Good Intentions, But No Action. What Happened?

Confession time:  I had really good intentions to keep posting on this blog during the month of October.  But there was absolutely NO ACTION!  Nope, not one posting.  What happened?

It would probably be more interesting to write that something catastrophic happened to me.  Maybe I broke my fingers and I couldn’t type? Maybe I got really really sick and was unable to think? Maybe I was trapped on a desert island with no access to the internet?  Nope. I have to confess that nothing of the sort happened to me.

The truth is that I didn’t practice all the tools that one needs to do regularly to turn intentions to actions.  

In the 1970s, psychologists thought that a strong behavioral intention almost certainly led to producing a behavior.  This hypothesis formed the basis for of a theory entitled “The Theory of Reasoned Action” (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975, 1980).

Accordingly, it was theorized that behaviour was produced from a strong intention which resulted from the combination of a positive attitude about the behaviour and a social rule that people do that behavior.  In other words, if you wanted a loved one to exercise, it would be important for your loved one to like (positive attitude) the nature of exercise (or at least like what outcomes could result from exercising – like a fit and toned body) and be in an environment where associated friends and family members were also exercising.  In these conditions, your loved one would develop a strong intention to exercise, and poof, begin to exercise.

As Walt Kelly (the american cartoonist of Pogo) stated “It is not good enough for things to be planned – they still have to be done; for the intention to become a reality, energy has to be launched into operation.

As we know, human behaviour is complex.  Just because one wants to and intends to exercise (or write in her blog on a regular basis), doesn’t necessarily mean that one will actually do that. Moving from intention to actual behaviour, particularly complicated behaviours like exercising and writing in a blog, involves a bit more than (a) liking the behavior, and (b) being in a conducive social environment.  Over the next few weeks I will be exploring why transposing intentions into actions is complex issue, and what are some tools we can regularly use to help us commit to TAKING ACTION.

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