“Positive Action” Gets Results – Not Positive Thinking

June 24, 2009

I am naturally a pretty positive and upbeat person, but don’t buy into the whole positive thinking movement. The way I look at achieving goals like getting in great shape or building a successful business is that it is positive actions that matter most.

Simply do the actions necessary to reaching your goals, and forget how you feel. What I found is that the proper actions always lead me to feeling better anyway. My advice about getting in shape is that sometimes you will feel like exercising and sometimes you won’t. Make sure and exercise either way!

positive action

[Thinking about getting fit and doing what it takes to get fit are two very different things. It is great to learn and to discuss fitness, but make sure you become a person of action as well. You need to take consistent action to get great results.]

I Like to Keep it Simple – Do the Actions it Takes to Succeed

Want to lose weight, then eat less than you burn. Learn some advanced strategies, like outlined on this site, to accelerate your progress. Once you learn the proper steps, simply begin “doing” them (not great English…I know). Regardless of your mood, do what it takes to reach your target. Don’t over-analyze, start moving toward your goals and learn as you go.

Often it is Your Mind That Will Follow Your Body

There are many times that I don’t feel like working out, until I begin to workout. It is funny how it works. How can you “feel” like exercising by exercising.

I am convinced that your mind will follow what your body is doing. It isn’t true 100% of the time, but more often than not…it is the case. I’m sure many of you have experienced this as well.

What If You Really Don’t Feel Like Exercising?

Here is how I push myself to complete any action even if I don’t “feel” like doing that particular action.

  • I ask myself what most people would do given the exact same circumstance.
  • The answer is that most people would simply allow themselves to be talked into doing nothing due to their mood.
  • I remind myself that in order to be extraordinary at anything I need to do what others are unwilling to do

To me, this is just using logic. I realize that the difference between success and failure is almost always lack of “positive action”. Obviously the correct actions need to be taken, but that isn’t the main reason why people fail…lack of action is.

What Will Make It Easier for You To Take Positive Action?

To me, you need to find ways to make sure you take positive action. This post isn’t against positive thinking. In fact, if that causes you to take positive action…I’m all for it.

Find out what works for you. Some people work well if they reward themselves for positive action…others work better on punishment if they don’t do something. I remember reading somewhere about a person who said they would eat a can of cat food if they cheated on their diet.

The bottom line is to figure out what it takes for you to take positive action on a consistent basis.

Three Action-Oriented Blogs I Think You Should Subscribe To

Zen Habits: Leo, the author of this site reads Fitness Black Book…but it isn’t why I am listing his site here. He has achieved a ton of accomplishments in a short period of time and outlines his way of thinking which made it easy for him to do so. Read My Story (a bit about Leo), to see what I mean! I love learning from do-er’s! Very entertaining writing as well.

Steve Pavlina’s – Personal Development For Smart People: Another site dedicated to achieving goals without getting super “spacey”. Okay he does get a little mystical at times, but most of the time it is just solid info to motivate you to take action. What I like best is that he has recorded an amazing amount of content. Click “Audio” underneath the header graphic at the top of the site to see what I mean.

The Positivity Blog: Henrik Edberg and The Positivity Blog is one of the sites that I modeled my blog after. He writes entertaining posts, tells stories and really puts himself out-there. His blog is a “best of” when it comes to achieving goals and happiness. I enjoy how his posts are entertaining and to the point. I make it a point to visit a few times per week.

Happiness – What Does it Mean to Live a Happy Life: This is just one of the best articles I’ve read on the subject of happiness. Really, the reason we try and hit goals in the first place is to increase our happiness, right?

Note: As always…let’s continue this conversation in the comment section.

I’m really excited by all of the action this site has recently received. What motivates you to take action? What has been a sticking point?

----> (New) Facebook Comments..."Cause all the cool kids are doin' it!"

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael - Fat Loss Reviews June 24, 2009 at 10:41 pm

Interesting topic choice Rusty. I’ve read a bunch of titles about personal strategies for success and positive thinking. The title that stands out recently is Fit Over 40 by Jon Benson and highly recommend to all regardless of age.

