Massive Action vs. Small Daily Actions

You may have heard the call to take massive imperfect action to transform your life. You may have even done it. 

Perhaps you:

Emotional motivation often inspires this massive action. There’s a longing to change something in our lives. We want to move away from the pain or move towards that which we desire. 

Ahh, yes, the ol’ stick and carrot motivation. 

But it’s exhausting to take massive action after massive action. It takes a great deal of motivation to hurl yourself into the land of possibility. 

And our emotional motivation isn’t dependable. You can be excited about a new venture one day, and the next feel like it’s impossible to tackle.  

So, here’s something to consider – massive action doesn’t lead to transformation. Massive action can change your circumstances, it can open doors and provide a perspective shift, but it doesn’t change you. 

If you’re miserable in your job, you may end up being miserable once you quit, too, if all you can see is the negative around you. 

If you move across the country, you’ll get new scenery, but your unhealthy habits are packed up in the U-haul to join you. 

Transformation is a long-lasting, evolutionary process. It takes time, intention, attention, and a willingness to keep going even when there is a lack of evidence of any transformation occurring. 

It is small, intentional, daily actions performed consistently that lead to personal transformation. 

On some level we all know this, so then why is it so hard?

It’s because we desire instant gratification.

Have you ever reconnected with someone who has transformed their health? To you, it feels like it was an instant change. Eight months ago, the last time you saw them, they looked like death warmed over; today, they look 10 years younger and full of vitality. 

We want to know what they did to make that change.  What pill did they take? What exercise did they do? We want an easy answer to believe we can do it too. 

It’s all around us. We can get almost anything we want delivered within 24 hours. We can binge entire seasons of television, Instapot our food, speed dry our clothes – the time required to do anything has sped up in the last 20 years. 

Personal change? Not so much. And that can be wildly frustrating. 

It’s freakin’ hard to stick to small daily actions when we can’t see any results. 

The mental gremlins start shouting, “Why are you still doing this? You haven’t lost any weight, gained any clients, changed your life in any way. Stop it!” 

And so often we do because we’ve tied our motivation to the result. 

To keep going we need to be clear on our why. Why are we doing this small behavior over and over again?

My why is often…to prove that I can.

Once we can find a more profound, reason-driven motivation, it is easier to stick to the consistency required for small, daily actions to work their magic. And get to the true transformation we desire.