Many people believe knowledge is power but in reality, knowledge by itself is useless. It only becomes powerful when it’s combined with inspired action.
The action part is usually the toughest part for most people. They have an idea, buy a product, do the research, study the material but never actually take action.
This is what we call procrastination. I know it’s an ugly word and no one likes to admit they procrastinate but EVERYONE does. It’s when you decide that you will no longer do it that the positive changes start happening.
The first step in making that decision become a reality is to figure out what your goals are based on what’s important to you and then committing them to writing.
The easiest way to do this is to think of where you want to be in one year from now.
Think about what you want your life to look like spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially and mentally in one year from now.
Be specific when answering all of these questions.
What kind of income do you want?
What kind of relationships do you want?
What level of health will you be at?
What will you be doing to earn the income you desire?
Now once you can answer those questions, write them down immediately! (Yes, you REALLY have to do this part).
One Harvard study revealed that 3 % of students earn incomes ten times those that make up the other 97%.
What’s the difference between the groups? The 3% who make more had clear, written goals.
So take out a piece of paper and a pen and write down these goals right now.
Now that you’ve got those goals written down, think carefully about why these goals are important to you and write that down next to each of them.
Here are the three questions you should answer about each?
What will I feel like once I achieve this goal?
How will my life better when I achieve this goal?
What do I have to lose if I do not achieve this goal?
Once you understand what this goal means to you and why it’s important, ask yourself why you haven’t achieved this goal in the past?
Perhaps you never thought about it or you did think about it but didn’t think you had the resources needed to achieve it?
Whatever your reason for not achieving the goal was, write it down.
Now ask yourself, what’s different this time? What will you do differently to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Take a look at the answers to your questions.
The purpose of this exercise was to consciously determine why these goals are important to you, what has stopped you in the past from achieving them and what you will do differently this time around.
Now that last part can get a little tricky because you might not necessarily know what’s going to be different this time around. You may know that this time you want to get things done but you probably don’t have specific plan on how you’re actually going to do it just yet.
That’s what the next step is all about. It’s time to figure out what you need to do to get where you want to be.
The easiest way to do this is to work backwards. In his bestselling book, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Stephen R. Covey talks about habit #2, “Begin With The End In Mind”.
Well, now that we know what the goal at the end of the year looks like and why it’s important, let’s break it down.
What needs to happen each month for your goal to come to fruition at the end of the year? Then think about what needs to happen each week and then each day.
Once you have an idea of what needs to happen each day, begin scheduling the time needed to get these things done.
If you’re not 100 percent sure of what needs to be done, it’s ok. Just write down what you think you would need to do. Use your imagination. It’s one of the greatest gifts you have.
Aside from that, think about who you need to get help from in order to achieve your goal.
This is where your ability to influence will begin to serve you.
If you don’t know exactly what you should be doing each day to get closer to your goals, think about a person that DOES have the answer and begin putting a plan together to get in contact with them.
When you do finally reach out to them, you must be ready to do it tactfully. Don’t just ask how they can help you. Instead, ask how you can help them or (even better) determine that first and outline a plan that shows them how you can help them.
People often forget that the reciprocity trigger only works when you do something for someone else FIRST.
Now once you’ve started thinking about what you need to do and who can help you, you will see that your planning process will become more effective.
This exercise serves 2 purposes: First, it begins the process of you using your mind to discover what opportunities and resources are available to you and secondly, it enables you to create structure in your plan.
Procrastination often comes from overwhelm. Overwhelm is the result of chaos. Structure prevents chaos.
Therefore, your ability to create structure will have a direct effect on your ability to stop procrastinating.
Perhaps without even realizing it, you have already begun to end your procrastination habits.
You have already begun taking action. The mere act of writing down your goals, why they are important to you and what you think you need to do to achieve them each year, month, week and day means that you are no longer thinking about taking action; you’re actually doing something that will move you closer.
They key now is to remain consistent and begin developing habits that support your success.
The dictionary defines a habit as an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. It’s not hard to see how much of an impact something like this can have on one’s life.
Now that type of impact is up to you. Positive habits will bring your life to levels you never thought possible while negative ones can destroy you.