Ep #16: Taking Active Action

By: Dr. Sherry Price

Taking Active Action

How much action are you willing to take to achieve your goals?

When it comes to goals, many people spend their time acquiring knowledge, consuming information, and learning how to achieve the goal rather than actually doing anything about it. What’s fascinating is that they don’t realize that doing all of this isn’t enough to achieve it.

Action is needed to get to any goal, but too much passive action and not enough active action can stop you from achieving your goals. If you want to make progress and get closer to success, you must take active, conscious steps to get there.

Tune in this week as I explain the difference between passive and active action, and why taking active action is necessary to achieve your goals. I’m sharing why people struggle with this concept, as well as discussing my own experiences with taking active action to help you achieve your goal of a drink less lifestyle!

Do you want to change your relationship with alcohol and get a handle on your drinking? My Drink Less Lifestyle program can help you become a woman who can take it or leave it around alcohol! Come check it out, I look forward to working with you!

And, if you’re ready to change your relationship with drinking, check out the free guide How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit now!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • My word of the year for 2020 and 2021.
  • The difference between passive and active action.
  • How to create an action plan that works.
  • The importance of taking active action.
  • Why passive action isn’t enough to make a change.
  • How to take active action.

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:


You are listening to the Drink Less Lifestyle Podcast with Dr. Sherry Price, episode number 16.

Welcome to Drink Less Lifestyle, a podcast for successful women who want to change their relationship with alcohol. If you want to drink less, feel healthier and start loving life again you’re in the right place. Please remember that the information in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Now, here’s your host, Dr. Sherry Price.

Well, hello my friends. We are well into 2021. How is this year going for you? I have to say it’s going amazing for me. And I’m doing all these challenges inside my Facebook group page. And we are also incorporating some weight loss material into my Drink Less Lifestyle group coaching program and the ladies are loving it.

It’s so fun to be with likeminded women who are inspiring each other and motivating each other to get to their goals, whether we’re drinking less, or wanting to lose weight, or really just embody that woman that we want to be. It’s so fun to do this work with the ladies in the group coaching program. And many of us, being January we’re doing dry January’s or we’re committed to our health, we’re committed to our wellness. And we’re just committed to stop feeling sluggish and treating our bodies like a garbage disposal and really taking ownership and taking power of that.

And I just love this time of year because we’re all committed and we feed off of each other with these goals, it’s so fun. So before I dive into today’s topic on this episode I want to talk about my word of the year. Do you guys pick a word of the year? I started doing this last year for the first time and I’ll share with you my word for last year. So last year my word of the year was shine. And I love this word. I like shiny objects. I love glittery jewelry, and rhinestones, and diamonds. And I just love bold statement pieces.

But there are two other definitions that resonated with me and that’s why I picked the word for last year. So the first definition of shine that really resonated with me was to perform extremely well, to shine, to perform extremely well. And so how I incorporated that last year for me was that I really up-leveled the Drink Less Lifestyle program. I created tons more content and worksheets and really provided a lot more value in that program. And the women now going through it are just really enjoying the information because it’s really getting them their transformation.

A lot of us aren’t physically addicted to alcohol. We’re emotionally addicted to alcohol or emotionally wanting alcohol. And so I’ve really put in a lot more content around how do we handle ourselves, and our emotions, and what to do with these emotions. So I have to say I’m super thrilled because the program is amazing.

And in this past year another way I’ve been able to shine is that I’ve created the How to Get Your off Button program back. And this was something my clients were asking for and so based on their feedback, based on wanting to be self-guided and on their own. I have created this amazing program discussing the five pillars that you need to work on in order to change your relationship with alcohol so that you can get your off button back so that it’s easy to say no to the next drink. And so that you’re just not even desiring that next drink.

And another thing I’m extremely proud of from last year and another way I was able to shine was by starting this podcast. This had been a goal of mine for a couple of months before I brought it to fruition. And I’ll probably be talking about that more in this episode here soon.

