OK, I say these steps are simple, but the truth of the matter is, you will recognize the steps, you will agree with the steps, you will understand the steps, and you still may not do the steps.
There are a lot of reasons you don’t do things. You don’t do things because you don’t’ have time, you don’t want to get dirty, and you simply don’t want to… And you don’t do things because you are listening to that inner voice that is scared to allow you to try something a little new. Something that may CHANGE EVERYTHING.
We are all very good at judging, whether we know it or not, our brains are like computers constantly evaluating and judging and we rely on that to keep us safe and out of trouble… It can be hard to recognize when that same mechanism is holding us back from our greatness, from our success, because doing something new can be uncomfortable, especially if we have a little tiny voice saying, people will laugh, my friends won’t understand, what if I fail.
Take a deep breath. Relax…
Let’s look at the 4 simple steps to your success.
AND… more importantly, let’s agree to give it a go.
Let’s pick something small, let’s concentrate on the steps, and choose something that will not make or break us emotionally as we perform the steps and achieve success!
First, you must decide what you want. SPECIFICALLY.
(That line is for you to write what you want… hint hint)
Write down, in one sentence your very clear, concise and specific goal.
My Goal is to wake each morning to a clean kitchen, counter tops empty and cleaned, dishwasher empty or filled with clean dishes, sink empty and clean.
My Goal is to find a new office job that is located within 7 miles of my home with a salary of either equal to my current salary or more.
My Goal is to write and publish a book in 18 months.
My goal is to earn $800.00 a week at my side business so that I can quit my day job and devote more time to my family and convert my side business to my only business.
My goal is to get out and jog every morning
My goal is to lose 10 pounds in 3 weeks.
Do you understand? Your first step is to write down your specific goal. You can’t just write down, “Learn how to play guitar” I have no problem with you learning to play an instrument, but you need to be more specific, you need a deadline, you need a specific song, a genre, a type of guitar.
If your goal isn’t specific, you will never know when you reach it. You will never be able to measure how close you are to reaching it! You will have a harder time recognizing how far you’ve come.
So, I challenge you… today… this moment… WRITE DOWN A SINGLE SPECIFIC GOAL.
Second, Map out your action steps
This is easier than it sounds and I’ll show you how. But first, you should think for a moment and decide if you are a BIG PICTURE person or if you are a STEP BY STEP person.
The big picture person is able to look at the whole completed puzzle and understand the different pieces that go into it. This person is comfortable putting together a little bit of the sky… then a little bit of the ocean… then a little bit of the boat, and understands that as more and more of the seemingly random pieces are put together they will eventually join to complete the puzzle.
The step by step person is more comfortable with road maps. Having a starting point, and a destination is fine, but they prefer to follow the instructions step by step, completing each piece in the order required to get one step closer to the end result, until finally they arrive.
In both cases, the simple step to mapping out your action steps is….. WORK BACKWARDS.
Start with your goal, and list out the things that must occur in order for you to reach your goal. Let’s pick the clean kitchen goal.
Goal: wake up in the morning to a clean kitchen
7. Go to bed with a clean kitchen
6. Clean now empty sink
5. Wipe down counters and put away anything on the counters
4. Fill dishwasher or wash dishes and put them in drainer
3. bring in any dishes from other rooms
2. empty dishwasher or dish drainer
1. 7:30 pm turn off TV
This is a simple goal, and these are the simple steps. If I flip them and go 1 – 7, and I perform these steps every night at 7:30, than I will wake up each morning to a clean kitchen. Sounds silly? Maybe it sounds silly because your kitchen is clean, think about how your kitchen gets clean. If you have a clean kitchen every morning, you have already mastered your simple steps for that goal.
My point is, if you want to change something, you need to change how you are trying to achieve it. You need to have specific actionable steps written so that you can follow them. If you are interested in getting another job and you sort of look in the paper on Sunday’s or glance at Monster.com when you get a chance… those are actions… but they aren’t action steps. An action steps is you telling you that, “You will email/fax/mail 10 resumes to new job listings A WEEK”. That’s an action step. Work from that goal… backwards to figure out how you will achieve that goal!
