“Just Do It” is a pretty good tagline, don’t you think? It’s perfect for a company that makes athletic shoes and apparel. I have to admit, I’m kind of a sucker for Nike’s ads and commercials. They pump me up and have me ready to go out and buy their stuff so I can be like the person in the ad – strong, determined, confident, and, of course, sculpted.
Just take this quote from the NikeWomen website as an example:
“Make Yourself. You’re in charge. You are entirely up to you. Make your body. Make your life. Make yourself.”
Doesn’t that make you sit up a little straighter?
Except, in real life, “just do it” can be a bit demoralizing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “I know what I need to be doing, I wish I could just do it.” When they say it, their entire body deflates. You can hear the frustration in their voice and see the defeat on their face. They’re stuck.
“I need to just do it” is almost always followed by a “but…”. Have you ever said or thought, “I need to [exercise more/eat better/lose weight/etc.], but…”? It doesn’t really matter what follows:
- I don’t have enough time.
- I don’t have enough money.
- I’m too tired.
- I don’t like vegetables.
- I hate exercising.
- I don’t want to change the way I eat.
- I don’t know what to do.
- I’m lazy.
- I just can’t.
Many people would say these sounds like excuses. And maybe they do. However, I think they sound more like comments from someone who feels powerless. The reason those Nike ads and commercials are great is because they are empowering and inspiring. They give a moment to think, “Hey! Maybe I could do that!” But what happens when that feeling goes away?
That’s exactly what happens when you decide to use the “just do it” approach. You try to muster up enough willpower to jump in and get started. You give yourself rules and try to force yourself to stick to them. Then, you just… can’t… keep… going.
I’m all for taking the first step to overcome the inertia of being stuck but if you’re trying to turn over a new leaf and start new habits, the “just do it” approach isn’t going to work. In fact, continually starting something then falling off the wagon will only chip away at your confidence.
If you keep saying you want to or should do something but can’t seem to find the motivation or energy to “just do it”, consider that something bigger than willpower might be holding you back. Ask yourself these questions:
- Is this the right goal for me?
- Is it my goal rather than someone else’s?
- Am I approaching this the best way for me?
- Do I have the knowledge and skills I need to accomplish it?
- Does it seem realistic rather than too big / hard / overwhelming?
- Am I meeting myself where I am?
- Do I feel supported?
- Deep down, do I believe it’s possible for me to achieve this?
- Am I committed to doing what it takes? i.e. Is this as high or higher of a priority than everything else in my life?
If you can answer “Yes” to all of these questions, you may be ready to take your first step. If you answered “No” or “I’m not sure” to any of these questions, you’re definitely not ready to jump into action and risk falling off the wagon if you do jump right in.
Every month I reserve a limited number of Complimentary Consultations for people who feel stuck and are tired of getting on and off the wagon. If you’re ready to make a change in your weight, health, or habits, you can request your Complimentary Consultation here to discover what’s holding you back and how to overcome it once and for all.