Olivier Poirier-Leroy is a former national level swimmer based out of Victoria, BC. In feeding his passion for swimming, he has developed YourSwimBook, a powerful log book and goal setting guide made specifically for swimmers. Sign up for the YourSwimBook newsletter (free) and get weekly motivational tips by clicking here.
Finding yourself getting stuck with your training? Want to build momentum like a locomotive so that you enter each practice ready to knock the main set right off the whiteboard? What you need is some good old fashioned action.
The road to mediocrity is paved with good intentions. We can have the wildest of dreams, goals with scope that are almost impossible to describe, but without one foundational element they all just hang up there in the ether. To not only kickstart the process towards achieving your goals, but to sustain forward progress and momentum you need action.
Planning is easy. It is safe. When given the choice between chasing after our goals and learning, planning and thinking about them, the safe choice is always the latter one. With no action, we risk nothing.
“An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Here are seven reasons that taking action is the key to building the kind of momentum that will send you hurtling towards your swimming goals at light speed:
1. It has the effect of inspiring more action.
Action, no matter how small, feeds itself. The baby steps get bigger, and with the confidence of seeing yourself propel forwards you grow bolder and ever more audacious.
2. Taking action commits you to the process.
When you are on the outside looking in, not taking those first few precious steps, you aren’t truly committed ot the goal at hand. Saying you want something isn’t doing something about it. But when you do take that first step, no matter how big or small, it’s a signal of commitment that you are however tenuously ready to head down that path.
3. Action opens up other possibilities.
Sitting, waiting and planning leaves you with a very narrow window of forward progression. When you consistently plod forward, you’ll find that opportunities that you didn’t foresee present themselves. You cannot always see what is around the corner when you act.
4. Acting allows you to (smartly) fail.
Want to know what the fastest route to getting what you want? Getting the failures and mistakes out of the way as quick as possible. And you can only get past them by making them (and learning from them, otherwise you’re just hitting your head against the wall for no purpose). Purposeful and consistent action will propel you forward in one way or another, so use it as a tool to narrow your focus on the things that will help you succeed.
When we lurch forward into the unknown we are in a little bit in the dark. We have an idea of where we want to go, but truthfully we aren’t sure exactly how the journey is going to look. Action fills in the gaps, shows you the bumps and bruises, the wrong roads and the right roads to take. Sure, action can leave you bruised, but it sure beats standing at the starting line, endlessly musing about how you are going to accomplish your goals.
5. It will reveal your character and true grit.
We never really know who we are until we do something until we take those fateful first few steps (which we inevitably look back and wonder why we waited so long to make). Sure, we can imagine the athlete and person we want to be, we can daydream about how awesome we would like to be, but until we do something to back that up it is all just fairy dust in our brains.
“Do you want to know who you are? Do not ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.” – Thomas Jefferson
6. It’s the litmus test for people who say they want success, and people who want success.
Sure, success looks great and fun and rewarding, but what about all of that icky stuff between now and there? What is all that stuff? It doesn’t look like it smells like very much fun. It will always be easy to say that you want success, but will you be one of the few that purposefully acts towards it?
7. Gives you the power.
Action has the intoxicating side effect of making us feel like we are – no matter how gingerly – the captains of our ships. For as long as we act, and purposefully move forward, we have attained some measure of control over our lives and our goals in the pool. Action has a way of cutting through the clutter, the excuses, and laying bare what it will take for you to achieve your dreams.
“Every day is your day if you claim it.” – Iyanla Vanzant
YourSwimBook is a log book and goal setting guide designed specifically for competitive swimmers. It includes a ten month log book, comprehensive goal setting section, monthly evaluations to be filled out with your coach, and more. Learn 8 more reasons why this tool kicks butt.
NEW: We now have motivational swimming posters. Five of ’em, actually.
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