What is preventing you from understanding things

Postponed is canceled! How you can FINALLY get into action


Inspiration, food for thought and tips for a good and fulfilling life

A few weeks ago I met my friend Viola in our favorite café. She told me about her resolutions to REALLY go jogging more often this year and to get up earlier. She just wanted to get fitter again and lose some weight. And so that she can realistically incorporate that into her day, that means: get out of bed earlier.

She told me about her torments very vividly. The constant "overcoming yourself" of putting on your jogging clothes - and then even so early in the morning. For Viola, who is absolutely no morning person, absolute horror. It always happened to her that she slept very badly at night, then woke up super exhausted in the morning and thought: "Okay, today I just slept badly ... Tomorrow I'll REALLY go jogging! "

She asked me if, as a psychologist, I didn't have the ultimate tip for her on how she would not only be foolish, but also act stupid. So we took a closer look at how she could get closer to her goal. When we were forging their plans, I noticed that there are actually 3 elements that you should consider if you too want to finally get down to business with regard to a resolution. These three elements are to be dealt with today.

The thing with the bastard

Surely you have had a similar experience to Viola at one point or another. You have firmly decided on something, figured it out in your head and then did not put it into practice again. What remains is the frustration that you AGAIN failed to get down to business and instead made up the most adventurous excuses just to justify yourself to yourself. Which annoys you all the more afterwards.

These can be very different things. That you do more sports yourself and want to eat healthier. Or more often To say "no"to get more air to breathe. Regularly one Gratitude diary to lead, to finish work on time, to yourself more me-timeadmit and so on and so forth.

But what exactly is preventing you from simply doing things like that?

The obstacles of everyday life

We are human Creatures of habit. A full 95% of your decisions are made unconsciously. About 70% of your thoughts are those of the previous day and an indescribable almost 40% of your behaviors are the same every day.

And we are not only creatures of habit, but also masters of excuses.

We can think of the best when we want to sh *** ourselves.

My friend Viola did a really great job a la “Today I just slept badly. Tomorrow I will REALLY go jogging. ”The more she talks her way out, the worse it is for her in the end. The guilt grows and grows.

How about you Do you often find yourself finding an excuse to justify yourself to yourself? To find logical and good reasons with which you want to explain to yourself why you did not get into action?

Then I want to show you now what you can do to finally get started. So that you don't have to be disappointed in yourself again.

Because let's be honest: If you set yourself up and make a promise to yourself that you don't keep, then that's a problem. Every time you lose a little more of the trust in yourself to be able to create and implement things.

This trust in yourself, in your self-efficacy, is what you need to shape your life the way you want ...

You need these three elements if you want to get into action

For me, three elements are essential so that you can finally get into action: Motivation, self-regulation and habits. You can also understand these three elements as three phases. If you really want to get down to business, you first need a clear motivation (phase 1), the strengthening of your willpower (phase 2), and then switch to automated motivation through habit building (phase 3).

In the guide to this article I have summarized all the important steps again. I'll give you a whole bunch of examples that are sure to help you. You also have space for your own answers. You can download it here for free:

So let's get started ...

Phase 1 or your first step: motivate yourself

Motivation is and remains the first step on the way to action.

Nothing works without motivation. She is your little, big helper that gets you moving in the first place.

You are motivated when you have a very clear WHY, a vision

Only a very clear “why” brings you out of the cozy bed to the cold floor early in the morning. Because it activates energy. And that is always necessary if you want to tackle and implement something new, unusual and perhaps even strenuous.

Let's get back to my girlfriend. So I asked her why she wanted to jog more. Of course I listened to her and understood that she was telling me about losing weight and getting fitter. I'm not deaf. BUT: That is too weak in the long run. Too weak to counter the internal automatisms.

