“An inch of movement will bring you closer to your goals than a mile of intention” ~ Dr. Steve Maraboli
As many of you read this, you already have made intended plans to carry out in your tomorrow. You intend to wear certain clothes, or put some time in on that big project, or reach out to someone that you haven’t talked to in a while. When most of us hear, or think of, the word ‘tomorrow’, we delve into planning our intentions. It is usually not until we get to the end of that day of tomorrow that we realize the many intended plans we did not fulfill. So again we think about tomorrow and we start making intended plans, hoping again that we will fulfill them this time.
Three months ago, I said I’ll start working on my next blog post tomorrow. As you can see, there were many tomorrows between when I said that and today. You are reading this blog post today, because I finally stopped making intentional plans for tomorrow and I started acting before tomorrow came.
It is a simple theory many of us have heard time and time again; good intentions will lead you nowhere, but committed actions will take you everywhere. For the past three months, I have been intending to start working on my next blog post, but for the past day I have committed to writing my next blog post.
I know one question that is on the minds of those who regularly read my posts; how can someone who touts the habits of effective leadership fall into the bad habits of ineffectiveness? In short, the answer to that question is I too, am human. With true analysis of myself, I can say that I allowed the excuses of life to dictate my actions, or rather the lack of my actions. Every day, I told myself that tomorrow I would start my next blog post, and at the end of every day I pacified myself with excuses as to why I didn’t make the time to sit down and write it.
And I know the next question that is on the minds of those who are reading this now; so what changed? In short, the answer to that question is my actions changed. Like magicians say at the finale of a great trick, “TA-DA!”
– A specific amount of time needs to be allotted up front before starting anything; 10, 20 or even 30 minutes of initial time invested can manifest into the actual hour or two that is needed to complete the task.
– When someone else holds you accountable to something, whether it is for your own benefit or theirs, it assigns a needed level of importance to the task. Set parameters on when you are going to complete your task and then ask someone to hold you accountable to them.
– Dedicating your time and/or resources to something immediately makes it a priority to you. Asking yourself why a project is important to you and what value will be gained can assist you in putting forth the effort necessary to finish what you start.
– Planning is nothing without execution. Once you plan to take action, you must move forward and actually do the thing you set out to do. Thomas Edison said it best, “Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.”
When I allotted a specific amount of time for writing my next blog post, I asked someone to keep me accountable on delivering it by a specific day; I dedicated a period in my day when I knew I would have the least amount of distractions to work on it; I performed the actual activity of writing it, and then TA-DA…I had my next blog post.
Take action: The next time you find yourself behind schedule, procrastinating, or just avoiding a task that seems daunting, remember that a little TA-DA goes a long way!
Leadership on the GO…..Its O.N!