The most important strategy I try and employ currently is surrounding myself with people who support my goals and are positive in nature. Time is too short to have you energy zapped by people who are skeptical and generally “glass half empty” thinkers. Stay positive and enjoy the company of all who make you feel good!

Mike June 24, 2009 at 11:27 pm

How can you buy into the whole positve thinking idea? If I thought positively all the time then I would have found a positive thought about my gut and never would have lost the 25lbs that I dropped this year. Sure you may have to push yourself to do your workout and push yourself to eat that chicken breast instead of the pizza.

Granted, there has to be a lot of positive thinking, but not so much where you are fooling yourself. Positve thinking with a lot of hard work will help you reach your goals. Now that is Positive Action!!

Venkat June 24, 2009 at 11:49 pm

This post came at the right time. It is 8:45 pm and I am watching my 3 yr old son till my wife comes home from work. I was flip flopping whether I wanted to do a treadmill HIIT session or not after she gets home and this article convinced me to go for it. It is difficult to motivate yourself after a long day at work and taking care of a high energy toddler….but you gotta keep trying. Keep up the good work!

Rafi Bar-Lev June 25, 2009 at 12:18 am


No way. I was just about to post about taking action on my site, but you beat me to it. That’s probably why you make the big bucks!

Anyway, I 100% agree with you. I often have no desire to work out until I actually do it, at which point I start enjoying it.

I actually use a different trick than you to get myself going. I say to myself, “What would everyone else do in this situation? Every single other person would get up and succeed, so go do it.”

By looking at only the successful people and making it seem like everyone would do it, it makes it much easier to do things, since it doesn’t seem like a big deal. (I also used this mental trick in the army!)

Great post. Also, thanks for the nice comment you left on my blog.

Rafi Bar-Lev

sangita June 25, 2009 at 5:17 am

I so agree! I now dont miss my work outs that often because I know that about 10 minutes into it I find my groove and really can pump it up a few notches! And this when I was feeling totally down and out before the workout. Its really all about the knows of momentum is’nt it? Once you start the ball rolling, after the initial resistance it keeps going. Also I like your point about keeping it simple. Your’s and Tom Venutos site are two places where you guys have cut through all the confusing jargon and have got your point across. You have a great way of putting things Rusty. Its one thing to know your stuff. Totally another to get a bunch of lay people to understand it.
I am not going to eat any cat food but in my commnet on your previous post I said I would incorporate the circuits you described in my routine. So if I don’t want to come off as insincere I better just do it!

Henrik June 25, 2009 at 5:20 am

Thanks for the mention and the kind words, Rusty! 🙂

Great post! I totally agree, positive thinking without taking positive action – even when you don’t feel like it – may make you feel good for a while but it will not give your the results you want.

When I don’t feel doing like something at this moment I tend to just disregard those thoughts and I just do it anyway. Like you said, I know what is right logically so I do it. And I know that a lot of my thoughts are simply babbling nonsense looping around and around. There is no need to take them too seriously a lot of the time.

Anton June 25, 2009 at 5:25 am

Nice article to get us all off our bottoms, thank you!

“Often it is Your Mind That Will Follow Your Body” – this is very true. I once read of a muscle feedback – when smiling, for example, even if you don’t feel like smiling, the brain gets feedback from the muscles, and cheers up a little.

So when we start exercising, eventually we can feel like doing it, you are very right. Starting doing it is the key, not waiting for the mood.

Greg at Live Fit June 25, 2009 at 6:23 am

I couldn’t agree more. The simple act of considering an action doesn’t make that action into reality. It takes well thought out activity. Not necessarily intense activity, but steady determination before progress will be observed.

Grok June 25, 2009 at 6:40 am

“in order to be extraordinary at anything I need to do what others are unwilling to do”

Exactly! Well said Rusty. That could have been a one sentence post.

Mindbodygoal June 25, 2009 at 9:22 am

I personally think that the mind plays a massive role in the success of any fitness endeavour, and yes positive action is what gets you to where you want to be.