So we took a look at her why over a very tasty latte macchiato (thanks to Patisserie Ludwig ;-)). At first she was in total avoidance mode (I'll tell you what that is a little bit further down). But after a while, Viola's why became noticeable. She imagines herself sitting on a bench in a playground with other mums on a warm summer's day and watching her own daughter play. She would like to be able to run to it quickly when her daughter becomes independent and takes off, because she is so longingly wishing for the delicious, cool ice cream that the ice cream man is so seductively handing to another little girl on the other side of the street.

And she sees herself with her in the climbing park, in which the beautiful green trees provide shade and would like to climb with her when her daughter makes three little sweet hops out of sheer enthusiasm.

In the best case, you can already feel while reading how big the difference is to a simple "I want to get fitter and that's why I go jogging".

Create your own vision

So ask yourself: what is your vision?

Why would you like to get up earlier, switch off better, be more self-confident, eat more fruit?

Visualize with all your senses what will be possible and different for you.

Feel whether this type of vision, when you let it run like a movie in your inner mind's eye, makes something sparkle in you. Makes you feel very enthusiastic inside.


Very good you have it!


Then keep looking, talk to others, question yourself and listen to yourself. Above all, make sure that you really find a "why" that yourself important is.

What good would it be for Viola if she only went jogging because a friend let go of a swipe, saying: "That would be good for your figure, too."? If Viola started jogging just because a friend thought it was a good way to lose weight, what would happen? Nothing ... at least not for a long time.

Say "yes" to what you want

A good vision is formulated in the approach mode. What do i mean by that?

Viola, for example, first told me that she would like to get fitter, because then she would no longer have to be so ashamed. She is embarrassed if she takes the stairs with her colleagues after the lunch break and she has to gasp like that. (So ​​far, she has been using the elevator to avoid this.)

What Viola formulated here by saying "I don't want to gasp so much when I run up the stairs" are what psychologists call Avoidance goals. She “no longer wants to do” something.

That is rather not so beneficial if you want to get into action. This means that our brain only concentrates on situations that should be avoided when it comes to achieving the goal.

It would be more beneficial if she resolved to be so fit that she could have a relaxed chat with a colleague while going up the stairs. The goal would now be different. One on which she working towards and not something she wants to get away from.

If you do not have any clear goals in front of you because you may find it difficult to make your very clear "why" perceptible for you, then ask yourself: What do I not want anymore?

And transform it into a: What do I want instead?

This will move you away from your avoidance goals and towards approach goals.

The goal will fix it! ... Uh, no!

What I'm trying to tell you: Goals are important. But what some goal gurus say about "You just have to wish your goal into the universe correctly and according to certain rules and the rest will work out!" I consider to be quite wrong.

Just because you set yourself a goal and want it doesn't mean you will achieve it. Just because you yourself sayThat you go to bed earlier today is far from going to happen.

The motivation, i.e. the goal setting, is only the first of three steps. It gives you the kickstart, so to speak, the initial energy you need to really tackle things.

Without the power of self-regulation you will not be able to actually implement your resolutions. After all, they will also cost you something and will certainly demand a lot from you ...

Phase 2: Turn your goals into action and use the power of self-regulation

If you have found your motivation somewhere in your maker basement, then you are now ready for the second step, the second phase.

Get your willpower going!

In technical Latin, we psychologists call this "volition". The most important distinction that you should know between motivation and volition is that setting a goal (motivation) and actually implementing it (volition) are two different things. The motivation is your kick starter and it really gets the volition going. Without volition - that means above all willpower - you will not be able to achieve your well-considered goals, your "why", even in the long term.

Why do you need the willpower to get right into doing?

If you fail to put aside the needs that compete with your goal, then this can very quickly lead to your kick starter drowning and the engine not even starting.

Your resolutions will likely not come easy to you, but will cost you some of your energy. Because if you want to lose weight, you give up sweets. Or because everything hurts you and you can no longer walk because of all the sore muscles, because you gave everything you did during your last visit to the gym to burn off your fat reserves.