Another definition of the word shine is to emit light, to be a reflection of light. And this one hits me deep on a spiritual level. I don’t know if many of you know but I started out my coaching career working with women to lose weight. I was a weight loss coach. And while that business was extremely successful, my clients were losing a ton of weight and that was amazing.

I started to get this nudge in my soul that I wanted to transition my niche to working with women who want to stop overdrinking. But I had a lot of fear going in that direction because for me it meant that I had to put my story out there. It meant that I had to admit to everyone that I had a drinking problem. And for me that was really difficult. I still had so much shame knowing that I had an overdrinking problem even though I had stopped overdrinking. It’s like I have conquered it but I wasn’t free from it. I wasn’t able to talk about it.

I wasn’t able to be that beacon for other women because I was still kind of shackled in the shame component of it. So I joined this business mastermind and we discussed this. And this came to be the topic of discussion of why I wasn’t pursuing what I really wanted to pursue. And I was kind of hiding behind the weight loss coaching that I was doing, even though it was wildly successful.

And I just remember breaking down crying because I couldn’t even admit that I wanted this so much for my life, but I was still so held back in what others would think of me, what this would mean for my reputation. And yeah, I was just tied up with all this negative energy still even though I had cleaned up my drinking.

So it was at this meeting that I decided to change my niche. It was at this meeting that I laid on my hotel floor room crying, reaching out to my family and my husband saying, “This is what I want to do. Will I embarrass you? Do I have your support?” All of those fears came up. And they all supported me and they all said, “Yes, do this if this is what you want to do?” And so it was really powerful for me last year to say, “Yes, I want to be that beacon of light for other women.” I want to shine because for so long I hid this secret, I hid in the darkness.

And by us not being able to admit and come out of that and shine through our circumstances, shine through our problems we can’t help ourselves and then we can’t go forth and help other people. So it was so important for me to own my entire story, own my entire journey, share that journey with you. And that was another catalyst for wanting to start this podcast. But I have to say it was grossly uncomfortable. It wasn’t, like when I hear the word ‘shine’ I think glitter, and sparkly, and fun, it actually was a very painful growth process. But I am so proud of myself for doing that.

I am so happy to do this and I can’t tell you how much I love helping women and freeing them from the shackles of shame. So that was my word last year, ‘shine’. And man, I just felt I really embodied that the entire year, so proud. I feel like I have come through being this beacon of hope and light for other women, that they can break their drinking habit.

So this year I’ve been pondering for a couple of weeks on what do I want my word to be? What is it this year that I want to really embody, and embrace, and everything that I decide to do in my personal and work life, what is that woman that you want to be? What is that word that’s going to make you just focus and zero in on what your mission is for this year and who you want to embody this year? So this year I decided to choose the word ‘inspire’. And I first want to read you the definition of inspire and then explain why this word feels so powerful to me right now.

So the definition of inspire means to excite, to encourage, to breathe life into. It comes from a Latin word that means to inflame, or to blow into. When you inspire something it’s as if you’re blowing air over a low flame and making it grow. Now, I don’t know about you but there’s something about being in the year 2021 that feels like a breath of fresh air. It feels like this new start. It feels like there’s more excitement because of everything we’ve experienced in 2020. So it’s like this energy, this excitement.

And for inspire for me I want to encourage, and excite, and breathe life into women again who feel trapped, who feel like they can’t get out of this cycle of overdrinking. And so I want to encourage women wherever you’re at with your drinking that you can change the relationship where it doesn’t deflate you, where it doesn’t wear you down, where it doesn’t cause shame. Where it doesn’t hold you back from accomplishing the things you want to in life, for being fully present with your family, with yourself.

Because I know that when we over-drink we become disconnected from ourselves and from others, so I want to inspire you and encourage you to change that, to get a hold of that relationship and put it in your past so that you can shine and you can inspire other women to do the same with their overdrinking.

