You think to yourself
I’m not really progressing with my running. What do I need? I need some new running shoes!
The shoes arrive. They look all funky and super and you can’t wait to try them out. After a few runs, the glow of the shoes wears off.
It’s getting cold and dark now. I need a fancy running jacket so there’s no excuse not to go out running.
Great, you’re nearly ready.
Ummm, everyone’s got a Garmin and I need to know my heart rate thresholds. I’ll do some research on GIS watches and heart rate monitors. Once that’s done I’ll finally put the training plan into action.
After spending a couple of hundred quid/dollars, and taking a couple of weeks, you’re still no closer to actually starting.
I get this feeling myself. I’m always looking for something I can improve and get waylaid by thinking the answer is new gear. I’m like the golfer who thinks a new set of clubs will reduce their handicap, but I know its practice and consistency that is going to move me forward and I’m just avoiding it.
The same can be true for reading self-help books.
This next one will be the one that gives me the answers to my current job/life/marriage/anxiety/ training issue.
This leads to analysis paralysis, a convenient form of procrastination. You feel you’re doing something by researching and reading when you’re not really moving forward.
You (and I) are always looking for the special secret answer that will solve all your problems/make you a better runner. But it’s diverting you from your goals rather than achieving them.
Its not about the shoes
That doesn’t mean buying something, writing a list or doing more research. You probably have a fair idea what it is you need to do to move forward. Just take a step. Put it in motion.
There’s been something I’ve been putting off for a few weeks. It’s a non-running example but makes the point well. It’s my mortgage renewal. There are several post-it notes generated over the weeks sitting around my desk and bedside table reminding me to do it. Today, I called a mortgage advisor I’ve used before, we had a chat and now we have a meeting set up in two days time for a more formal discussion. I took a little step and got the ball rolling.
Have a think about something you want to do or a goal you have. Don’t think about it too much (another form of procrastination) and take a step, however small, forward.