I’ve often heard it said that the key to achieving any goal is to just “take action”. This is not only hallow advice, but it is not even effective. The key is not to just take action, but concentrated action.
The key distinction here is what people take action on. For example, some people take massive amounts of action and end up just spinning their wheels. What people need is to take focused action to achieve their goals.
People who take action just for the sake of action do not think with a truly long-term perspective, instead they become too involved in what is in front of them. This long-term perspective is key to progress.
Here are the steps to taking focused action. Stick to the plan and watch the results unfold for yourself.
Make sure that your plan has a system of measurement
Two of the most important aspects of having a goal is making sure they are measurable and have a defined timetable. Without these two elements you may find yourself wavering on how and what should get done. Common methods of measurement include 30, 90, or 180 days.
For example, if you intended on losing weight, you may make it a goal to hit the gym x times over the next week. It’s also important to make sure that you are making goals that are strictly within your control. For example, losing x amount of pounds can vary due to the time of day and when you have eaten. A better goal would be to hit the gym a certain number of times and let the result be a byproduct of your efforts.
Have a list or an action plan
The most important step in this process is to make sure that you are taking action daily. Create an item list with several things that you can check off throughout your day.
Start with the end in mind and think about how good it would feel at the end of the week to check off these 3-5 items a day. In this case less is more. There is no point to making a list with a million different items if it just stresses you out. It’s important to hit the basics and take it from there. Your list should empower you, not drag you down.
Continue to chip away
Success doesn’t happen overnight, neither does failure. It’s important that you delay your need for gratification as long as possible. This is acting without results oriented thinking. Delaying gratification and continuing to plug away is an amazing tool to accomplish everything that you want.
Even the best need a coach or other professional to help them get through some of life’s challenges. Too often pride stands in the way of getting assistance that could significantly improve the quality of your results.
Get mentors and courses that lead you in the right direction. When you consider the money and time saved, it is often a worthwhile investment.
Do what you know best, and delegate the rest
For all the things you need to get done, there will come a time when you need some assistance. Paying others to do the tasks you are less effective with is a great way to save time and money. There are plenty of resources available such as: Elance, Fiverr, and many others.
You may be surprised at how far a positive attitude can take you when it comes to accomplishing things. You get much more done when you are being proactive instead of reactive. Taking life by the horns can be scary, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
A positive attitude helps to facilitate all this, leaving you with the resources and energy to continue through when times get tough.
Align your choices with your goals
People who are successful in reaching their goals are always open to new opportunities. This means saying “yes” to things that further goals and saying “no” to things that distract them from their ultimate purpose. Don’t chase the shiny object, just continue to take consistent and dedicated action and let the results speak for themselves.