Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Taking Action

So…creating action. Why are you taking action?

Why is your first question to any action step. Why am I taking this step? What does it mean for me, and what is the payoff that I get? When you can identify the reasons behind why you want something, it becomes more real for you and it’s easier to keep pushing forward in that direction.

BUT when it’s time to make that cold call or run our first 5K or ask for what we want, we freeze right? Fear creeps in. I know it’s happened to me plenty of times! By stopping in your tracks and dropping the idea, you are saying no to yourself before you give anyone else the chance to say no to you. I have good news about fear. The freeze stage is GOOD. It means progress is happening. You are moving out of your comfort zone and most often, the things you are most fearful of are the things that are most worth doing.

Fear can be a really powerful barrier, but it can be a really telling milestone, too. Notice when your fear shows up and how you avoid tackling your next step. Once you recognize that stopping point, it’s easier to identify it and move on through the next time. Shifting your perspective out of negative fear and into a measurement of progress can be a powerful tool toward following through with your action plan.

Fear of failure can be really debilitating, too. When you don't reach a goal, or have a history of not reaching a goal, try not to beat yourself up about it. Rather, ask yourself why (again...back to the why) you are doing the goal in the first place. What has shifted? Is this goal no longer meaningful for you? Did something happen along the way? Is there another goal you need to accomplish first?

The trick to taking action at any time is to keep that goal IN FRONT of you at all times. You can’t hide from it, you can’t say it out loud and then hope it happens. You can "if...then...maybe....when" until you're blue in the face. Sometimes you create your own opportunity. Taking a huge leap of faith isn't always a necessity, but taking the first step toward your goal is.

Be sure to set up measurable steps to reach your goal. Big goals such as weight loss, starting a business or being a better friend can be a little daunting to take in one big chunk. Break them down into smaller goals. For instance your process might go like this:
What do you need to do to lose weight?
Eat better and exercise.

How do you WANT to do those two things?
Walk everyday and buy better food at the grocery store.

How can you start that today?
Go for a 30 minute walk and run by the grocery store to pick up veggies for a stir fry for dinner.

Your next step is to tell everyone you know. When you're held accountable, you will accomplish more. Write it down and put it somewhere you can see it. Here are a few tricks for easier action steps:

Creative thinking when you get a no - there are many ways to drive from California to Charlotte. If you come across an accident that is going to tie you up for a long time, find a different route to get to your destination!

Dream Boards - these are visual collages of your goal that you can revisit everyday.

Index Cards –
write out your goals in positive, "now" language, complete with a set date and time of when you will accomplish them

The Success Principles by Jack Canfield - Read it!

www.Futureme.org - write yourself a vision of what it feels like to have accomplished your goal and set it to send on your projected completion date.

Ask for help -
align yourself with people who can help you reach your goal. It never hurts to ask!

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