Without action your dreams and goals will remain just that. Therefore, the most important step of all, is taking action. If you’ve done the work on clarifying your dreams and broken them in to SMART goals, you are ready to take the first step. So why is it that some people follow through and some don’t?
The bigger the goals the scarier they can seem
If you are planning something major, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and do well…..nothing at all! You can move past this by removing the focus from the end goal and start by taking baby-steps. If you are starting a business, getting an education or building a fit and healthy body recognize, these thing don’t happen overnight you will need perseverance and patience.
However, you may also be in a situation where you need to take massive action and immediately make decisions that will take your life in a positive direction. This could be going cold turkey on an addiction, ending a relationship, quitting a job or accepting a new one. In this situation you need conviction and commitment. Once you make the choice – don’t look back.
Practically, this means not assessing your decision ever and quickly dismiss self-doubt when it creeps in. Commitment is like a muscle, the more you flex it the stronger it gets and suddenly a new habit becomes your second nature.
Think back at a time in your life where you made a decision and followed through immediately. You’ve done it before, you can do it again!
Are you enjoying the journey?
Do you put your happiness on hold? What I mean is, do you anticipate that when you start earning more money, have a bigger apartment, is in a relationship, have a holiday, win the lottery, drop 5 kgs or start your new business then you will allow yourself to be truly happy? This is a common way for us to delay happiness and contentment. I think a lot of us fear contentment as we worry it will take away our drive and self-discipline.
Because we all know sometimes you do have to push yourself to finish that project or tick off those to-dos and it’s not all high-fives and fist pumps. But is it possible that even if we allowed ourselves to enjoy the process and be happy in the middle of the doing and the achieving that maybe we would get things done anyway?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we it’s realistic to feel joy and happiness all day every day.
Fact is, an extraordinary life will entail highs and lows, joy and sadness, loneliness and happiness and a range of complex emotions in-between. Living a full life means colouring with the full palate. The emotions we usually connect with something negative have their place. They help us heal and make us grow. There’s nothing wrong with small amounts of suffering. It’s a powerful emotion that can drag you out of a routine you’re no longer comfortable in. It’s the pain of poor health that can make you wake up and start living a healthy life. There’s no doubt that pain can jolt you in to action.
The point is, that you should not waddle in self-pity and negative emotions for long, as spending prolonged periods in “suffering mode” can cause chronic stress, illness and depression. Recognise when you need to make a change, reach out for help if needed and use the pain as a springboard in to a new chapter of your life.
I invite you to take a look at the “rules” you have set up around your own happiness.
When do you berate yourself and when do you praise yourself?
Try it: Take action from a place of love and compassion for yourself and watch what you can achieve.
Don’t reserve the good feels just for that one day where all your dreams come true. Cultivate happiness, contentment and gratitude every step of the way. Feel the joy of living a life of your own design and revel in taking little actions every day. Before you know it, what was once merely a dream is now your every day life.
Don’t forget, action speaks louder than words. It’s time to live your truth and take action!