The big picture person may struggle a bit writing out their action steps, because they are not necessarily concerned with sequence, whereas the step by step person will have an easier time writing up their steps to their goal. Don’t give up. This is an important step.
Third: Notice what’s working and what’s not.
The best part about having action steps towards a specific goal is your ability to measure their effectiveness. If you have a list of steps and performing those steps isn’t getting you to the next level, if it isn’t putting you in a place where you can naturally and easily perform the next step… it’s time to re-evaluate your steps.
Going back to my clean kitchen action steps, perhaps I’m very tired at 7:30pm. Perhaps the idea of spending 20 minutes cleaning when I’m so tired after a long day of work is not working and I just do not get up off the couch to perform the tasks as outlined.
Rather than believe that I can not do it. That a clean kitchen when I wake up is simply not possible… rather than create more stress or negative feelings about my ability… and more importantly rather than BLAME anyone including myself for the fact that I haven’t reached the goal… I need to realize that the goal is solid. The goal is attainable, it’s my action steps towards that goal that may need some tweaking.
This is the most important simple step of all, because in fact, it’s at this point that most people quit. Most people simply tell themselves, “I can’t do it” or “It’s not possible”.
I know someone who has been looking for a job closer to her home for the last 2 years and she has specific steps that she’s comfortable performing to look for her job. She checks the job boards online and sends her resume, and she occasionally checks the paper. She has told me time and time again that “there are no jobs”. I encourage her to try a different tactic. She is not comfortable taking a day each month to visit local businesses and chat with the receptionist and hand over a personalized cover letter and resume. She is not comfortable, looking for ideal companies and writing letters or introduction, she does not believe that that will work and therefore will not try.
The fact of the matter is, she is unwilling to recognize that her steps to achieve her goal aren’t working. She does not want to do anything different to achieve a different result.
Finally, when you notice something isn’t working, re-evaluate and create new action steps
There are really two keys to this fourth and final simple step to your success:
ONE) You must recognize exactly what is not working
TWO) You must recognize exactly what IS working.
These are lessons that you teach yourself by identifying your achievements and spotting the possibilities in your small successes.
There was a time when I was involved in a network marketing company. This company had a fantastic payment structure and more importantly had a really great product. There were many things I learned in my time with this company, and I have never for a moment felt like I wasn’t meant to have experienced all of the seminar’s, meetings and trainings.
There came a time, when I needed to evaluate what was working and what was not working.
During this evaluation I discovered that there were a large number of things that I learned that I really enjoyed and at which I naturally excelled. I found the things that weren’t working for me, were not innately part of my personality and I had to decide whether I would be happy trying to cultivate them or if I would be better served to concentrate on the countless amazing things I’ve learned and skills I’ve acquired and apply them to a new direction for reaching the same goal.
For me the key is education. I believe that we don’t know, what we don’t know… and I believe that every path we take can teach us something about ourselves and our possibilities. There are no failures, only learning experiences. When something doesn’t work, we need to recognize what didn’t work and learn from it. The path I took introduced me to brilliant people and the opportunity to learn from their successes actually served to steer me towards additional education in coaching. The result of which is my company www.healthwellnessandsuccess.com, my blogs, my coaching business and a life where I am naturally and easily fully self- expressed, surrounding myself with other people that energize me as I help them reach their next level of success.
So you see, it’s important not to throw the baby out with the bath water…. Understand what is not working as well as what is working.
Review your goal.
Review your action steps. Decide which ones worked well, a little bit or not at all. Take the time to expand your awareness and contemplate a different approach. Then do it.
And most of all…. Make today amazing.
- When People [ESPECIALLY Family & Friends] Doubt You (entrepreneurbgreene.wordpress.com)
- Are You Writing Down Your Goals? Write them down first, then make them happen! (motivationfortheworld.wordpress.com)
- 7 Steps for Getting What You Want (psychologytoday.com)
- How to Take Positive Action – just one small positive step! (positiveprovocations.com)