But let’s not forget the environment in which we are posting, that being a fitness site with i dare say most of the posters being somewhat into fitness and working out.

For those who perhaps have never worked out before, or have low self esteem issues which may prevent them entering the gym, then positive thinking, visualisation or whatever can be a very useful tool.

rachel June 25, 2009 at 9:34 am

great post, i agree totally.
before i learned about IFing,HIITing, and all the effective methods you and others educate about, i was swimming in positive thinking. i had oodles of determination, drive, desire.

what was missing was proper information about how to access the physical energy needed to take the positive actions. thats why sites like this are so essential to taking action.

thanks rusty!

Joe June 25, 2009 at 9:35 am

Another bullseye Rusty. At 50 believe me its is very easy to want to say no to HIIT or circuit training routines especially at 5:30 am. You need to find something that motivates you. There is nothing more motivating than walking in to work after a shower knowing that the hardest part of your day is over, and you did something great for your health as you watch the rest of pack come in chugging their capaccinos and scarfing down donuts. 3-5 coffees later they are finally energized enough to go for their 15 minute lunch time walk before going for that “Happy Meal” or “personal pan” with diet coke- only to be crashing from exhaustion ~2:00PM, asking “how do you do it?” WTF?? You hit the nail on the head, you gotta do what other’s won’t. Like everything else MENTAL TOUGHNESS will carry the day. So many times I have found that staying with something is what makes you successfull, not being perfect at what you do. So, even though you may not be turning in ever improving run times or throwing the weights around like rag dolls, the fact that you do it consistantly will show results. POSITIVE ACTION

Amen Rusty

Rena Reese June 25, 2009 at 9:48 am

Thanks for the great blog suggestions!

Terry June 25, 2009 at 9:59 am

I like your whole idea of “positive action.” Positive thinking is fine but if you don’t do anything it hardly matters.

You made me think about the people I know and how those who take action are the happiest because they accomplish their goals. The others just seem to sit around whining and grating on your nerves.

Good post. More inspiration.

Patrick June 25, 2009 at 10:22 am

Hey Rusty,
I also have many days that i get to the gym and don’t feel like exercising, as much as i like it, my body just doesn’t respond until i get started, and then im into it. I think for me my mindset is that I simply accept the fact that I need to put myself through hell everyday for an hour or so and that is just the way it is. I think about how many people go to the gym and just go through the motions, talk, or look at their phones. It motivates me to think that nobody else is willing to put themselves through hell consistently day in and day out.

NancyJ June 25, 2009 at 11:08 am

Rusty, great motivating thought…so I am going to chime in, too…

Yes, I agree… I have to just make myself do the hard stuff –especially exercise routines…if I let myself think about it too much ahead of time, I will find some reason why I could delay the action and then never get around to it.

Procrastination is too easy if you let your mind and thoughts control your actions. The intitiation needs to come from some other source… namely YOUR COMMITMENT TO YOUR GOAL!

And of course, we all know that commitments work best when they are GOALS WRITTEN DOWN in advance!

justin June 25, 2009 at 11:10 am


I completely agree with you on this front, and am reminded of an out of print book by William Glasser called “Control Theory” justinowings.com/b/reading.php/control-theory-by-william-glasser. One of the book’s takeaways is that we typically have four responses to any given event, what we think, feel, how we respond physiologically, and what we do. Of the four, we can only really control what we do.

As applied to your write-up, when we don’t feel like working out, it’s hard to think or feel our way into doing it anyway. Better to just accept our lack of motivation and workout anyway. Our feelings and thinking will come around after the fact.

Seems like another trick to positive action is to set up triggers or reminders. For example, set a trigger that when you open the pantry door, you have to take three deep breaths and ask yourself “am I actually hungry or am I just bored and wanting to snack?” This pause may be enough to re-exert control and close the pantry door — walk away. Such a trigger might also help combat mindless eating (per your other recent post!).

justin June 25, 2009 at 11:12 am

(My first attempt to comment seemed to fail — just showing up as blank, so trying again! Apologies if its a duplicate!)


