Nine Rules to Turn Inspiration into Action

My life changed dramatically after I attended Paleo f(x)™ in 2015. In one day I went from having a cavalier interest in alternative health to someone who wanted to change the world. It was a watershed moment, where all the things I had been doing and considering coalesced and I found the inspiration I needed to take action. Paleo f(x)™ 2015 kick started a chain of events in my life that took me from following everyone else’s dream to going after the life I want now. Like right now.

Today, my life looks crazy different from what it looked like a year and a half ago. Each day, I have the privilege (and burden) of doing exactly what I want in pursuit of my dreams. I want to help you feel the same way about your life.

Nine Rules for Turning Inspiration into Action

Here are nine things that I have done to make change in my life – changes that stick. These are all rules that I’ve read, tried, applied, abandoned, tried again, ignored, scoffed at, and finally given in to, while slowly (and sometimes not so slowly) changing my life. I hope these rules can help you take action in your life.

Continue to be inspired.

Once you’ve been inspired by something and decide to take action, find a way to keep that inspiration going. Learn as much as you can about the thing that inspired you. Bury it deep in your soul. Expand its meaning in your life. Find new reasons and new angles as to why you should keep taking action. Arm yourself with inspiration.

Don’t care so much.

When really big inspiration hits and you’re ready to take action, fear is gonna show it’s face sooner or later. Whether it’s fear that you can never eat ice cream again (and you buy a pint of Ben and Jerry’s for dinner) or fear that your blog post isn’t going to be perfect, it’s time to stop caring so much. If you already ate the ice cream, oh well. You have bigger problems to solve. A blog post doesn’t have to be perfect to get the message across, but it does have to be written. Besides, no one reads them anyways.

Spend 15 minutes solving the problem each day.

Change happens slowly over time based on the actions you take each day. Matt Gersper talked about this in his post on living the life of your dreams. Make more space for the things you want to do and spend a little less time on the things you don’t. Whether you get up early to write, use your lunch break to read, or do three five minute workouts throughout the day, if you do that one thing every day, your life is going to start to look different.

Change everything all at once.

Trying to make change incrementally can simply wind up holding you back. Sometimes your life needs a shake up, a drastic change to see the world in a different way. This could be anything from taking the plunge and quitting your job to something as “simple” as cleaning your house and minimizing your life. Travel. Move. Write. Clean out your pantry. Do anything that will force you to change, and do all right now.

Share what you know.

The simplest action you can take is sharing your inspiration with others. Who knows what you can inspire in others? 

Share what you don’t know.

The best way to find new opportunities and to continue to act on your inspiration is to share what you don’t know. Tell people what you are trying to do. Get more people in on the problem solving. You might even inspire someone to join you.

Have a big, specific vision of what you want your life to look like.

If you want to “lose weight,” then eventually you will. But if you want to reduce your body fat by 10%, 90 days from now, then you will do that. If some day you want to own a house and have a kid, then some day you will. But if you want to own a house and have a two-year old by the time you are 35, then you will.

You need a deadline. You need something to look forward to. You need something that you can break down into smaller and smaller parts until you know what you need to do today, and tomorrow. This is how you can be happy today, before you’ve achieved your vision, knowing that your actions have meaning and are leading you to the life you want.

Don’t tie yourself down to one future.

Who knows what opportunities will happen between now and then? Who knows what you will learn about yourself between now and then? A vision is a guide. A way for you to know that the actions you are taking today are leading to something. A way to stay inspired. You vision helps you take meaningful action and gives your action meaning. And it’s yours. It can be whatever you want, whenever you want.

Do it again tomorrow.

More importantly than anything else, if you want to change something, if you’ve been inspired to take action, you have to do it again tomorrow. Some days that’s going to be you following your plan. Some days it’s going to be you throwing the plan out the window and giving up, and trying again tomorrow. Keep trying to stick to your plan or don’t care so much and switch it up. Just don’t give up on what inspired you. Keep taking action so that everyday you can live the life you want now. Like right now.

Coffee and Notebook photo licensed under the Creative Commons.

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Anna Dooley

Anna Dooley

Anna learned about Paleo in the summer of 2011. After gaining and losing the “freshman 15” multiple times through college, it was after graduation that she realized something was wrong with her beliefs about health. The Paleo community set her on the path to real health, introducing her to new and better ideas about functional […]

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