So I do love that you join me every week because I do want to continue to inspire and encourage you on this journey to a drink less lifestyle. And the fun thing is in picking that word I had a ton of new ideas that I could be doing in my business and I can be doing to help women achieve this for them. So this is just so fun for me. I’d love to hear if you pick a word of the year, and I’d love to hear what it is and what it means to you.

And if you follow me on Instagram I’d love for you to post it over there at Dr. Sherry Price is my handle. And would love to hear how you’re doing in 2021 and what your word of the year is. Alright, so stay tuned for more on what I’m creating for you ladies and I’ll be providing that information throughout the year.

So now I want to transition to today’s topic which is about taking active action. And I know that sounds kind of weird, active action, but stay with me because I’m going to explain all of this. So last week we talked about how we have to stop tolerating the things in our life that aren’t leading us to the life that we want to have or that we want to create.

And I know many of you have been commenting to me, or sharing with me that yes, the increased drinking due to the stress, and the anxiety from the pandemic, or the work stress, or the home schooling stress. Or the stress that came from the Black Lives Matter, and the election stress, and just all that we had to go through in 2020. And that stress is something you want to change, that stress is something that you want to stop tolerating or stop using as an excuse to over-drink.

And some of you even shared other things like things you just want to stop, like stop complaining, stop finding fault with everything, stop being so judgmental. Or stop looking to food to help you feel better. You want to learn this for yourself. You want to learn how to manage your emotions without needing substances outside of you. And I get it, these things are huge, they are no small task my friends.

But I have to tell you when you learn it the results are amazing. You stop self-sabotaging. You stop beating yourself up. You stop being mean to yourself. And then you’re able to pursue your goals with a lot more action.

Okay, so now we’re going to talk about taking that action. And so when I think of action I like to think of two categories or two buckets. One bucket or one type of action is passive action. And another bucket is active action.

So let’s go through passive action first. So I like to think of passive action as intellectual action. It’s getting mentally prepared to do something or achieving a goal. So when you set out a goal, maybe it’s to drink less or to lose weight. There’s a lot of thinking and planning that goes into it in setting it up. We know to take smart goals, they need to be specific, and measurable, and actionable on a timeline, and all of that.

So when you’re taking passive action it’s where you’re consuming information, maybe you’re signing up for a course. Maybe you’re learning something through the internet or you’re learning new tools. It’s where you are spending time researching and investigating. It’s all about acquiring the right knowledge for you to pursue this goal. Maybe your goal is to start a business, and you want to create a website. So you are looking into that, or you’re looking to hire that.

And so there is many things we can do to get mentally prepared. We can read books. We can research things online. We can listen to podcasts. It’s all about consuming the information, consuming a lot of information so that we know which direction we want to take, we know the steps to do.

So for instance when I was working as a weight loss coach I would make sure that the women I was working with knew how their bodies gained weight, I would want them to have a good understanding of hormones like insulin that drive fat into storage. And then how fat on our bodies is actually broken down so we know intellectually the process that needs to happen. And how to burn fat off quicker, which by the way is not what most people think, it’s to exercise it away. That’s not the quickest way to burn fat.

And of course we would talk through what the body needs in terms of fuel, what kinds of foods the person likes to eat, what their caloric demands are, if they know them, when they are eating and what they are eating. So we’re looking at the whole process. If there’s going to be meal planning, what that looks like, when will that happen, what factors will influence your success or not make you successful.

So that is all the background, that is all looking at all the context so that we could set up a structured plan that will work. And not only that, that helps also the brain to get onboard with okay, this is what’s involved in the process. And yes, I can do this, and no, I’m not willing to do that.

So now that I’m a coach that helps women drink less and change their relationship with alcohol, I want to make sure in this passive action phase that you know what causes your desire. You know why you want to drink. And it’s not just to relax for most women. And you’re aware of the major triggers you have. You’re aware of the triggers you want to work on and maybe the triggers you don’t want to work on. You know what type of relationship you want to work towards, and we want to make sure that you know the steps to break the habit permanently.

