There are many people that do an excellent job of visualizing, setting goals, making plans, and creating contingency plans for every obstacle that might occur on the way to accomplishing a goal. However, many of these same people never take the first step in the real world. All of their activity is occurring between their ears.
While being clear on your intentions and making plans are important initial steps, nothing actually happens until you take action.
Those that take a lot of action are often successful. Those that take action intelligently and thoughtfully are incredibly successful. Those that plan and never do anything are never successful.
Follow these steps to switch from planning to action and create real results:
1. Set a time limit on your planning phase. There’s no set amount of time this phase should last. If you’re planning on building a rocket ship to send to Mars, the planning period will be longer than that for a goal of losing 10 pounds of body weight.
2. Begin taking some action immediately. There is always a step you can take immediately. You might need a day or two to plan out your diet and exercise program, but you can throw out all the junk food in your house this moment.
- Or you could drive to the post office and start the process of obtaining your passport for the trip to China you’re finally going to take.
- What can you do today to begin working toward your goal? Create a little momentum. Avoid letting a day go by without taking a concrete step toward the achievement of that goal.
- Plan your daily action as early in the day as possible. You’ll be less likely to procrastinate, and you might get a surge of motivation while there’s still enough time in the day to do something constructive with it.
3. Remind yourself of all the previous times you’ve planned and failed to take that first step. You’ve thought about doing plenty of things that never moved beyond the planning stages. It’s easy to feel regretful about the things we failed to do in the past. Good! Use that pain to motivate yourself this time.
4. Understand that the difference between a decent plan and the perfect plan is minimal. The difference that matters is how diligently you put a plan into action. Getting started is more important than perfecting your initial approach. You can alter your plan as you go.
5. Determine the real reason you’re taking too long to actually do something. It’s an issue of fear. It might be the fear of making a mistake, failing, making the wrong decision for the direction of your life, or maybe you’re afraid of succeeding. But you can bet that there is fear at the core of your procrastination.
6. Create a ratio for the time spent planning vs. the time spent doing. Many people will spend seven hours each day planning and researching vs one hour of real activity. Switching those values would be beneficial. The most successful people you can find do more in a day than most of us do in a month.
It’s time to change your life, rather than just thinking about it.
Find out how good your plan is, so you can alter it if you need to. Your thoughts don’t make things happen in the real world. They just shape the actions you choose to take. So, take that action – today!
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