Viola's waiver consists mainly in the fact that when she goes jogging, she can no longer cuddle in her warm bed or read the latest Facebook updates from her friends.

As we found out together, that was mainly part of their current situation at the time Morning routine.

So strengthening your willpower is an essential part of getting into action. I want to give you various tips on how to do this right away.

From thinker to doer

In every fitness advisor, the tip appears again and again to arrange a fixed date with friends to do sport. You will feel more committed and go there even if you are actually not in the mood for exhausting yourself, but would prefer to stay on the couch.

You can also easily make this commitment to your friends yourself. An inner commitment that you make with yourself. After all, the goal you set yourself is not just any one.

It's not about "just seeing if it works out". You are not a mute observer looking at the whole thing from the outside. You want to do it with all your heart, so you make a commitment to yourself.

One way to not just have this self-commitment floating around somewhere, but to define it in concrete terms is to give you one Block Spot on Calendar, on which you make an appointment - with yourself.

With it you have set in writing when, how and where you will implement your goal and you have a "date" with yourself. If you haven't made this commitment to yourself, then it's more likely that it will go under. Because what is not on the calendar will not take place either ...

With this commitment to yourself, you will find it much harder to talk yourself out of it. Or have you ever had one Meeting with your best friend canceled because you just didn't want to get out of your warm bed?

The 10-minute method and the charm of experiments

Another very practical way to increase your willpower is this "10-minute method".

Just start a task that you have set yourself to do and make it a point to keep it up for 10 minutes. If you are still sitting after 10 minutes and haven't noticed how the time has gone, it's great! If not, then you have at least stuck to these 10 minutes that you have planned - and thus "turned" your motivation into volition.

For Viola this means: she should exercise outside in her jogging clothes for at least 10 minutes. You can also just walk around the block once. No matter! The main thing is to move. And what if, after the 10 minutes, she still felt like walking further into the forest? All the better.

To reduce the perceived effort and take it easy, consider the whole thing as a starter Experiment.

I don't mean to allow you to use that as an excuse and say: It doesn't work anyway.

Rather, I want to encourage you. In addition to trying things out and perhaps also finding out what suits you and your goal achievement best. You haven't been able to implement anything with the 10-minute method, but always failed after the 10 minutes? All right, then try the spot in the calendar or something completely different.

We thought together that Viola could try out what it is like for her to go jogging without a large, well-timed training plan that is on her neck from the start. If it is not the right thing for her, she has at least tried it, but it has not "failed".

This could give her the opportunity to start a new experiment, which she might like better.

Another experiment she could attempt would be jogging with a good friend of hers who recently started jogging. Maybe that could help her overcome her weaker self. But if after three days she was fed up with constantly having to discuss with someone else when and which lap to run together - that's fine too.

Then she could try more. Perhaps a kind of reward system for herself. For every day she makes it out of bed early in her jogging shoes, she could draw a heart on a specific page of her calendar. With fifteen hearts, she could treat herself to the chic black pumps that she's been smiling at from the window of her favorite shoe store for two weeks, or a massage for her battered body.

Now it's your turn:

  • Think of 3 experiments that you could try for yourself and your resolution.
  • Can you think of something that would be worth waking up the little scientist in you?

From cookies and radishes

Sometimes there are certain days when you find it so hard to get yourself up.

May i tell you something This is completely normal.

As early as the 1990s, Roy Baumeister and his colleagues - all renowned psychologists from Standford University - introduced the concept very exciting experimentin which they examined exactly this effect. They led their test subjects into a room in which there were delicious smelling cookies with chocolate chips. N / A? Does that mean that your mouth is watering a little?

Then you feel the same way as most of the participants in the experiment. The only stupid thing was that half of them weren't allowed to eat the cookies, but got radishes from which they could eat as much as they wanted. The other half was allowed to eat as many cookies as they wanted.

