Activity vs. Action

I set a lot of goals.  I try to be thoughtful about them.  I usually set an overarching goal for the year, break it into 8-10 smaller goals and break the smaller goals into manageable parts.  Pretty simple.

I’m not always great about working toward my goals.  Instead of following my carefully thought out plan, I get distracted.  We all do.  I may have the very best intentions of spending two hours finishing a piece of an online program that starts this spring, but end up deciding that finding ANOTHER article on the health benefits of happiness is more important.  Reading, while important, does not get me closer to finishing the writing of my program.

You see, I’m usually pretty active, engaging in different types of activity.  The problem creeps in when I am active but not necessarily taking action on a goal that I’ve established.  Being active is exhausting but doesn’t put you anywhere near your goal or at least not the goal you are working on at the time.

How many times have you gotten to the end of the day with seemingly nothing to show for it?  You know you were active, that is you didn’t spend your time in bed.  You got out maybe went to work but the work was not action designed to get you to get you a specific result.

I’m active every day but I’m not always action-oriented.  It’s something I’m working on.  Here are some things that help me and, hopefully will  help you:

  1. Get clear on your goal.–My husband is a Public Relations Consultant.  One of the things he stresses with all of his clients is make sure everything you do relates back to your message.  If you are not clear on what your message or goal is, you cannot act on it.
  2. Set your goals before you go to bed or first thing in the morning–If you know what your goal for the day is (or goals are if you are so inclined) and the steps you need to take to get there you will take action to reach it. Clarity of your goal is key.
  3. If you have a huge goal, break it down into doable steps–Maybe your goal is to get to a healthier weight.  You know that it is a process.  Instead of being faced with losing 30 lbs. by a certain time, look to lose 1-2 lbs/ week over a 6 month period of time.  That will help you see incremental progress and celebrate every week.  It’s also a lot easier to put off taking action on a big goal if it’s way off in the distance.
  4. Celebrate your victories–When you achieve a goal, take a minute to acknowledge the win.  It gives you something to look forward to.
  5. Forgive yourself–One of the biggest hurdles I’ve had to jump is forgiving myself when I get off track.  It’s really easy to talk yourself out of goals when you make a misstep.  It’s imperative that you keep moving forward. Get back up on that horse and keep moving.

Being active is not the same as taking action.  There are a lot of people who are active who get discouraged because they are not seeing the results they want.  Action requires a destination and a path to get there that you are willing to travel daily.  You can do it.

What are some of the short term and long term goals you are laser focused on now?  Share with us so we can encourage and support you.