Seems like a silly question, doesn’t it? I mean if you laid out goals for the year or month or week, then surely the actions you are taking each day serve them. Right?
One of my Three Words for 2013 is Service. It is a reminder to be of service to others. It is also a reminder that my actions should serve my goals. Let’s talk about the latter.
What does it take?
I’ve said before that we get so caught up in accomplishing the end goal, that we fail to break down the simple actions that we need to do each day, the very first acts
In Chris’ new course, Write Your Book Already one of the things he does is break down the larger goal into smaller, bite-sized chunks. If your book is 50,000 words, then it is simply a matter of writing 1000 words a day over the next two months and it’s done.
In some ways it really is that simple.
Here’s the rub. 1000 words a day is smaller but it’s a marker, a goal within the goal. It’s an action, but not the first action.
Small Steps Matter
I’m a firm believer that success begets success. There are lessons to be learned and momentum to be gained in even the smallest positive action towards a goal. If I do something today, I am more likely to do it tomorrow.
This year, I have some significant fitness goals, one of them is about running a certain number of miles each week. It is my bite-sized chunk to accomplishing a larger goal. Of course, even smaller than that is running just 3 days per week to meet that goal. But that too is just a marker. It isn’t the first action.
First Actions and Gaining Momentum
The first action is the one that sets all others in motion. In the case of running, the momentum for me begins as soon as I decide to step away from my work. That first act of stopping what I am doing to get dressed for a run, is one of the hardest acts. Sometimes it is harder than the run itself. Why? Because I know that once I step away, I am going for the run.
Trust The Plan, Trust Yourself
Sometimes it is a matter of trust. I set goals. I laid out a plan. I know the steps. I have to trust that my actions are serving my larger goals and stick to the plan. In the moment so many things appear more urgent and more important, so it’s easy to justify staying put and working. In these moments, I’m thinking less about how long a 5 mile run is, I’m trying to escape the gravitational pull of the work in front of me. I’m thinking less about what it takes to write 1000 words, I’m thinking about an email that I think I should answer.
Sometimes it isn’t about a marathon or even 3 miles. It’s about lacing up your shoes. Sometimes it isn’t about finishing the book or even 1000 words. It’s about fingers on the keyboard, banging out the first few words.
It is about the first acts that propel you in the direction you’ve laid out. The goal isn’t going anywhere, but you are.
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