I also make sure my clients clearly understand what to do when an urge happens so that they know how to manage the urge so they don’t come back over time. I also make sure that they know how to manage a slipup, should they over-drink, what’s the next step? Should they have a bad night, what’s the next step? And of course step number one is always making sure you don’t beat yourself up over having a slipup because there is so much to be learned from having a slipup. There’s probably something why you over-drank that you didn’t know.

So this is the process I lay out for all my clients in the Drink Less Lifestyle program, is this is that passive action. This is that mental preparedness and letting the brain know this is the direction we’re going, this is what needs to happen. So it’s like having all the knowledge and tools at your fingertips. Now, that’s where passive action ends, and that’s just one bucket of action that you need to take to get to any goal. So I like to call this type of action, is kind of like setting yourself up and getting your brain onboard for what’s to come.

So now let’s talk about the second bucket, and that’s taking active action which is different than passive action. So as you can imagine this is about using the tools that you’ve learned, this is about applying the tools that you’ve learned about during the passive action phase. This is where the information actually hits the road. You start trying it. You start doing it. You start testing it out. And when you’re testing it out you’re learning this works, or this doesn’t work, or it doesn’t work this way. But if I tweaked it, it can work this way.

It’s learning all of these things about what works, what doesn’t work and how can I tweak it. And if we find that we try something a few times and it’s not working, well, we don’t keep trying. We just say, “Okay, that tool is not going to work for you.” But when you take active action it means you’re not sitting and consuming, and passively learning, it’s actually applying the information so that you get the result that you want. So I’ve heard some coaches refer to this as taking massive action.

And so I just want to say you can use the term massive action, but I really like active action because it’s really focusing on the doing. I know so many of my high achieving clients, they are well educated and learning things is actually fun. They’ve been using their brain; they’re good at learning new things and studying new things, and taking in the information. But that’s just one part of the process. You’re not going to get the results you want if you don’t take that active action. And that’s where I feel some people get frustrated.

So when you’re taking active action you know your course of action to take and you’re course correcting as you’re learning what’s working and what doesn’t. And what’s fascinating to me is that most of us don’t even realize when we’re just taking passive action that that’s not enough to achieve what we really want. We think that taking passive action and just learning is enough. And that’s where I don’t like the saying, “Knowledge is power,” because knowledge isn’t power if it’s not changing you, if it’s not being utilized, if it’s not being implemented.

You may know that getting on the treadmill may help with your weight loss, some people it won’t. But if you know that that works for your weight loss and you’re not getting on the treadmill, how is that knowledge powerful? It’s not changing your life any. So on the context of goal setting I think knowledge is important but it’s not everything.

So just remember that, that you may be feeling well, I read so many books on how to stop overdrinking, and I listen to all these podcasts, and I fill my brain with all this information, and I really understand. But that’s not the only action you should be taking, because it’s not going to get you your result. So think about that because thinking about drinking less is not the same as drinking less. Thinking about how to drink less is not actually drinking less. Understanding how to break a habit is not actually breaking the habit.

So when we understand this it makes total sense because then for many of us we can see how we’ve spent all of our time in the bucket of passive action. We have spent all of our time and energy into learning about something and aren’t actually using the information and doing it. And so if you think about it, why would you invest all your time and effort into just 50% of the work that actually needs to be done to get to the result that you want?

And I’ll tell you why a lot of us spend time in the passive action, and that’s just consuming a lot of information, it’s filling our brains with all this information is because then our brain feels like we’re actually learning and that we’re going to change. Yes, that’s what the brain will feel like but your actions will tell you if you get the result or not. So if you only put in 50% of the work you’re not going to get the complete goal.

It’s like going to school and saying, “I’m only going to do 50% of the work.” And what’s your grade? It’s an F. You’re not going to get the goal of advancing to the next level or to the next grade. It’s the same thing if you show up at your employer and you say, “I’m only going to do 50% of the work.” Well, that’s not going to get to your goal of keeping your job because if you do only 50% of the work you’re probably going to get fired.

