Stop Planning, Start Doing, and Achieve More!

Do you have some aspirations that are beyond your current capabilities? It’s natural to dream of things that you want to do someday, but currently can’t. However, to realize your dreams, at some point you must stop planning and start taking action.
While planning is an important part of bringing your dreams to life, avoid dedicating more time to the mental preparation than to action. If you spend your entire life planning for the future, then when will you actually start living?

Try these strategies to help jumpstart your goal-achieving actions:
1. Actions speak louder than words. You’ve probably heard this statement before, but have you really considered the meaning? Taking action and achieving are more powerful than simply planning for the future. Start taking steps in the right direction while planning, instead of waiting for every detail of your plan to be complete.

* Keep in mind that you can accomplish your goals as long as you’re moving in a forward direction. It may take some time, depending on how large your goal is, but moving forward will get you where you want to be. Taking action, regardless of how small, moves you forward.

2. Consider the language you use. Which is more effective, “I am going to lose weight,” or “I am losing weight”? How about the difference between “I am planning on going to school,” and “I am currently attending school”? The differences in these statements may have a profound impact on whether you’re actually going somewhere, or just thinking about it.

* Try this: Rather than saying “I am going to lose weight” (which is something you could say for years without shedding a pound!), take action to lose a little weight; then say: “I have dropped a few pounds and I am still going!”

3. Break goals into smaller bites. Rather than creating a lengthy plan that will take several years to fully realize, why not break your goals into smaller pieces that you can achieve one at a time? Setting goals too far into the future can hamper your ability to take small steps in the right direction now.

* For example, say you want to lose 100 pounds. Try setting goals to lose 1% of your body weight per week until you reach your final goal. Achieving several weight loss goals over a period of time will help keep you motivated rather than struggling endlessly for that one far-off goal.
* Perhaps you want to achieve something over a period of time, such as graduating from college in four years. In this case, you can break your goals into quarters or semesters. This will help you feel a sense of success with your progress as you work toward the larger goal of graduating with a degree.

Sometimes you may feel challenged to build the momentum you need to achieve goals and get where you want to be in life. Raise your standards and expect action from yourself instead of just thoughts and words.

If you’re struggling to move from planning to actual accomplishments, try breaking your goals into smaller pieces. You’ll be amazed at how motivational a little success can be!

 

How to Fight Depression with Exercise

Is turning to therapy and medication the most effective solution for fighting depression? Studies are beginning to show that you can fight depression at home with a change in your activity level.

It’s true! Physical activity can have a profound impact on your ability to overcome what ails you. If you’re feeling depressed, it might be time to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle.

Exercise comes in many different forms and you can find a regimen that fits you. Avoid overdoing it when it comes to exercise; just ease into some physical activity and see how you feel.

Try these effective strategies to fight depression with exercise:

1.      Experience the runner’s high. Following a good workout, your body will experience what is known as a runner’s high, which results from an endorphin surge in your body. The temporary mood lift that this endorphin surge provides can be beneficial in reducing depression on a short-term basis.

  • When you’re feeling tense, overwhelmed, or down in general, seek a temporary pick me up in the form of a workout. Go for a short walk, hop on a treadmill or elliptical, or ride your bicycle. Even yoga, Pilates, and strength training workouts can provide you with a boost of endorphins to pick up your mood.
  • Working out for at least 30 minutes to combat symptoms of depression can also provide you with a boost in energy and concentration, which can reduce some of the negative feelings associated with depression.

2.      Improve your overall well being. Strength training is a great way to improve your health and well being, which can reduce symptoms of depression. Lifting dumbbells, for example, can build long, lean muscle, which improves metabolism and builds a stronger and healthier body.

  • While strength training may not directly impact your depression symptoms, its ability to improve your health can have long-term effects on your overall well being.

3.      Exercise daily. Exercise at least 30 minutes each day, six days per week. According to the Journal of Preventive Medicine, several weeks after you establish this regular exercise routine, you’ll begin to feel relief of your depression symptoms on a much more consistent basis.

4.      Replace medications with exercise. The Journal of Preventive Medicine recently featured a study of patients with depression who worked out for at least 3 hours per week. This study found that the remission of these patients’ symptoms was comparable to cognitive behavioral therapies and medication treatments.

  • While exercise may not be able to completely replace your need for other treatment options, it can benefit your mental well being in many ways, making it an excellent way to balance the therapies that you rely on for relief.
  • If you’re currently in treatment or taking medication, discuss any changes in therapy or medications with your doctor before you change them.

5.      Develop a routine. Developing a regular routine for exercise can have numerous benefits. Not only will you be combating your depression with exercise itself, but also having a routine to look forward to can boost your spirits and ward off the overwhelming feelings of depression.

The Bottom Line

Depression can negatively impact your life in many ways. Experiment with different therapy and treatment options to get the help you need. Exercise is a great way to reduce the symptoms associated with depression: helping to clear your mind and improve your energy, while also giving you a general sense of well being.

If you don’t already have a regular exercise regimen and you’re suffering from depression, then this is a treatment option that is well worth considering. It may work well in conjunction with current treatment options or it may replace those treatment options altogether. Please consult with your physician to learn more.