Mood follows action is a saying that I most likely read somewhere on Instagram or in a personal development book and it has stuck with me. Take action and your mood will follow.
It's a simple concept when you take time to think about it. If you have been following me for awhile, you know I am a big fan of the Compound Effect by Darren Hardy and the principles behind it. Actions do not need to be huge in order to make a great impact. I actually think that making them small makes them feel less overwhelming and intimidating. When you begin to stack your small actions to create new habits, well, that's when the big change happens.
This is exactly how I accomplished my success with weight-loss after years and years of trying and failing. For so long I was trying to jump into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim. It wasn't until 2009 when I got tired of my own shit that I made lasting change and I did it by starting with small actions. I had never heard of mood follows action back then, but I was living this principle daily. I implemented small changes that would help me get to my goal and I wouldn't add a new one in until the first one felt like second nature. I used this technique of habit stacking with movement and nutrition and as I took new action each time, my mood followed to reinforce what I was doing and things became easier.
In full honestly, I did not always like the action I was doing. There were mornings I didn't want to get up and move my body and there were nights when I just wanted to sit on the couch with a pint of ice-cream because my day sucked and that was the habit I created to cope with days like that. But when I would compare the mood I was experiencing with the actions, my new action almost always won out. (Hey, I'm human, there are nights the ice-cream won!)
Fun Fact: #FailForward became a mantra for me around 2018 as I faced major life change and essentially had to start over in life. It serves as a reminder that no matter what hardship you encounter, there is a lesson for you within it. That lesson is what you need in order to take the next step toward your vision and keep the forward momentum going! So don't fear failure...embrace it because it's going to help you!
This act of stacking small habits over time might seem like the long route to get to your goal, and it is. But the there is power in patience and the reward for it is holding onto that success for the long haul, because these actions become part of who you are!
Fast forward from 2009 to 2021 and it is still working for me. I have deeply rooted habits when it comes to health and fitness (although I am not as religious with them as I once was). I have found a "balance" that works for me with them and this allows me to apply the mood follows action principle to other areas in my life.
I've mentioned this before and I am by no means gloating but 2021, while a tough year for many, was one of my best years. I believe that it had a lot to do with the actions that I took and how it influenced my mood. I began looking at a "bucket list" that sat in my notebooks forever and decided that nothing was going to change unless I made it change (enter some action). As a result, we booked trips, visited new places and that first trip in March 2021 ended up sparking a major life change for me. The action of that March trip fueled my mood so much, that a later planned trip to CA turned into a cross country road trip for my son and I. An experience that scared me at first, but one that I will never forget and I believe changed me in the process.
Mood follows action.
Like all decisions in life, mood follows action can also work in a negative way. There have been plenty of actions that I have made in life that I wish my mood didn't follow and left me in a dark spot, but I believe those experiences helped me to become the person that I am today. Every struggle with money, debt, body image, employment, feeling that I was never enough, anxiety and divorce after almost 20 years of marriage made me the woman that I am today.
If I didn't take the small actions during my life and move my mood along with them, I may never have become the confident and resilient woman who, during that trip to Sedona in March of 2021, felt a pull to make her dream of moving out west after spending her entire life on the east coast, come true in only 6 months!
While change typically takes time, it can also happen really quickly once you make a decision to do something. A small change can prompt a profound mood change that just propels your life forward. This is the principle that visualization and the law of attraction talk about - I won't get woo-woo on you today but I will say that I firmly believe in it, especially after the last 11 months.
So are YOU ready to take action and coax your mood to follow? If you are unsure, I urge you to ask yourself why and then dig deep into that answer. Today can 100% be your day 1, and I am not saying that because I believe we need to positive all time. I might preach positivity but that is only because in the state of the world today, it is so easy to be depressed and not see the good that is out there...and that good starts with you!
Today can be that day the you ask yourself what you really want and then get your mood to follow action! Are you ready?
(If you think you're ready but are not sure where to start, feel free to reach out to me! I will be offering 1:1 coaching soon and would love chat and see if I would be a good fit to help you get started.)