"I know what I need to do, but I am unable to get started." We know what to do, but we don't put knowledge into action. While momentum is a powerful force, inertia can be even more powerful.The result is the frustration of procrastination and remaining stuck in your current reality even though you do want change.

Inside, it seems one part wants to get started and achieve success. Yet another part wants to stop, give up, or take it easy. An inner tug of war ensues between these two parts. Which side will win? Achieving success depends on not allowing these two parts to maintain a perpetual battle and keep you at a stalemate. Success is realized when you become aware of these two opposing sides and deal with them in productive manner. You always have the choice of which side to nurture, cultivate, and strengthen.

A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: "Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time." When asked which dog wins he reflected for a moment and replied, "The one I feed the most."

To become successful and move beyond the status quo, check out the list below for some bright ideas on how to take action. Discover the inner motivation that will enable you to conquer complacency and move forward. Even though change is difficult, it is absolutely possible - you just have to know how!

1. Fear = False Emotion Appearing Real
It is normal that a part of you has fear and insists, perhaps rather loudly, not to get started. Fear is a natural part of any change process. However, one lesson worth learning is, "Be scared . . . and do it anyway." It may be impossible to take your next step without experiencing fear. Do not make the mistake of waiting for fear to leave before you take the action.

Instead, listen to what fear has to say, find a way to soothe the part of you that has fear, and know that you are not your fear. Fear is something you created, perhaps unconsciously, to keep you safe. Since you created it, it will say whatever is most effective to scare you. Fear acts as an imaginary wall to keep you from moving forward. Yet, since it is your wall, you can always find a way over, around, or through it. Take a deep breath, gather your courage, and take an action even if that action is a small step. Action itself will eventually dissipate the wall of fear. Remember, action does not need to take place only in the absence of fear.

2. Thoughts Determine Success
Earl Nightingale has a saying: "We become what we think about." So what do you think about? Are your thoughts centered on fear of failure, or the joy of having what you want? Thoughts have a powerful impact on your attitude and your ability to get motivated and stay motivated.

Dr. James Prochaska in his book, "Changing For Good" lists the "idea" of change as one of the necessary precursor steps to taking action. In other words, ideas are the starting point. We have to have an idea about what we are going to do before we can actually do it. Ideas give us direction and insight. Next time the idea taking action pops into your head do not be so quick to dismiss or belittle it. So often an idea comes to mind, perhaps about taking a walk or eating differently, but because we have not acted upon it yet, we put ourselves down.

Be joyous the idea has sprung forth and find ways to cultivate it. Pronounce joy in the idea itself, instead of berating yourself for having the idea but not taking action. Cultivate the thought, celebrate the idea, and allow your life force to flow naturally.

3. Start Small
Sometimes we find ourselves hesitant to begin because we are overwhelmed by the enormity of what lies before us. The goal looks so huge, daunting, and complex that we freeze up.

Yet it does not have to be that way. Break down your goal into manageable pieces. You probably already do this in other successful areas of your business or personal life. You take something big and chunk it down into bite-sized pieces. Then you make a list of action steps, prioritize, and separate the "nice-to-have's" from the "need to have's." Then you work the first piece first, eventually moving on to the second, the third, and so on. Soon that overwhelming task does not look so insurmountable any more.

Do not underestimate the power of baby steps. If 40 minutes of exercise five days a week seems impossible, how about starting with five minutes today? Tomorrow will take care of itself. Psychologically and spiritually, the important thing was that you had an idea or a dream, you allowed yourself to think positive thoughts about having your outcome, and you took action. What action step can you take today?

4. Change Your Routine
How long has it been since you have had your desired outcome in mind, but have not moved forward? Maybe it is time to shake up your routine. Take a moment and notice the patterns of your day. Have they become predictable and dull? Now check out the goal you have in mind for yourself. Is there perhaps one specific step in your goal that sounds fun, exciting, and different? Not only could you begin taking action on something you have been wanting all along, but it could shake you out of a rut. Here are a couple of examples:

> Start your day with an inspirational quote along with your breakfast.

> Play upbeat, loud, dancing music in the morning.

> Have a pillow fight with your kids or partner to get yourself laughing.

> Take a different route to or from work.

> Before rushing out the door, take one minute for yourself. Sit down, close your eyes, relax your body for 60 seconds, and imagine yourself successfully accomplishing the first step of your goal.

List your own ideas:

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5. Reward Yourself
One way to motivate yourself to do something when you do not feel like doing it is to offer yourself an incentive. For instance, if you eat one extra serving of vegetables today, you can allow yourself the luxury of sleeping in tomorrow morning. Maybe you will buy that CD you have been wanting, or take a bubble bath, or get a pedicure.

Give yourself small rewards on a regular basis. It can do wonders for your motivation. Find ways to make the change you are creating as enjoyable as possible. No one is forcing you to change; it is something you have decided to do on your own. Why not make it as fun as possible? Rewards do not have to be big or expensive; they just have to be something meaningful to you. Make a list of delightful rewards and link them with your actions!

Your list of rewards:

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6. Connect Action With Pleasure Not Pain
When you find yourself lacking motivation, you may be associating action with pain, rather than pleasure. For instance, if you are deciding to lose weight, you may be associating the goal with having to eat food you hate, feeling deprived, connecting the idea of exercise with physical pain or embarrassment, and envisioning failure.

What you could do instead is remind yourself of the immediate and long-term positive benefits. Make a written list of the instant and future payoffs to working on your goal. What will you gain by choosing to take action on your goal? Learn to work 'for' what you want, not 'against' what you do not want.

When fear or doubt begin to creep back in, remind yourself to stand strong in your decisions to have what you want. Create positive tapes to play for yourself to override the negative ones. Staying focused on the positive unleashes your internal motivating force and changes your attitude about the action you are considering.

7. Act Is When The Idea Is Hot And The Emotion Is Strong
With your goal, notice when positive emotions are present and when your idea is strong, clear, and powerful. When this happens, your idea has gained momentum and now is the time to take action. Listen to your inner wisdom and follow up immediately. If you hear about a motivational book that makes you curious, go out and buy it. Get the book before the idea passes, before the emotion gets cold. Begin the process. If five minutes of exercise sounds good right now, do not wait until tonight and do not force yourself to do forty minutes. Climb on that treadmill, or go outside and walk five minutes. Then tell yourself you did a great job. Feel good about listening to your inner wisdom and following through. Take advantage of favorable circumstances while they last. Act quickly while the opportunity is still available. Strike while the iron is hot!

Give these ideas a try and see if you don't find yourself pushing through procrastination into action!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Annette Colby, RD can help you take the pain out of life, turn difficult emotions into joy, release stress, end emotional eating, and move beyond depression into an extraordinary life! Annette is the author of Your Highest Potential and has the unique ability to show you how to spark an amazing relationship with your life! Visit www.LovingMiracles.com
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