That’s a line from an Alanis Morissette song.
Some of you reading this might suddenly have a flashback to that time you were on a date with a frat guy named Alan who had a six-disc changer in his car when it was cool and he played the song Ironic for you while you were busy getting homesick at the site of a stop sign because you’d only been away at college for two weeks, and you were thinking that his car smelled like sweaty gym socks and he was wearing too much Drakkar Noir.
I mean, generally speaking that might have come up for you.
This song lyric is actually not from Jagged Little Pill, which I know half of you out there reading remember as her debut album of the early nineties - but I’ve always liked the phrase - the only way out is through. It seems a milder version of Nike’s Just Do It.
I was reminded of this lyric recently while reading a nutrition article. Like many people, I’m an avid consumer of information, whether that’s through reading or listening to podcasts and books. I just really enjoy learning. One of the challenges of the constant influx of information though, is paralysis. So the other day, when I read this line:
Action is more important than information - I had a mind blown moment.
The article went on to say that no matter how much you know, or how much you want to change, in the end, it’s only action that creates change.
I mean I know that action is more important, I just forget it all of the time.
I think we all do.
I’m trying to apply the action concept to my writing as I work on my second book (the first one is due out in September). On any given day I spend more time thinking about my book, talking about the concepts or reading about writing than I actually spend writing. Which somehow leaves me feeling exhausted without anything to show for said exhaustion.
I actually had this conversation with my therapist last week, and so she gave me an assignment, which I’m practicing right now. Write for 15 minutes a day.
I lobbied her to drop the number down, you know, to set me up for success in case I missed a day, but she’s a hard ass and didn’t budge.
Everyday, she said.
And what if I don’t hit that? I asked.
Then we’ll talk about it next time.
So far, I’ve hit my 15 minutes a day.
Because I’m spending 15 minutes a day working on the action of writing. I’m not reading about it, thinking about it or talking about it.
Let me emphasize that last point a bit:
I’m not thinking about it.
Sometimes we think ourselves into exhaustion about any given change on any given day. We’re so toasted from mentally ruminating on something that it wears us out.
But these past few days, I’ve just be shutting up and doing it.
And it’s been ugly.
Stream of consciousness, ranting, no punctuation, lots of ellipses - ugly. But it’s happening. The only way to write is to put your butt in the seat and write.
The only way to change is to take action towards that change.
The only way out is through.
You can’t get through if you’re not moving. You can’t see change if you’re not doing. I know you know this. But since when does knowing mean doing? How many times have you ever said to yourself, or your coach or therapist, I know what I need to be doing, I’m just not doing it?
If everyone did the thing though, I probably wouldn’t have a job because coaching isn’t about telling people what to do - it’s helping them figure out how to do things.
So this is what I want you to do. I want you to, right now, at this very moment, put your phone down and pull out a piece of paper and write down anything you’d like to change in your life.
You’d like to be more physically active, you’d like to clean off your desk, dust your bookshelf, go through one drawer of clothes and go all Marie Kondo on it (does that 15 year old stretched out sports bra give you joy?) - finally make that dentist appointment you’ve been putting off - whatever the task may be, pick one thing and take action on it for five minutes a day.
You can do anything for five minutes.
P.S. Are you ready to take action with your nutrition, but not sure where to start? Comment below or send me an email at email@example.com to find out more about my online nutrition coaching program that starts in July.
**Not open to Spurling Fitness members - we’ve got your nutrition coaching covered :-)