I completely agree with you on this front, and am reminded of an out of print book by William Glasser called “Control Theory” (http://www.justinowings.com/b/reading.php/control-theory-by-william-glasser“>small review here). One of the book’s takeaways is that we typically have four responses to any given event, what we think, feel, how we respond physiologically, and what we do. Of the four, we can only really control what we do.

As applied to your write-up, when we don’t feel like working out, it’s hard to think or feel our way into doing it anyway. Better to just accept our lack of motivation and workout anyway. Our feelings and thinking will come around after the fact.

Seems like another trick to positive action is to set up triggers or reminders. For example, set a trigger that when you open the pantry door, you have to take three deep breaths and ask yourself “am I actually hungry or am I just bored and wanting to snack?” This pause may be enough to re-exert control and close the pantry door — walk away. Such a trigger might also help combat mindless eating (per your other recent post!).

Ashley June 25, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Props to you, Rusty, for taking the action to bring up this topic! Another great post!

What I have found helps me when I am having trouble finding the motivation to take action is asking myself, “Will I regret this action?” I don’t think I’ve ever chosen to exercise when I didn’t feel like it, for example, and ended up regretting it. On the contrary, I’m happy I did it!

It is impossible to maintain a purely positive mindset 24/7. It’s easy to get stuck in thoughts and feelings. From my own experience, I agree with you when you say, “The mind will follow the body.” Sometimes you have to stop thinking and just act. Our bodies have an intelligence, too, that’s different from the mind –instinct! And it’s usually taking the action linked to instinct that is in your highest and best interest.

Tom June 25, 2009 at 2:56 pm

Hey Rusty – I’ve been following your site for quite some time and it’s been very helpful to me (i’ve gone from 262 lbs to 195 over the last 3 years.) Anyhow, unrelated to this particular post, but relevant to many others you’ve had is this article that was in the New York Times which just reaffirms the value of HIIT


It’s a good read – not surprising, but nice to see the word getting out.

Keep it up!

Fat Loss Tips June 25, 2009 at 2:58 pm

Love it!

these are the lessons I’ve been trying to barrel deep into my head for the past year now. Only results matter.

You could have the best intentions but if you never act on them they don’t mean anything.

Positive actions produces results. Good or bad, you’re more informed than having no action at all.

Elle June 25, 2009 at 3:58 pm

Sounds like you’re channeling one of the great philosophers, Rusty:

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do”. ~Epictetus

Becks June 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Hi Rusty.
I just discovered your site a couple of days ago and I’m in the process of reading everything. I love that you don’t write the same as every other fitness-site out there and actually challenge “facts”.

I have a question for you or anyone else reading this. I’m a girl (22 years old) with the usual girly trouble spots. I’m skinny on my upper body, but the butt, thighs and hips is another story. I’m extremely pear-shaped and looking to get a leaner look.

How low do you think I could drop my calories? I work out 4 times a week, weight lifting and cardio.
I’m 5″11 and weigh 143 pounds so my BMR is 1500 kcal.

Thank you 🙂

I’m looking forward to following your site.

jerdog June 25, 2009 at 10:49 pm


Just wanted to say your site played a big part in motivating me and giving me the tools to reach my goal to get leaner. I’m glad this site is becoming more successful because there is still so much misinformation and disinformation out there.

