By James Patrick
George Bernard Shaw once said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” Life requires action beyond the dream. That larger vision for growth and what we desire most is reserved for those who are willing to DO. The problem, however, is that sometimes that vision is TOO big for the moment. This can cause overwhelm and result in a lack of proper planning and execution. It’s why so many never take that first step towards realizing their true potential or simply do too many of the wrong things. So, what exactly can be done to support some forward momentum which produces results? Below are 5 steps to connect with the vision and lock into action.
1. Frame It. – Planning for the future means looking ahead without getting lost in unrealistic expectations. Where are you at TODAY with time, money, resources and support? Planning for the “now”, means looking at the year ahead and working with short term goals that support the bigger picture. These are baby steps which you will take in the next 6 to 12 months. The ideal future is the one which you can encapsulate within the next 3-5 years. Any more than that and you’re setting yourself up for failure.
2. Focus It. – Once you’ve set a reasonable time frame, get clear on what it is that you want to accomplish both personally and professionally. Vision boards are great support tools which can be quite effective ONLY if the rest of these steps are followed. The visuals of what we want to achieve serve as great inspiration and motivation. Be realistic. Can you accomplish what you’ve placed on your board within the next 3-5 years? Does your vision inspire you? You’re mind and body should have a physical reaction which ignites the desire to move.
3. Direct It. – Where do you start? Monthly themes, weekly goals and daily actions allow you to organize and prioritize how you plan to get the work done without trying to do too much at once. Remember, nothing worth having happens overnight. Honor the process. You may be inspired by your vision, but you must give it direction and set deadlines before you can take any action. Invest your time wisely.
4. Own It. – Create your support team, by speaking with other self-motivated individuals about your ambitions. Establish accountability partners who are working towards their own objectives. When you are held accountable to someone other than yourself and when someone is being held accountable by you, the odds of producing the desired results will rise. Who will be on your team?
5. Do It. – At the end of the day, achieving the dream requires a change in behavior. The plan isn’t enough. This is the difference between being committed to your vision and being compelled into action. You need to condition your mind the way a personal trainer would condition the body. The system is set. Now, you need to take consistent steps towards that vision and document your successes and successful attempts. There is no failure if you’re in action. It takes 21 days to create a new habit. It takes 90 days to make it part of your lifestyle. Repetition of these steps is the key.
A life of design is created by your choices. Per, Tony Robbins, “I believe life is constantly testing us for our level of commitment, and life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who demonstrate a never-ending commitment to act until they achieve.”