Now I want to focus in on maybe we only like 50% of our job, or we only want to do 50% of the work or maybe 60 or 80% of the work that we like. So I just want you to think about that because when it comes time to taking active action I’m going to tell you, you’re probably not going to love every part of that, just like we don’t really love every part of our job.

So think about a goal that you have right now and how much active massive action have you taken towards it? You’ll know if you are taking active action because it means that you are applying the work that you learn here on the podcast or if it’s a drink less lifestyle kind of goal. And you may not be loving the action you’re taking and you’re most likely failing a lot in the beginning because you’re learning. And actively learning means you will make mistakes in the beginning.

And if you’re just consuming and passively learning you’ll know that because you haven’t made any progress on your drinking goal. You won’t know what tools work for you, what doesn’t work for you. You will have the same desire and you will still have the same pattern of drinking. And when you get here you feel stuck, you feel like nothing’s changing. You feel like everything that you’re doing nothing is working and helping.

But just question that, what are you doing? Are you just in passive action where you’re consuming? Are you actually trying the tools and seeing what works and seeing what doesn’t work? And sometimes you just need help taking the active action. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that at all. I mean we need help to do a lot of things in life. What’s more ridiculous is if we spend all this time wanting and not getting help for something that’s so important to us. So let me share an example of this in my life.

As I mentioned at the start of this podcast I briefly mentioned that I really wanted to start this podcast for a long time before it got up and running. So I thought about it. I dreamt about it. I listened to other podcasts to get an idea of what I wanted mine to look like and what I wanted it to sound like and what I’d be talking about. How long the episodes would be, would I have guests or not. I thought about it and I talked about it for months with my husband.

I researched how to start a podcast, I joined an online course that taught me how to start a podcast and I even purchased all the equipment needed. I took a lot of passive action. And I even enrolled in another course because I’m like, “Wow, there’s probably still more out there I need to learn.” So when we go on our morning walks I’d be talking about how I’m going to start this podcast with my husband and it was going on for months. Finally my husband’s like, “When are you going to start this podcast?”

And I had to laugh because he was really tired of me just talking about it but not actually doing it, not taking that active action. And part of me was kind of like a tad bit offended when he said that because I’m like, “Well, I am taking lots of action.” And in my mind I’m like wait a second, I’m taking all the action but I don’t have a deadline. I don’t have a timeline of when I’m going to get this puppy up and going. And that’s when it kind of hit me. I had decided in that moment that yes, I really wanted this but there was something blocking me from getting it.

And I had to dig deep, it’s like where am I being blocked that I don’t feel I can launch my podcast? I certainly had enough information. I certainly had the tools. I certainly knew how to do it but I wasn’t doing it. So then I decided you know what? You know what’s going to make me commit? Is me investing in me and that’s exactly what I did. I hired myself a podcast producer and he helped me walk through the steps to launch this podcast successfully. For me it was more than just hitting record. It was more than just having all the tools.

He taught me the tactics I needed to make a great podcast and that’s what I wanted. I wanted a great podcast. And I am so glad that I invested in myself. And did you hear me? I didn’t say I invested in him. I invested in me. I invested in my dream of having a podcast. And I needed his help to get there. And you know what I’ve learned along the way, so much more than having what I call a successful podcast? I’ve learned to grow through this. I have learned to use more tools and more technology. I have learned to work with other people.

I have learned to face my fears and I’ve learned that me showing up for me, other people are benefitting because they’re listening to this podcast. They’re writing into me telling me how much this podcast has already changed their relationship with drinking and their relationships with others. And that’s the power of investing in yourself. That’s the power of being willing to shine. And I will always invest in my health. I will always invest in what’s important to me.

And I do consider this an investment in my health because it was something so strong in my soul that I wanted to do. So that’s my mental health, that’s my emotional health. It’s not my physical health but we have many levels of health.