Norbi June 26, 2009 at 12:41 am

Hey Rusty,

hmm, I’m not sure I completely agree with what this topic is about. I agree that ‘actions matter’, but I just don’t think you can separate ‘positive thinking’ from ‘positive action’. You see, in my opinion, when you say to yourself “If I want to be extraordinary in something, I have to do things most people wouldn’t do” (by the way I loved this line!), this is EXACTLY positive thinking, that results in positive action (doing the workout). And why positive thinking is important (in every aspect of life, not just fitness though), is because WITHOUT positive thinking there will be NO positive action period. Just think about it, if somebody has the following attitude: “I can’t do this, I’m too weak, it doesn’t even matter anyway, how could I live without McDonalds’ double quarter pounder, etc”, then there is no way in hell this person will ever get to taking a positive action. First his/her attitude has to change. Positive thinking is not about ‘liking something, an idea, etc, and just ‘thinking about it’ ‘, but a kind of proactive way of approach to pretty much everything in life, which is based on “I can do this”. I hope this makes sense. 🙂

Norbi June 26, 2009 at 12:44 am

Ohh one more thing, yes, sometimes when i don’t feel like working out, but I start it anyway, I usually get into the mood as well (usually when after I warmed up). This is good, but it still doesn’t change my main opinion about the connection of ‘positive thinking’ and ‘positive action’ that I outlined above.

Simple Scrapbooking June 26, 2009 at 1:39 am

I agree with this completely. You’re not going to achieve anything great if all you do is THINK about things. You have to be active and actually make an effort to see things happen. I think keeping a positive mindset is important, but… Its much more important to be active in your attempts.

Jason G June 26, 2009 at 4:44 am

Execution is everything

chat June 26, 2009 at 6:38 am

for taking the action to bring up this topic! Another great post! thanks.

Denmark June 26, 2009 at 7:00 am

Hey Rusty,

Great topic!
I have always talked about loosing my final 5-7kg, seriously for like 5 years now and have been a member of all the gyms in my area and so on… same old story.
This spring I told myself, either I’m going to do it or learn to live with being a little overweight… mission accomplished and still going hard 😉

I think this topic goes for everything in life though, not just getting fit.
If you want somthing done, then do it!

Anyways, thats the story of my life 😉

Off the topic, but not sure where else to write and request (if even possible possible),
I’ve trained on and off for a few years and have always been confused about how many reps to do.

I know you recomed low reps with heavy weights, but it would be great to get some feedback on this and also hear what other people think of this topic!

Keep up the good work!

Denmark June 26, 2009 at 7:12 am


I agree with you in a way.. obviously a person needs to know what is right for them before they can actually do it, but I got the feeling this is more for people that know what is right, but just don’t get it done… Therefor your body needs to push youself to do it and your mind will follow, knowing that is the right this to do.
f.ex. going to the gym….
When writting a blog, you may feel like taking a night off, but once you start writting, your mind starts filling with ideas..
(in other words your mind is going with the action)

CraigB - Fatblastzone June 26, 2009 at 11:21 am

Great post! I’ve been a huge fan of Zenhabits for a while now. I hope other people discover the wealth of knowledge and inspiration provided there.

Brad June 26, 2009 at 12:58 pm

When I don’t feel like working out I just think back to the last few Christmas’s, being stuck in a tiny house in the midwest, horrible weather, eating and drinking for 5 straight days and no movement what so ever (It’s like waterboarding for terrorists). Then I think of injuries or sickness and how I just want to be able to MOVE- get out bare feet and sprint, swim, circuit, just MOVE!

Norbi June 26, 2009 at 1:22 pm


I understand what you guys are saying about ‘taking action’ (and I agree with it), what I was trying to point out is that as far as I know positive thinking does not mean ‘just positively thinking about something’, but it means a certain mindset, an attitude to whatever you’re doing in life. The way I understand it is positive thinking does not equal to ‘feeling like doing something’, but a way of thinking that leads to doing something positive. In this interpretation, when somebody is just ‘day dreaming’ about something, but that doesn’t make him/her take action, it is not positive thinking.

As for your example with the blog writing. I understand what you’re saying, but bare with me for a second: what happens BEFORE you start writing your blog? Ultimately, you DECIDE (using your brain 🙂 ), that you’ll start writing your blog, even if you don’t feel like doing it. That’s still a decision you made before you started writing, and then felt like doing it.

So to wrap it up, in my book, there’s no positive action without positive thinking, and if a thought, decision, determination, whatever doesn’t lead to positive action (let this action be attitude change or an ‘actual action’), it’s not even really ‘positive thinking’.

admin June 26, 2009 at 2:19 pm


Good point about hanging out with positive people. All of my friends and family are generally positive people…so I’m fortunate.


