“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela
I love that quote. Why? Because while traversing the path toward being more effective in any area of your life, becoming a better person, or improving health and vitality, you will eventually find that there are certain hurdles that will seem insurmountable.
Perhaps you’re ready to finally start dialing in your health, but have no idea where or how to begin. Maybe you’ve been wanting to get in shape or you’ve been trying for years to improve the way you eat because you know you could do better.
No matter what your goals are, there are a few key actions you can take today that will bring you closer to achieving your goals.
STEP 1 – GET CLEAR
Ask yourself what it is exactly that you want? Then, you must ask yourself why you want it?
Trying to take action without knowing the what and especially the why, is like trying to light a fire with damp wood. Sure, you may see a little smoke, maybe even get a small flame going, but without that clarity you’re just expending energy and resources without gaining much traction. Use dry wood and light that fire!
- Write a list of the top 5 goals/things you’ve been wanting to achieve.
- Next to each item write out a clear why. Go deep for this step.
- Example: WHAT? – I want to get in shape. WHY? – because I would feel stronger, more energized, and it would improve my confidence, which could lead to more opportunities for me.
STEP 2 – CREATE A ROADMAP
Now that you have clarity it’s time to create your roadmap. Depending on your personality type or what the goal is, this plan can be really simple or a bit more involved. If you prefer simplicity, then by all means keep it simple. No sense in getting lost in the fine details if a simple A to B set of actionable items will do. However, if you’re say an A type who thrives on deadlines, mind-maps and a detailed plan of actions and events, then have a go at it. Just beware of getting caught in the “resistance” trap. Working so much on the details that you never actually begin doing the work itself.
The point is that while it’s nice to take the scenic route and enjoy the view along the way, without a map you’re likely to get lost. A map will get you there faster.
- Create an actionable list that will get you from where you are today to where you intend to be. Use a notebook, excel sheet, mind map, whatever. The point is write down and track it. Check off each step as you get it done and commend yourself for getting closer to your end-goal.
- Set a clear deadline for when you intend to have accomplished this goal.
- Example: Do some exercise 3x per week, for 30-40 minutes each time. Stretch every day in the morning. Make better food choices.
STEP 3 – EXECUTE!
So, now you’re clear on your goal, and you have a map of action steps to guide the way. Success is surely at hand! But, now is when the rubber really meets the road. Yes, those first two steps are a key part of this work, so go ahead and commend yourself for getting this far you big lug! But now it’s time to get to it. It’s time to “Execute!” as Gary Vaynerchuck would say. It’s imperative that you go back to step 1 and visualize that goal. You must continue to muster up that passion and belief in your vision so that it keeps the fires of action stoked.
- The next time you’re thinking about missing that gym session, bring your beach body vision to mind and ask yourself, “Will sitting on the couch today get me closer to what I want?” The answer will be crystal clear. Either way you’re getting a payoff. On the one hand the payoff is that you get more of the same. On the other, that dream you’ve wanted for so long is now one day closer to being a reality.
- If you find yourself falling into old patterns or unable to take action then it’s possible you didn’t want it bad enough. Go back to step #1 and rethink your goal.
Follow these key steps and what you thought was insurmountable will be a thing of the past. Remember these wise words… “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”