100 Days of Action

I like words. I like to write about life, talk about feelings, and think lots of thoughts about why things are the way they are.

I am less likely to do than I am to say.

Last week, when I was thinking about my jealousy over other people’s success, I recalled the most basic method for overcoming such feelings: concentrate on your own work. Sounds simple enough, but when I turn my eye towards my own efforts and progress, I often get caught up in thinking and writing and talking about them.

Am I good enough to succeed? I wonder.

Are my goals authentic? I ask.

What’s wrong with me?

I spend time worrying about what’s wrong with me, and then more time convincing myself that I am fine. It’s a long and arduous process that can feel like success when it’s over.

But endless pondering and analyzing is not enough to affect real change or make substantial progress.  While the pen is mighty, it is also a favorite form of procrastination and a convenient way to distract myself from all that I’m not doing.

The scary things. The tedious things. The hard and monotonous and grown-up things that must be done if we want to have what others have and be who we imagine ourselves to be.

I say this without judgment: I am not good at follow through.

I love planning, dreaming, creating systems, and making grand announcements. I don’t like picking up the phone, pulling out the paperwork, or sitting my butt in the chair.

Last week I decided to be better than that.

No, to do better than that.

The simple truth is that I am good enough, and I know it. I’ve spent countless hours and thousands of dollars in therapy, and not a moment or a penny has been wasted. I am worthy and there’s nothing wrong with me. There’s nothing inherently broken on the inside, no mysterious flaw that keeps me from success or achievement.

Neither am I lacking the know-how. I don’t know everything, but I know enough. I’ve read the books, attended the conferences, and taken the classes necessary. I don’t need more research to propel me forward right now.

The only thing left is to do.

I started thinking about how I might be able to create a habit of doing what must be done. When creating any habit, I know that repetition and consistency are key. What if, I wondered, I resolved to take action in some meaningful way every single day?

I decided to test out my idea last week. I was curious if the idea was at all practical; would I run out of actions to take? Would the structure of a “project” interfere with the doing or actually push me over that initial hump?

I completed the unpleasant assignment. I typed the chapters. I followed through on my promise to teach my daughter to sew. I contacted potential sponsors for a PTA event. I did the things that were not necessarily unpleasant, but that required me to walk more than talk.

I’ve decided to continue.

100 Days of Action

For the next 100 days, I’ll take action. Some will be big, some will be small. Some will be for work, some for money, some for clarity, some for community, and some for family. Some will simply be to make more space in my medicine cabinet. The goal itself is not the focus but rather becoming the person who does what is necessary.

My plan is to record the actions with a snapshot and collect the photos on Flickr and Facebook. I want to be able to look back on what 100 small steps can create. Also, I think I’m more likely to force myself to find one action to take every single day if I know I’m keeping track and sharing the evidence.

So, here we go. 100 days of action. 100 steps taken and not just talked about.

Here’s to walking the walk.

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  1. kick ass, mamma!
    hello haha narf’s most recent post: Adventure in Tahn

  2. Naomi says:

    You go girl! Love the concept of #100steps ! Hmm … that would actually help me knock off a bunch of the things I need to do … may I join you?
    Naomi’s most recent post: Box 53b

  3. Megan says:

    Go you! I can’t wait to see what you do! xo
    Megan’s most recent post: 2013: Evolution

  4. Carly says:

    Rock on, woman! You are like, PROPELLED. Whereas, when I have a day of bummed-ness, it takes me a week to recover…you kick off a project to take action every day! Inspiring, to say the least.

  5. Lisa says:

    I love this! I am also a professional procrastinator so I am going to give this a try too, on a smaller scale. I think a week to start with. So how did you decide the things to do? Did you make a list of the things you’ve been avoiding and tackle that?
    Lisa’s most recent post: So I Went to Pittsburgh

  6. Sulagna says:

    Very clear and practical, Britt.
    You’ve opened my eyes up to how we can take baby steps and achieve our big goals, only if we follow through on our commitments to ourselves.
    Sulagna’s most recent post: 11 Proven Ways to Keep Your Relationship as Fresh, New and Exciting as Your First Date

  7. Ceph says:

    Great idea!! I’ll join you!

  8. Dave2 says:

    And here I thought my 100 Days of Chocolate Pudding was revolutionary. I am totally humbled. Best of luck on your 100 steps! No matter how big the steps and no matter far they take you, any journey moving forward is a journey worth taking.
    Dave2′s most recent post: Curious

  9. Louise says:

    i’ll shorten it to 50 days
    Louise’s most recent post: How to Use the Law of Attraction in Your Business?

  10. [...] more about trying to become a perfect person, which drove me nuts. Still, I admired her resolve to actually do something rather than just theorize. In the end, I didn’t hate the book or Gretchen, and I appreciated [...]

  11. Yes! New to your blog here; so happy I found it! I am also terrible at follow-through. I’ve got a million systems in place, and I will rock the creation of a to-do list, and then… nothing. Have you read The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg? Fantastic read.
    Good luck to you!
    Melissa@Total_Mama’s most recent post: Two Fabulous Ways to Start Your Day

  12. [...] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}When I challenged myself to take action every day for 100 consecutive days, my goal was to create a habit of walking the walk. I said I was going to take action. It [...]

  13. [...] addthis_share = [];}Yesterday was my 33rd birthday, and it was fabulous. I took the day off from taking action and indulged in whatever the heck I felt like doing in the moment. I was also treated to some [...]

  14. Amber says:

    Go, you!

    Pam Slim did a blog that I saw once about staring each day by ‘swallowing a frog’. She meant doing an unpleasant task you’re avoiding. I see the wisdom in this, because I spend a lot of energy avoiding unpleasant tasks. Still, so far, I haven’t been able to motivate myself to do it. Maybe I need to start small – commit to 10 days of action and go from there.
    Amber’s most recent post: Podcast: Talking Blogging with Annie of PhD in Parenting

  15. […] the 7th of January, 2013, my friend Britt posted about 100 action steps. She had surmised that instead of making New Year’s Resolutions, she needed to instead spend […]

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