James Stewart

Next Best Action


I am going to share a hack. A tip. A thing I do. And it works for me. 

Before I get going. I realise it has been a looooong time since I blogged properly. But, I am committing to you now to write at least once per week. My aim is to publish at least every Sunday or Monday in the hope that what I share helps with the days and week ahead. There’s options with how to connect with me at the bottom of the page if you have ideas or suggestions, or just want to share your story. 

To get me off and running I am sharing a tip. 

Whether in running or life, we are all under pressure. The last year has been hard, and extremely tough for many. No one has been immune to the effects of the year gone. 

I have noticed a trend of fatigue amongst some friends, colleagues and athletes in the last few weeks. Just tiredness with current challenges, life, lockdowns, lack of events etc. With the 1st anniversary of lockdown passing it’s no surprise the cumulative effect has blunted the energy in some of us. 

It happens when the purpose is a wee bit grey and hard to connect with. Like the brain has been subjected to mental white noise. If it was a medical condition it would be called whatsthepointitis. I realise it probably is a medical condition but it doesn’t help me make a really bad pun! 

There’s a trick I use when I have maybe drifted off the path to my own personal North Star. Like bad habits creeping in, you know, skipping the stretching, eating the wrong things or scrimping on sleep. 

I refocus myself on what is the next best action.

If I have slipped on my nutrition, got stressed at something, lost composure, had a bad day or session, I set about using the next best action question to bring myself back to that moment. It’s the thing I can immediately influence to the better and make it positive. 

If you are struggling with things this week, ask yourself that question. What is your next best action?

What is your next best action?

In running, if you get into trouble in a race; nausea, starting too fast, ask yourself that question “what is your next best action?”

In life, if you are getting stressed or angry about things you can’t control, ask yourself that question “what is your next best action?”

When things aren’t going the way you want and you cannot see the path forward, ask yourself that question “what is your next best action?”

Often we look back too far or ahead too far when the moment we really want and need to influence is this one. The one we are in. And sometimes the next best action question is the way to bring us back to this moment. 

It’s a powerful and simple ruse, and it works. 

I hope that you find this useful. I’d love to hear from you with any feedback or if you just want to drop me a wee message. I can be reached at jamesstewart13@aol.com or via social on Twitter @james_stewart13 or on Insta @jamesstewar13

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