Yeah…I think positive thinking works better “after the fact”. Probably the best approach is positive thinking WITH positive action.


Good job on doing the HIIT session. Very admirable considering how busy you are.


Don’t know if I make the big bucks 🙂 but the site gets a ton of visitors. You use a slightly different form of motivation…that is great…whatever gets you to take action. You are welcome about commenting on your site. It is the least I could do, since you are always commenting on my site. I wish there were more hours in the day.


Tom Venuto does have a great site. I bought his product Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle 5-6 years ago and consider it to be one of the best value for the money of any fitness product. Good point about just getting started and then building momentum. This is what I do as well. Get going with those circuits!


I love this quote “And I know that a lot of my thoughts are simply babbling nonsense looping around and around. There is no need to take them too seriously a lot of the time.”…perfect. The mind does have a tendency to wander around and think outrageous thoughts. The better we get at realizing this, the easier it is for us to just “go ahead and do it anyway”. Glad you commented…keep pumping out the great posts on your site!


You are right…we can’t wait for the mood. The problem is that often times when people start working out, or anything for that matter, they are enthusiastic because it is new for them. As soon as the enthusiasm wears off, they quit. This is a guaranteed way to fail at anything in life.


I agree about “well thought out” activity. People should take strategic action for best results.


Hope all is well in Castlerock. I’ll be driving on by on my way to the Portland Beer Fest in July. Were you there when Mt St Helens erupted in 1980? I was living in WA and could see the plume from our deck…about 120 miles away!


True, there has to be a baseline of confidence to be able to begin training. Most of the regular readers of this site are a bit more experienced, but it makes sense that a complete beginner would need a little more confidence and courage to get started. Good point.


Glad you have found the site helpful. Taking the wrong action can be draining, so I know what you mean. Now that you are getting results I bet you are finding it easier to take action. Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it!


You are one sick puppy for working out at 5:30AM (kidding)! You are about 10 years older than me…I am betting you were an “action taker” at my age as well. I don’t know how the masses of people don’t put together being tired in the early afternoon with their terrible lunch. The problem is that people equate food with energy…the problem is that certain foods are made to store energy (body fat) instead of giving immediate energy. I like you point of how your workout gives you a sense of confidence that carries you through the day. I feel the same thing.


It is weird at how you can take the principles of success in one endeavor and use that drive and mental toughness to succeed in other areas of life. The most successful people I know are often successful at many many things. My hope is that once people work at staying in great shape they can use that skill set to do even more important things with their life.


I’m guessing that you enjoy tough workouts and it doesn’t feel like hell all the time. I get what you are saying, you want the workouts to be intense. I actually enjoy the intense workouts…seeing if I can push past the comfort zone.


You are so right about procrastination. You have to push forward and “do it” before you talk yourself out of it. When I was younger, me and a few friends would go to this area near my house that had cliff jumping. They had 6 cliffs. The smallest jump was 20 feet…going up to 75 feet. The first time I went up to the 75 foot cliff, it took me an hour to get up the nerve to jump off it. From that point on, I jumped as soon as I reached the edge. The best thing to do is just go for it. Probably not the best example with the cliffs…your comment on procrastination just reminded me of cliff jumping.


I have heard about “triggers” in the past and have been curious about them. I need to do more reading up on the subject. All of that NLP stuff fascinates me…especially since such an overwhelming amount of successful people swear by this stuff. Soyy about your first post not showing up. Sometimes if a link is included in the comment it won’t show up…I will always go back and fix it by leaving the domain, but killing the link. This doesn’t always happen, so keep on posting links when appropriate.


You are right. I have never regretted exercising either. I have felt better 100% of the time that I didn’t listen to my mood and exercised anyway. All of us have up and down moods. It is easy to believe that everyone is happy and positive all the time and that we are the ones with up and down moods, but the fact is that everyone has the same challenges. The successful people ignore the self talk and push forward.


