New Vs Necessary

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Shorter Version

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How many times have you been faced with a problem and read everything you could find on the subject? And how often do you diligently follow the advice you are getting? In an age of information overload, we shop for advice the same way we browse Amazon. And there is really enough information out there to solve almost every human drama. So why isn’t everyone as successful, thin, happy, and rich as they want to be? At some point, you have to stop looking for what’s new and just do what’s necessary.

It’s not easy to prioritize what’s necessary vs. new

I get it, it’s fun to look for something new! And usually way more fun than just sitting down and tackling the task at hand. But at some point, it can also become an avoidance mechanism. Struggling with new vs. necessary is a lot like procrastination. It’s easy to take comfort in the fact that “you know” what to do, and therefore you must be doing it. But the reality is, knowing is only information. The actual “doing” can be uncomfortable, unpleasant, or downright difficult, so it’s easier to look for something new instead.

There is no single life-hack that is going to make you successful overnight.

Sometimes you just have to stop looking for something new and just do what’s necessary. I want you to think of one pressing problem in your life right now; have you really done everything you know you should be doing to solve that? My challenge to you this week is to just start doing what’s necessary.

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Actionable Steps


What do you want to change?

What’s most important to you right now? What’s really not working? What would you life to be different?


Get super clear about what’s new vs. necessary in your life

If it’s finances you’re struggling with, is your spending out of control? Are you under earning? Is it the burden of debt? If you are unhappy with your physical health, is it your weight? Maybe your fitness level? Or a nagging health issue that needs attention.


Necessary: What do you already know you should be doing?

We all have things in life we know we should be doing to lead our happiest, healthiest, and most productive lives. Maybe it’s to work out regularly, start saving or investing, to cut back on sugar, binge watching or social media. Make a list of the things you already know you should be doing to deal with the problems above, but have been procrastinating on.


Ask what is stopping you?

Whenever we are not doing something we should be, or maybe even want to, there is always a reason; what’s the catch? Does it seem too hard? Feel overwhelming? Maybe boring? Or maybe you just don’t know where to begin? Figure out what is stopping you and tackle that first.


Take a small step

If that regular workout routine seems like a mind-numbing grind, find something that you love to do, and/or commit to just one small step. Running a marathon starts with making it around a single block. Really, that’s it.


Look for support

There are groups like Under Earners Anonymous and Debtors Anonymous that are free and even have virtual meetings. Find a workout buddy, join a Facebook group, or get an accountability partner. Getting it done doesn’t mean doing it alone.

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About the Author

Hunter Phoenix

Hunter Phoenix

Certified Professional Life Coach

Hunter has an M.A. in Psychology and is a Certified Professional Life Coach. For more than 10 years, she coached clients to find and follow their passion and live their best lives. Hunter has also done youth coaching work with Covenant House, realizing that this is such a challenging and important time in life.
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