Don’t Get Stuck “Fixin’ to” Start

Fixin’ to: (Southern US, Appalachia … , informal) Going to; preparing to; about to. – Wiktionary

“Fixin’ to” needs to be followed up with action

As a child of the south, I am very familiar with the expression, “I’m fixin’ to do something.” Essentially, it means “I’m getting ready to do something.”

Growing up, it was an awfully good way to slip out of trouble. When asked, “Amy, did you put your toys away like I asked you?” Replying, “No ma’am, I’m fixin’ to,” received a much better response than, “No, ma’am.” However, my statement needed to be followed up in short order (in two shakes of a lamb’s tail, you might say) with action to keep me out of trouble.

The first step to anything can be a real “doozy”

Which is actually an excellent point not only for procrastinating children but for all of us. It’s super easy to get stuck in a state of “fixin’ to.” After all, if you think about it, there is a lot to research, figure out, and plan before you get going on any project – especially one you want to do really, really well.

The immortal words from Groundhog Day, “That first step is a doozy,” ring true for many of us. It is hard to get started. But when we spend too much time “fixin’ to,” starting whatever it is we want or need to do can be exponentially harder.

Make sure that you’re taking action rather than just being in motion

In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear writes about the difference between being in motion and taking action. He defines being in motion as planning, strategizing, and learning, all of which are good and necessary things to do to set ourselves up for success.

In the same breath, however, Clear cautions that being in motion does not produce results. For results to happen, action must happen. And even in the “fixin’ to” stage, I think we can agree that results are almost always the desired outcome.

“Fixin’ to” mode is safe but offers no results

So why do we get stuck “fixin’ to?” Sure, there are times that we truly need to learn more before we begin. But it is more likely that we’ve gotten stuck “fixin’ to” because being in motion feels like we’re doing something without the risk of failure. Once we swing into action, there is a chance that we’re going to mess things up.

For a lifelong planner and recovering perfectionist, there has been nothing like embracing a practice like yoga to help me move fluidly from “fixin’ to” into action (without even the threat of getting in trouble with my mom). The operative word for me is practice, which removes even the glimmer of the idea of one of my biggest stumbling blocks – perfection.

I can read about yoga for years, I can talk about yoga to friends, family and strangers wearing Lulu in the grocery store, I can email and text and call dozens of teachers as I research different styles of yoga, I can think about it, I can dream about it, but until I unroll a mat and start doing it, not one of the things I hope yoga can do for me will happen.

It’s in the practice – in the doing – that yoga shares its myriad gifts. If you want to do something well enough not to have to worry (too much) about failure, you need to start doing. No amount of preparation can replace the repetition of practice. This goes for absolutely everything.

Practice liberates us to take action without fear of failure

For someone like me, embracing a practice has been singularly freeing. I have discovered countless things that I can do that I never dreamed I could do. Almost more importantly, I’ve messed up so many times that I now find myself completely comfortable with the truth that I am not perfect.

In fact, thanks to yoga, I almost never have the desire to be perfect anymore. I’ve learned that figuring things out is pretty exciting. Messing up, trying again (and again and again) and (eventually) succeeding is just about the sweetest experience in life. That is where creativity and innovation come from. Which, in turn, is where yours and my unique forms of brilliant mastery comes from.

You’re at the starting line! Get going!

Whatever you’re fixin’ to do, promise me you’ll start. Moving into action today doesn’t mean you’ll cross the finish line today. In fact, I hope it doesn’t. I wish you a rich, illuminating, action-packed journey toward the results you dream of.

On your mark! Get set! Go! You’re going to be brilliant.

Need a little nudge or some guidance to get going? Reach out. We can work on ideas to jump start your yoga practice or any other project you’re dreaming about.