'A is for.... Action!'
Author; Rosie Gray
We can quickly begin to feel as if we're slipping behind on our New Year objectives, or maybe our work objectives have started to change already as priorities shift.
Although frustrating, it's not a reason to give up. Draw whatever lessons you can, adjust course as necessary and give yourself a second chance.
But unless actions are taken to make your objectives happen, you're about as likely to succeed as you are to win the Euromillions lottery without even buying a ticket! Thinking and talking is not enough..... You've got to roll up your sleeves and get started too.
So What Could Possibly Stop You?
Unsurprisingly, when I meet people beginning to fall behind on their objectives they often tell me 'I don't have time'.
Well, I'm sorry to have to break the news to you, but unless you MAKE THE TIME to work on your chosen objectives, you're unlikely to reach them.
So what can you do to make it easier to swing into action on your objectives, when you're already so busy with everything else in your life?
I'm often asked 'How many objectives should I have?'
It's your choice, of course. Personally, I prefer to keep it simple and choose just a few I really care about. Too many, and I find I forget them and become demotivated as I seem to make little real progress on any.
Typically I prefer to act first on the objectives that'll make most difference,and concentrate efforts on those. This gets a result more quickly, and then I can move on to some more. As you make progress, it's a great confidence booster, and it'll spur you onto the next step too.
Sometimes I hear comments such as 'I need a clear 3 hours to work on this'. The reality is you probably don't often get the luxury of a clear period of concentration like that, so nothing happens.
Could this possibly even be a procrastination strategy for you?
This isn't as obvious as it might sound.
It's tempting to fall into the trap of thinking you have forever to finish something - so you don't get started yet. This strategy can really backfire.
If the task turns out to be bigger than anticipated, or you're let down by others, or even something as simple as you catch the flu close to the deadline - you're in trouble. For example, my own product launch for the Home Study Course was setback several months by the sudden shift in exchange rates. Who could ever have predicted the rapid shift in the value of the pound and dollar in the autumn of 2008? My careful plans to manufacture my set of CD's in California had to be reviewed at the very last stage of implementation, and new sources in the UK sourced.
The unexpected can catch us out at any time.
- Remember you have all the time there is
The key to success is recognising the wisest choices you can make with that time. So although it may bring temporary comfort to engage in distractions such as turning out desk drawers and lining up your pens in colour order (or whatever your favourite displacement activity is), it's a choice that may be paid for later as the deadline panic gets closer.
- It doesn't have to be perfect to get started
But commonly this desire can stop us in our tracks. You know, conditions will probably never be perfect, we just have to make the best of it with the resources, information and time we have.
You probably know how I love quotes to sum up an idea and thought you might enjoy this one;
'Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.'
(Arthur Ashe, Winner of 3 Tennis Grand slams, the Wimbledon men's singles title in 1975 and ranked no. 1 tennis player in the world)
So if you sense you're beginning to slip behind, or even procrastinate on an objective or two, don't give up on your plans for the year yet.
Instead, I wonder, what single step could you take today to move yourself beyond 'stuck' and begin creating the momentum that'll lead to success?