And so that was the massive action that I needed to take, once I hired my team then I started doing all the other massive action that needed to happen. I started writing out the podcast. I started writing out the ideas that I had for the first 20 episodes. I started showing up for myself so that I could show up for you. I started finding that voice of mine that I wanted to communicate to the world. So notice in my journey, passive action is thinking about something maybe for a long, long time. For me I’d thought about this podcast for months before I took active action.

Passive action can lead to hiding and stalling. Passive action can feel like progress but you’re not getting the result you want. Passive action can make you feel like you’re just spinning out, you’re not getting anywhere. You feel stuck. But passive action feels safe and comfortable because the brain does love to learn new things.

But also passive action can make you turn yourself against yourself because you feel smart, you feel capable and that you should be getting the results but why aren’t they coming? So then it can turn to self-sabotage where you get mad at yourself and you start berating yourself. And you say, “I’m intelligent and I know all these things, why aren’t I doing it?” And that’s what I see a lot of smart successful women do is they take a lot of passive action and wonder why they’re not getting the results they want.

So in contrast, massive active action is uncomfortable, it pushes you. Massive active action grows you. Active action is not thinking about it but doing it and it leads to getting the result that you want. Taking active action is about facing your fears. Taking massive action for me was about hiring someone who can help me and support me so I could get to my goal. Now, the process was uncomfortable. I don’t necessarily love the process.

But I’ll tell you what, as a self-proclaimed high achiever, go-getter and type A personality I love achieving things. I love setting goals and accomplishing them. Nothing lights me up more. I do love to dream. I do love to learn. But, man, that sense of accomplishment feels so amazing.

And speaking of feeling amazing I want to just tie in that dopamine reward system right here. I was sick of looking to alcohol for my dopamine feel good hit. I wanted that to end because I knew it was blocking me from getting my dopamine hits elsewhere. I didn’t want my dopamine hits and that feel good to come from mindless drinking. And when I decided that a few years ago I made the commitment to take active action. And I made sure that the result I wanted was that if I drink it will be on my terms and I will be in control of it always. And that has given me so much confidence.

And I had to learn a lot about myself, I had to learn, I had to grow, I had to push against my fears. And I had to show up for me taking that active massive action. And what that means is I was able to end the shame. I was able to end regret and self-loathing. I’m no longer drinking mind numbingly, it’s no longer a habit for me. It’s no longer that I can’t handle my emotional life. I’ve learned the tools to do that for me, effectively do that for me.

And as I talked on a previous episode, when we cope that means to take effective action at handling the situation, whereas alcohol is anything but effective, it’s terribly ineffective, it only makes the problem bigger. It only adds to the problem, it only compounds the problem because alcohol allows us to escape, not to deal with it.

So now I prefer to get my dopamine hits, my feel good moments by honoring myself and accomplishing things that are really important to me even though it feels hard in the process, even though the process makes me face my fears. And it’s about creating the life that I’m really proud of, the person that I really want to be. And I’m the same person privately that I am publicly. And for me that’s one of my biggest values is integrity, is that I live with integrity. I’m living fully alive with myself in all areas of my life.

And I want to inspire you to take massive active action for yourself in getting to your goal. Where do you need to take active action this year? What goal is most important to you?

And is it to get a handle on your drinking, learn to change your desire so you don’t want it and learn to change your relationship with it? If so and you want help I’d love to offer you my help and I can do that through my Drink Less Lifestyle program. It’s my signature 12 week group coaching program that teaches you how to achieve a drink less lifestyle for yourself, one where you can take it or leave it with alcohol. It’s designed for high achieving busy women who want results, not to sit around and complain.

It’s learning to take great care of yourself mentally, emotionally and physically without the need for a drink. Come and check out this amazing program on my website at sherryprice.com/drinklesslifestyle.

Alright my dear friends, it’s so wonderful to be here with you each week. And I hope you have an amazing week and I will see you next time.

Thanks for listening to Drink Less Lifestyle. If you’re ready to change your relationship with drinking now check out the free guide, How to Effectively Break the Overdrinking Habit at sherryprice.com/startnow. See you next week.

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