It is funny how slow the mainstream media is to react. I’ve been doing HIIT since 1993 (read about it in “Muscle Media 2000″…an article written by Shawn Phillips). Now 16 years later the New York Times catches up! What is funny is that it will still be another couple of years before you will see anyone else doing HIIT on treadmills (besides a select few people). As far as I know, I’m still the only person in my gym who does HIIT out of over 1,000 people. Okay, I have seen maybe 2-3 others doing it from time to time…but that still is crazy!

Fat Loss Tips,

Michael…your site is looking great. I dig the video in the sidebar. I may need to steal that idea. Looking ripped, buddy!


Wish I knew more about philosophy. When I was in college it didn’t interest me…now I’m fascinate by this philosophy. Great quote!


Glad you found the site. I think your best approach would be to eat slightly below maintenance 5 times a week…so around 1,200-1,500 calories per day. Twice per week you can go pretty low…around 600-800 calories. This isn’t an exact number, you have to see what your body responds to. It is also an aggressive diet plan (that will work). Once you get to your target weight then loosen the diet up a bit.


Thanks for the compliment. This site has taken off way beyond my expectations due to the whole “social media” thing. People recommend my sites on their Facebook pages, their blogs, Twitter, etc. I can’t thank people enough. In the past it would have been near impossible for a small site like this to get huge traffic, but with word-of-mouth social marketing it is possible. It is funny how big companies with millions to spend are getting less Internet traffic than some of the bloggers. Thanks for reading and I really do apreciate all of the consistent comments.


Well, you kind of got me! I guess my line of thinking could be considered positive thinking. I guess this post was more about just positive thinking and not taking action…which I do see quite often. Great counterpoint!

Simple Scrapbooking,

True…the ideal situation is to think positive while taking action.


Great idea about rep-ranges…will do a post on that. Those last few pounds are the toughest to lose. Make sure and give yourself enough time. If you are getting down low in body fat and close to your goal, sometimes you will only lose 1 pound a week or on pound every 2 weeks. People rarely talk about this, but once you get close to peak condition progress really slows down. The nice thing is that it is easy to maintain once you get there.


The Internet is such an amazing place. It is funny…I am not a big reader of fiction. I love non-fiction and learning. The Internet is almost like crack to me. I just wish there was more time each day for me to learn new things. Zenhabits is outstanding. A top site for sure!


That is hilarious. You are not good at relaxing (I’m not great either). I can sit still for a day or two, but once it hits day 3 I go crazy. I would hate to be stuck inside for 5-6 days straight.

Great comments!


Helder June 26, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Simplicity is the key, some people try to make working out an very complex science, and that’s also why so many people quit, and don’t feel like working out most of the times.

With simple methods that work people see results and results are the best motivation givers, nothing better IMO

What you said is also one very good motivation factor, if most people quit, and most people don’t achieve their goals, i have to be different, to achieve different results, and in this case being different is not letting myself get lazy

Being positive above all things is believing, and when you believe you can really achieve anything

Anthony June 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm

hey rusty great post as usual!
i also like to remember a saying: if you cant change your mentality, change your environment
this is a great post and it specifically helps me out very much!

Norbi June 26, 2009 at 11:47 pm


regardless, the post still makes one point clear: no action – no results. And this message is what matters in the end.

Cheers! 😉

Aleco June 27, 2009 at 12:22 am

Hello Rusty,

Congratulations on your site.

My wife and I have started doing interval training as your site suggested. We have seen an overall improvement in our endurance on the treadmill.

And here is what we saw today in the NY Times: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/

Intermittent Fasting Review June 27, 2009 at 7:49 pm

I agree it’s action that is key – and also being quite tenacious (which don’t guarentee success with everything – it simply can up the odds). There are some pretty unhappy people making a lot of money, getting wickedly fit, etc after all.

