Action is the foundational key to all success.
– Pablo Picasso
Sorry to burst your bubble, but writing down a goal does not make it a reality. There is no magical force that will manifest your thoughts into reality just by writing down the goal. Goals take action to become reality. The magic is you! Writing your goals down on a piece of paper or in a list does not guarentee that you will achieve them. How many years have you written the same new years resolution? We are led to believe that writing your goal down is the most important step. Have you heard that those who write down their goal achieve them 90% of the time and those who do not write them down rarely succeed? Motivational speakers and authors lead us average achievers to believe that all we need to do is write down the goal. It seems like magic! If you think about it, write it down, the universe will provide it for you. B*llsh*t. Even Ray Kinsella had to build it before realizing his Field of Dreams. Achieving a goal takes action. It takes hard work. If it did not, it would not be worth doing and you probably either would already have achieved it or would not care about it. Take responsibility for your life, your success, your achievements, your actions! The universe is made up of people – in motion – taking action – toward a worthwhile goal.
Take Your First Action Now
Writing down your goal is not bad, it’s just not the end. The minute you make the decision to take on this goal, write it down and make it a SMART goal. That’s great. But don’t stop there! The next minute, do the first thing to get into action! For example, if your goal is to loose 10 pounds by eating healthier and exercising more, then your next step could be: get off your butt and take a walk; clean out your fridge and pantry of all junk food and put it in the trash (outside); get on the floor right now and do 50 crunches! You get the idea. Do it right now! Go ahead. I’ll wait. As a matter of fact, I’ll do 50 crunches right now too.
How was it? Feel the momentum? Taking action right now gets you beyond procrastination and makes the goal more real. Ignore the excuses that come up like: I need new workout clothes; I need to plan a menu first; I’ll start tomorrow morning, today is a lost cause already. Wrong! You don’t need anything more than what you have right now to take one affirming action.
If your goal is to be a writer then stop writing the goal down and start writing. You already have everything you need so do it. Take 15 minutes right now and write. Don’t worry about not having a topic (the writer’s version of ‘I need workout clothes’) or any other excuse that may come to mind (I want to start a brand new clean notebook). Hogwash! To be a writer you must write. I don’t care if it’s on the back of a napkin, in a text document on your computer, or in a $20 Moleskin! Just write. Just like exercising your physical muscles you need to exercise your writing muscle. Do it right now! Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Make this ‘taking action’ an immediate step following the goal writing step. Every time you write down a goal, take the first step in the next moment. How does this apply to work? Easy. Is your first step to research options? Is it to schedule the first team meeting? Is it to make a phone call or to complete the paperwork to get approval? Whatever it is – do it now! Take action with purpose. You may be surprised at the results.
Please share your experiences and thoughts about this post. Your contributions help myself and others learn and grow!