If you want to get from point A to point B, something needs to move.
With all of the formulas, methods, ideas, and strategies of success that you can pick up, none of it will change your life until you put what you learn into action. Action is the key to success, at least partially.
The fact is that anyone can take action.
How many people do you know can get themselves to the gym in the month of January? Seeing that so many people set losing weight as a new year’s resolution, you probably know at least several. However, it’s not taking action once in a while or whenever you feel like it that will change your life, it’s taking action consistently, day in, day out, whether you feel like it or not.
If you break it down, most goals are easy to achieve.
You just have to perform certain tasks long enough to achieve your desired outcome. The challenge for most people however, is in being consistent. Challenges, obstacles, setbacks, these things cause most people to feel discouraged and as a result, they stop taking action because in their minds, they don’t see the point. They lose their motivation.
If you want to increase your ability to take consistent action, here’s the key:
Make your actions a habit. The more you consistently perform a task, the easier it will become. The challenge though is that in the beginning, it will all be about your level of motivation and will power.
You need to do what it takes to keep taking action. This is critical because if you stop, it will be very easy to just quit on your goal for the time being all together and wait for the “perfect time” to start over again. If you continue taking action even when it’s hard, even when the results don’t seem to justify continuing the effort, eventually, you’ll hit a point where the struggle will start to ease, a point where motivation and will power is no longer needed.
When you reach this point, you’ll see how some people can make being successful look so darn easy. You’ll also understand why consistency is so important. Will it be easy to reach the point of habitual action? It depends on your goals but in general, it’s going to feel like an uphill battle at first but once you reach that breaking point, it’ll be just a matter of time before you reach your goal.
One technique I found to be useful is to attach the action to something you already do everyday in order to form a sequence of actions. By attaching the actions that you want to form into a habit to an existing habit, when the existing habit is triggered, a process will be activated, eventually leading you to perform the action that you want to make into a habit.
For example, let’s say you want to do some sort of workout each day. Since you shower everyday, you can make it a habit to do a quick workout every time before you shower. If you go onto Facebook every day and your goal is to study more, get in the habit of studying right after you finish using Facebook. If you watch TV every day and your goal is to read more, immediately read after you’re done watching your show. If you drink coffee every morning and your goal is to practice a new language, get in the routine of practicing while you’re drinking your coffee.
Experiment with putting the new action before of after the existing habit to see what works best for you.
1. Write down the daily actions that you need to take in order to reach your goals and commit to taking those actions no matter what for at least a month.
2. Find something you do on a daily basis to attach your actions to.
Note: It’s going to be easy at first since your motivation will likely be high. After the first week, it may start to get tougher. Once you reach day 30, it’s possible that your actions haven’t become a habit yet. If this is the case, keep going until it does. If you’re taking action towards your goals on a daily basis, it will eventually become habitual or at least easier.
Until next time…