Success can, of course, make people feel VERY good. High. But things like ‘The Secret’, when truly tested, do not hold up. Great marketing for that kind of stuff, though. Anyone who creates such a system always wins in the end because the claim is that if something bad happens to you, it’s because you aren’t thinking postively enough, not that what they are teaching doesn’t really work.

Yes there certainly can be big money in selling people positive thinking:


Rican June 28, 2009 at 1:53 am

Hey man, awesome site and congrats on your success.

While im not bodybuilder-like bulky, i still have some excess muscle do to my small height and it makes me look pretty bulky, im pretty much tired of it and clothes not fitting, etc. At the same time I would like to lose fat.

I read the “lose muscle mass on purpose” post and have a couple of questions, since i also want to lose fat:

should I start with marathon cardio and when I reach my target weight then use hiit? or should I use hiit to get lean first and then start doing marathon cardio?

Would hiit create a “pump” in the thighs? (where i want to lose the most muscle)

is there anyway to use hiit as a burner for both Fat and muscle?

sorry if some of these don’t make sense, my english ain’t that good

David June 28, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Terriffic post, I am a huge believer in mind over matter as well when it comes to working out. “Shut up and get it done” is the motto of any successful sports team because it gets results.

I always think of the work ethic my old football coach instilled into his athletes: “Every time you slack off, it becomes a little bit easier to slack off the next time, and every day you work hard, it becomes that much harder to walk away.”

Norbi June 29, 2009 at 2:55 am

“Every time you slack off, it becomes a little bit easier to slack off the next time, and every day you work hard, it becomes that much harder to walk away.”


D June 29, 2009 at 9:25 am

Rusty, have you ever heard of ‘The Law of Attraction’ though? ie the more you concentrate on your goal and vividly imagine and FEEL like you’ve ALREADY attained it, the sooner you will attain it.. I think theres alot to be said for how thought processes mould everyday life too…

Amy June 30, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Hey Rusty!

I have to say, I just love your site! This article in particular really hits home! I suffered from depression for many years. It’s almost impossible to motivate yourself physically, mentally or any way when your emotional health is in the toilet! So, a few months ago, I quit taking my anti-depressants and started taking care of my mind, body, and spirt.

One treatment I highly recommend and use is Emotional Freedom Technique or (EFT). It works for everything from overcoming addictions such as overeating to setting positive goals. You wouldn’t think this simple 5 minute practice could have such a powerful impact on your negative thought patterns but it does, and it works!

No matter how commited you are to eating a balanced diet, exercising, and living a healthy lifestyle, you will not achieve your body’s maxiumum healing if your emotional barriers are blocked!

Josten July 1, 2009 at 1:24 am

I totally agree with this blog post and the title. A vast majority of people forget that thinking positive and not taking action does not get them the results that they’d want.

LouAnn Good July 1, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Great comments! We’re all trying to make a difference here, we all share the same burdens in so many ways. Let’s work together to get moving and raise the bar on our country’s health!

LouAnn Good

Xavier Relation July 2, 2009 at 8:11 am

Positive thinking is useful but doesn’t get you the results that you expect! Action does! and it’s better if it is positive action 🙂

Studio Element Personal Training July 6, 2009 at 8:39 pm

I believe that positive thinking can lead to positive acting. They tend to feed off of each other.

Nu Age Body Care July 9, 2009 at 10:06 pm

We encourage our clients to have an action plan, and to set small goals to help them obtain their big goals. Positive thinking helps them in the process.

Jennifer July 14, 2009 at 6:18 pm

I agree; exercise needs to be consistent in order to see results.

Keith Sweat July 18, 2009 at 9:56 am

Wow, great article. It even inspired me to work out today! Thanks!

Studio Element Personal Training August 20, 2009 at 3:19 pm

Many of my personal training clients feel somewhat afraid to actually reach their goals. That this will give them one less excuse in life to accomplish other things. Thinking positively and developing a positive, energetic attitude can help!

Alesio December 2, 2010 at 9:36 am

“Positive Action” Gets Results – Not Positive Thinking” i think its a combination of both. if you only think and not act, you gain no profit. if you act without thinking you will lose yourself.

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