5 Things That Stop Us Taking Action (And What To Do About It)

how to take actionThere are many reasons we don’t take action – a lack of clarity, focus or vision, physical or emotional distraction, a lack of time or energy, a lack of will – the list is long!

If you’re struggling to take action in an area you know you should, try to figure out exactly why it is you’re not taking action.

Use this list to try to identify your reason for your lack of action.

Do you lack:

  • Time
  • Physical Energy
  • Vision (the big picture)
  • Focus (short-term attention)
  • Motivation

If you lack any of the things listed above then you can achieve them using self-discipline to build new habits.


Freeing up more time for yourself may mean creating more “you time” on a daily basis, which may mean getting up earlier or setting as little as 20 minutes aside per day to form a new routine.

Often the thought of adding something new into our daily schedule seems daunting but in reality we can often find 20 minutes, which when used well is enough to form a new habit – more on this shortly!

Physical Energy

Often confused with time, a lack of physical energy is a common reason for a lack of productivity. The more energy we have, the more we can get done in a any block of time – we can work with a greater intensity and greater efficiency.

Improving and optimising our physical energy is an ongoing process of refinement and balance of our physical exercise, nutrition, rest and rejuvenation practices. If we lack any one of these things we can easily get out of balance and our energy can drop.

Spend time learning about your body – the foods that give you the most long-term energy, the times of day that you’re the most productive, the optimum amount and type of exercise that works best for you to bring you the most energy.

Once you have this information you’ll have much more control of your body and you’ll be able optimise your physical energy for maximum productivity.

Vision (Long-Term Focus)

Without a clear vision of where we want to be, we lack direction. This means that we might be really productive in the short-term but without an overall direction of travel we can end up going in circles, which in turn affects motivation.

Setting clear long-term goals and reminding ourselves of why we have set these goals is key to improving our ability to take action over the long-term.

Focus (Short-term)

Short-term focus is achieved through a combination of physical energy, having a task to complete and lack of distraction. Knowing exactly what you need to do, the physical energy to do it and an environment that allows it to happen will help to keep you focused.

It’s also common to be distracted internally. If there is a something going around in your head that you need to deal with, either deal with it before trying to be productive or acknowledge that you’re preoccupied and put a strategy in place to help you with it long-term. Sometimes time out is the answer!


If you have all of the things listed above in place but you still find yourself not taking action then now is the time to use self-discipline to take one action that we can turn into a new habit.

Choosing one action to make per day (regardless of whether you feel like it or not) is the key to forming a new habit, and if you repeat this action everyday for at least 30 days you will start to make this action habitually.

Remember, willpower can be limited so using it to form new habits is a great way to break yourself out of a rut. The good part is that once you’re moving, you’ll pick up momentum which will make things a lot easier for you.

Learn More

If you’re interested in learning more about self-discipline and building habits I go into much more depth in my free report, which you can download below…




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.