In a later concentration exercise, it turned out that the people who were only allowed to eat radishes had much more difficulty concentrating and sticking to the tasks than the other half.Baumeister called this effort, against which half of the people had to fight, while they could only be content with radishes, self-regulation. In other words, the self-discipline that you need to muster in order to achieve your goals. But that costs us energy. And you will no longer have this energy available at a later point. That is why most good nutritional resolutions do not fail in the morning, but in the afternoon or evening (when the self-regulating energy store has already run empty).

So the idea is not that everything has to go great every day from now on.

That does not work and is also not necessary.

The perfect day

Implemented these findings in a pretty clever way Patric Heizmann with his Nutritional concept "the perfect day". He says: Do not change your diet 7 days a week, but instead determine a single day a week at the beginning on which you will be able to implement everything you have set out to do.

Once you have established this “perfect day”, it will automatically be easier for you to overcome the bastard and get up from the couch once you have noticed how good this day is in you.

Daniela Blickhan, my trainer in positive psychology, always said: Put the bar so low that it is more difficult to walk under it than to step over it ...

Third phase: make it a habit and switch to autopilot

If you now say: Ulrike, that's all well and good, but how am I supposed to really stick with it and keep the change permanently?

Then I believe that you are just like so many others.

We believe that “sticking to it” and “really getting down to business” depends on a lot of iron self-discipline.

And of course that exhausts us in our endeavors. That’s why we’re not arriving. Because our self-discipline is used up at some point.

Make mini-routines work for you

There is a very simple strategy you can use to get your brain going: Develop routines.

Sounds banal, but it has a pretty big impact. Because as soon as you manage to establish small routines with which you get closer to your goals, this leads to a kind of “automatic motivation”. The “why” is no longer questioned, you get up early in the morning simply because it has become a habit.

Try brushing your teeth. That too has become one of your routines that you have developed. YOU make it a lot easier for your brain because it no longer has to think too much about why you are actually brushing your teeth now. That no longer costs you willpower and self-discipline.

At some point in our favorite café, Viola and I came to the biggest sticking point, which made it difficult for her to get out of the cozy bed in the morning and slip into her slippers and then shuffle into the bathroom, where the jogging clothes were waiting for her . The smartphone was the culprit. Every morning it had to be checked through on all channels that you can imagine. "It just takes way too much time for that and I mainly use scrolling as an excuse that I can't get out of bed," she told me contrite.

That's why we decided together that from now on she no longer puts her cell phone on the bedside table in the evening before going to bed, but in the living room - nice and far away from the cozy bed. And instead set an old-school alarm clock. Together with the 10-minute idea and the clear why, she felt at least clearly strengthened and wanted to get started.

constant dripping wears away the stone

Little by little she can establish new routines. Because our brain takes a long time until the new neural connections have been established. The good thing is: Once the first step has been taken, others usually follow on their own. Once you've developed one good routine, that's the breeding ground for the next one.

In any case, I'm really excited to see what Viola will tell me in the next few weeks.

It's your turn

I really want to encourage you to go through this 3-phase plan or 3-step for a clear goal that you have. That means:

  1. Have a clear “why” in mind and formulate your vision. Make them really tangible and tangible for you.
  2. Think about specific self-regulatory strategies that can help you implement your resolutions.
  3. Develop at least one ritual so that in the future you can do things on autopilot and no longer have to tap into your self-discipline memory.

Please use my 3-step plan, which I designed especially for you. I will help you to plan these 3 steps very specifically and give you the nudge you need to finally get closer to your goals and to believe yourself that you can do it.

PS: Sharing is caring: If you liked the article and it helped, share it now with your loved ones and with all people who the knowledge can also help. Thank-you!

As a coach and trainer, Ulrike Bossmann has been helping people like you to go through life more relaxed, relaxed and with more joy for many years. On her blog at soulsweet.de you will get specific tips on coping with stress and building your resilience, but also practical suggestions on how you can use the findings of positive psychology to be more content and happier in your life.
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