As I write this, it's a month before I turn 60.  There's something about a birthday with a zero in it that gets me thinking about things I want to do and actions I want to take but haven't yet.

 A bucket list may sound a bit trite, but having something in writing makes it seem more real to me. Some of the things on my list are big such as travelling round New Zealand. Some are much smaller, like experiencing a Sound Bath (Sound Bath: What It Is, How It Helps, and More (

I've written before about procrastination and ways I am overcoming this life-long habit.  Since writing those blogs, Mel Robbins, an international expert in confidence and motivation, has produced a very interesting podcast on procrastination, which is well worth a listen (The Only Way to Stop Procrastinating (Based on Research) | The Mel Robbins Podcast).

The most important antidote to procrastination is taking the action that will move you forward; whatever moving forward entails. For me, it includes taking consistent action to market my coaching business, for example posting in various forms of social media and by talking to people. On a more mundane level, it's also doing housework.  I work from home and am constantly surprised (!) at how dusty and generally untidy my small house gets.  Often that surprise and accompanying disappointment is as far as it goes. Then I can stand it no longer and have a bit of a blitz, then fall into a heap on the sofa. In both cases I often think about how I could do things better and more consistently and even I brainstorm ideas, usually on post-it notes.

Research around the science of taking action has demonstrated that generating ideas is a common way of seeking to create something or to solve a problem. However, very often they stay as ideas on the post-it notes, flip chart page or as lists.  Researchers have found that  action is like a muscle which needs to be exercised consistently. When we commit to learning something new it takes time and practice to hone our skills and the more we practice the better we get. This is true of taking action; rather than sitting on ideas we need to do something about them.

Often people who come up with great ideas decide to set aside time later as they tell themselves that the conditions aren't quite right now. However, these ‘conditions' sometimes never happen so the idea never become an action.  So, committing to take action straight away is the way to turn an idea into action.

Also, it's very often easier to generate actions for other people's ideas, so getting feedback from other people on your ideas or problems is a great way to come up with actions you might not have thought of.  The important thing is then to take action!

Mel Robbins created the 5 Second Rule when she was going through a very difficult time in her life. She was so depressed she could barely get out of bed in the morning and her life was falling apart. The 5 Second Rule changed everything for her, for the better. Taking action is only one of many things the Rule can be used for.  In her book The 5 Second Rule, she explains the science behind why it works and has hundreds of examples of how it has helped people in so many ways.  It all starts with the individual deciding to take one action-counting down from 5 to 1 - 5,4,3,2,1 then taking the action. For Mel it started with getting out of bed when the alarm went off.  In her book she says:

‘The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you'.

The 5 Second Rule ? Mel Robbins - Bing video

Our environment- our physical space or location- has an impact on how effective we are at taking action. Identifying a specific space that is different from where we normally do other activities can generate what has been termed an ‘implementation mindset'. We identify that space with undertaking a specific activity, which could be a large time-consuming task, and when we are in that space, we get on and take action on we need to do.

I'm intend implement these ideas for taking action. So, for the marketing I need to do for my work I am going to use a space that isn't my office. For my housework I am going to ask people how they approach their housework to get some different ideas and the act on them! I took a pause from writing this blog and emailed a therapist who offers Sound Baths about possible dates and I am going to plan an itinerary for New Zealand even though it's probably 5 years away. That feels like taking action around something I really want. I use the 5 Second Rule for a number of things, including getting out of bed when I would rather press the snooze button. I have always liked the idea of doing some work in a coffee shop, so should I ever decide to write articles or even a book that might be the space I identify! 



As a coach I work with people who might be unsure of what actions they need to take to move them forward, or where they want to go next in their life.  Email me at if you want to find out more about how I can help you be clear on what you want and how to get it.