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« Start Small | Main | Pulling Cows out of Ditches? »
Monday
Oct092006

Find the Key Action!

What do the following things have in common?

Example One: Like many people, my wife and I have various old friends to whom we send out Christmas cards every year with a note saying “We really must get together this year.” Needless to say we usually don’t. And then one year we get tired of sending out the same old vague note, and instead we pick up the phone and propose a specific date. Once we’ve done that we know that we are really going to see each other at last.

Example Two: For years I had been thinking about setting up my own full-time business, but I never really got moving on it until I took the step of giving three months notice to my employers. After that I was fully committed and my preparations started moving forward really fast.

Example Three: For many years my wife and I had been meaning to see the famous ballet dancer Sylvie Guillem in action. We’d been talking about it for years, but one day we booked tickets to go and see her dance at Covent Garden. We went a couple of weeks ago, and she was great!

Example Four: When I was considering running a series of “New Time Management” seminars, I knew for sure that they were really going to happen only when I booked the hall for the first three months worth of dates.

In each of these four examples, which range from major life changes to the fairly trivial, there was one action which committed me. Once I had taken that one action, it was almost certain that the goal was going to happen. If you look at the actions - setting a date, giving notice, buying tickets, booking the hall - you can see that in each case I was doing something which, if not completely irrevocable, would have taken me some effort, expense and/or embarrassment to go back on.

If you are having a lack of progress on a particular goal, think what key action would really commit you to that goal. Until you’ve taken that action, your goal is just a pipe-dream. Once you’ve taken it you will find that things start moving. Your mind will be fully engaged. Look for the action which is going to make the difference.

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