5 Suggestions to Help Develop the Action Habit

People who experience success in any endeavor share one basic quality — they get things done. This requirement supercedes talent, birth right or other natural advantages, intelligence and good fortune in determining the what you earn and the success you experience.

Of course, it’s a simple concept, but the fact remains that there are not a lot of people who consistently produce results on their own. In Seth Godin’s Action to reach your goalsrecent writings on his blog, he references the importance to “just ship”. Get it done, get something out the door. Improve it later, produce a next version that’s better, whatever … but it seems the fear of producing a final product keeps us from getting things done, but without getting things done, shipping our product, or art, or creation whatever it may be, there can be no achievement.

The key to making this happen? Forming the habit of taking action on your ideas and intentions immediately. Here are some suggestions for ways you can develope the habit of taking action:

  1. Remember that ideas alone don’t bring success – Ideas are important, but they’re only valuable once they’ve been implemented. One average idea that’s been put into action is more valuable than a dozen brilliant ideas that you’re saving for the right time or the “right opportunity”. If you have an idea that you really believe in, do something about it. Unless you take action it really doesn’t even count. Goals are never achieved until ideas are implemented.

  2. Don’t wait until the time is perfect, because it never will be – If you wait until conditions are perfect, it’s likely you’ll never get started. There will always be something that isn’t quite right, and frankly this is frequently just an excuse for inaction. Either it’s too hot or too cold, you’re too busy or not prepared, the market’s up, the market’s down, the economy is not right… you get the idea. The fact is that there is no perfect time to start, and successful people are able to deal with the wind as it is currently blowing and set their sail so that it doesn’t matter. We have to get started and deal with problems as they arise. It would have been best to start yesterday, but second best is to get started today. The achievement of your goal is waiting.

  3. Get serious about what needs to be done, immediately – It’s fairly typical to busy ourselves with some small, insignificant tasks before we start the day, or before launching on the current project. This is really just a distraction that will cost you time if you don’t set those things aside and get busy taking action on what needs to be done, now. The 80/20 rule always applies – 80% of our results are produced by 20% of our actions. So ignore the 80% of “trivial” tasks that fill our day and get busy doing the 20% of the things that matter. Demonstrate yourself as a leader, the kind of person who recognizes and gets started doing the important tasks, right now.

  4. Become one of the doers – Make it your habit to just get busy doing things, rather than thinking about them. Need to exercise? Have a great idea for a presentation? Wish you could meet someone you admire at work? Just pick up and do it. The longer you think about it, the harder it becomes to take action and the more likely something will interrupt your awareness and the opportunity will be lost. By taking action, now, you’ll get more done and will see new and interesting ways to proceed that you would have never considered if you hadn’t gotten started anyway.

  5. Remember: Action cures fear. – Brian Tracy has said many times to “Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” You likely know this is true, but may not want to admit it. I’m in a public speaking group, and you can see it in the eyes of our members as they work through the first few speeches, then reach their 15th, 20th or more. What once was overwhelming actually begins to become fun. We will always have some anxiety before we start, but by taking action what once seemed overwhelming becomes easily manageable. Action is the best, and really only, cure for fear. The first time is the hardest, but once you get started you’ll see that your confidence builds and the emotions become manageable. Heed Mr. Tracy’s advice: Deal with fear by taking action on it, and the fear will certainly fade away.

Any goal you set will require that you take action and product something. Realize your goal sooner, get started taking action today.

One Response to “5 Suggestions to Help Develop the Action Habit”

  1. Amanda says:

    Was totally stuck until I read this, now back up and ruginnn.