Action, Motivation, & Habits

Utilizing these concepts to achieve gargantuan goals

Many people struggle with finding the will to take action when it comes to health and fitness. Some people seem to believe that a lightning strike of motivation will one day come along, striking you across the face, leaving you with the forever urge to take action once and for all… But clearly motivation does not work like that. Speaking from personal experience, motivation seems to occur in a cycle. The cycle must first begin with an action. This action doesn’t need to be a giant leap, but a first step. The first step taken will then lead to a greater sense of self-efficacy (belief in your own ability to execute behaviors) bringing about motivation and even then, a sudden urge to take more action. After a given amount of time in this stage, results will start to show leading to even more motivation and action. This cycle compounded over time is how gargantuan goals can be accomplished. Below is a visual representation of the action, motivation, and results cycle that occurs when accomplishing a gargantuan goal. 

Putting this into the perspective of health and fitness, one may have a gargantuan goal of losing 50 pounds. Looking at the goal by itself may seem intimidating and impossible to achieve, but breaking it down into the mobilizing action will direct you towards the path to achieving it. A mobilizing action is a habit. A habit is a task that can be completed with more or less no active thought behind it (Clear, James). A mobilizing action (habit) as mentioned above, does not have to be momentous or even take conscious effort. Realistically speaking, this mobilizing action could be as simple as putting on your running shoes and walking out the door. Eventually, this habit will form, solidify, and guide you towards taking actions like going for a 10 minute walk or going for a 5-10 minute run. Without the initial mobilizing action of putting on your running shoes and walking out the door, the following action of walking or running regularly cannot occur. 

This concept of developing mobilizing actions (or habits) can apply to any part of your life that you want to improve. This can apply to finances, health, fitness, relationships, and so much more. The fascinating truth about developing mobilizing actions is that once one is established, it tends to affect other interrelated aspects of our lives. For example, once you’ve established the mobilizing action mentioned above of putting on your running shoes, walking out the door, and going for a walk or run, you may notice that your eating habits will start to change to align with the action you’ve taken to partake in regular exercise. You may also have less time to partake in other less productive, sedentary habits like watching TV or mindlessly snacking on less nutritious foods. This may not (and most-likely will not) occur overnight, but it can create a snowball effect of positive changes that follow the cycle of action, results, motivation, and more action. It is important to remember, however, that this snowball effect had to be initiated by the very small mobilizing action (habit) of putting on running shoes and walking out the door. 

The biggest takeaway one can receive from this article is that no goal is too big to accomplish when approached from the right angle. Start with one small, mobilizing action that will eventually become a habit (emphasis on small as most people tend to start too big and become burned out at the thought of continuing a habit that cannot be made automatic). Continue that small, mobilizing habit enough to let it lead you to bigger actions that align with your gargantuan goal. Eventually, this pattern will compound over time to lead you towards realizing your gargantuan goal. A very important thing to remember is to trust the process. Logically, we know that gargantuan goals cannot be accomplished in a day, week, or even a month, but we’ll let emotions get in the way leaving us discouraged and disappointed at even just the beginning of the process. Any gargantuan goal worth achieving takes time, dedication, and a mobilizing action. Stick to the day-to-day process and trust in the sustained effort needed to see it through and you are guaranteed to accomplish your gargantuan goal.


Habits – James Clear


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