Five techniques to help you take action

Friday, June 14, 2013
Five techniques to help you take action

I love motivational posters that have a great picture and then a motivating quote underneath. The picture starts your mind racing with ideas and then the quote sometimes makes you smile. I bet you have seen this poster before, you have footsteps in sand and then the quote” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” This is very true, but how do you take that first step? Try this list for some insight on taking action.
1. I call this first step “ Just put your head down and get it done” I have run over sixty marathons and during each marathon there are joyful times and times that are painful. During these painful miles I just tell myself to put your head down and get it done. I know it will be painful to not finish and endure the disappointment, so I just push on. Sometimes you have to tell yourself “let’s just put our head down and get something done”.
“Daddy wasn’t there for me, so I had to GRIND every day.”
Ray Lewis

2. Remember the first law of motion. An object at rest remains at rest and a body in motion remains in motion unless acted on by an outside force. If you want something to happen in your life, you have to get moving or you will sit there forever. It is hard to sugar coat this but at some point you have to get moving. I have two friends who wanted to run a marathon. True story. One friend bought new shoes, a treadmill, and a nice watch for his training. In addition he read books on running a marathon. He was inspired to run a marathon. One problem, he never would go out and run. My other friend found a marathon plan for free on-line, looked it over and started training the next day. Who do you think meet the goal of running the marathon?
"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
John Bingham

3. Break the project or task into bite sized pieces and start by eating the first bite sized piece. If a task seems overwhelming the chances are you will not start. I once had to transcribe one hundred short videos. I kept thinking to myself that it was going to be impossible. I set a small goal of completing just three a day. Most days I would complete double this and I had a goal to accomplish each day. Before I knew it I had a transcription for all 100 videos. One can always break a large task into small tasks that can be easily completed.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

4. At night before you go to bed write down one two or three tasks that you will get done the next day no matter what happens. Just tell yourself that you will not go to bed the next day unless these tasks are done. Then stick to the plan. I use my smartphone and have a free checklist app and use this. I have found this to be really helpful in first getting important items done and developing the habit of taking action.
If you truly want to change your life, you must first change your mind.
From the blog:
5. Remind yourself why you want to complete this task. The reasons can vary from “I need to complete this task in order to remain employed” to “completing this task is the first step in bringing world peace”. Regardless your brain needs to be reminded of the purpose. Some people like to visualize how good it will feel when you complete the task. Others enjoy being able to mark something off their daily list. Regardless, your odds of getting started and completing a task go up if you have a compelling reason to get started. One big reason that  African runners dominate distance running is that they know that if they can get to a certain level and win some races, they can make a lifetime of wealth in a couple of years of running. This gives them a huge compelling reason to train hard. In 2011 there were over 500 African male runners who ran a sub 2:20 marathon. At the same time in Great Britain there less than ten... Are Great Britain runners inferior? No the world record holder for the women’s marathon Paula Radcliff is from Great Britain. In Great Britain you dream of being a futbol hero not a marathoner.

Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.

Les Brown


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