you dream of and the 5 times a week gym sessions you never seem to go to!
Instead try 3 x 10 push-ups right now, followed by 3 x 10 pull-ups and 3 x 20 crunches. Or do as much as you can but do it NOW.

So you see, sometimes you don’t make progress in things because you make the task too big in your mind and your mind stops you from even starting. This is called procrastination. The trick is to do a much smaller version but you do it NOW. In fact, make this your motto for the next week and see how you get on. DO IT NOW.



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