“Most of us have two lives, the life we live and the unlived life within us”
How many times have you caught yourself stuck between wanting to act and taking action? How many nights have you envisioned the person you want to become, or the person you were meant to be, the ideal job or the ideal future? Going from thoughts to action can be daunting. Your inner perfectionist who wants everything to be perfect or the hours of overplanning, the procrastination and the fear of failure are slowing you down. Sometimes, despite your determination to start your project, goal, initiative or dream, distraction, inertia or fear will keep you away from taking action.
How to move from the planning to action?
1. Find out what is holding you back
One of the most difficult things, before you start taking any action, is to find out what is holding you back. Although people can be really excited about starting something that will make them happy, at the same time they will find a lot of excuses, like “I do not know where to start”, “I do not have the money”, “my knowledge is limited”, “I am not making any progress”, “I am trapped”, or “I do not have the time”. If you want to start a new project or accomplish a goal, but you are unable to do so, find out why. You can never get past the thinking stage of getting things done, if you unconsciously sabotage yourself. As soon as you find out the reason, tackle it. For instance, if you do not know where to start with your goal, break it down into smaller achievable goals. If you do not have the resources, find a financial aid or if your knowledge is limited, gather information. Furthermore, if you do not have the time, prioritize your day better. If you cannot come up with a way to eliminate the obstacle, get some help from your friends or your general support system. Taking action gives you the chance to attract the resources you need.
2. Share your thoughts
When we want to accomplish something is better to talk about it. Sharing your thoughts or ideas with others can help you to move these thoughts from your head into the real world. Consider expressing your thoughts to your friends, peer or colleagues. It can be incredibly helpful to share your thoughts because you might gain valuable insight and feedback on how to get started. In many cases, your friends or colleagues might help you to turn your vision or goal into reality. Additionally, it creates accountability because there is a higher chance to follow through on something once you express it to others.
3. Create a milestone
If your goal or innovation project will take time, it helps to build in a series of milestones. Each time you accomplish a milestone, which will bring you closer to your goal, your enthusiasm and willingness to continue will keep up. So instead of having one big dream, establish as much as possible smaller ones to keep your energy up throughout. Sometimes we risk losing our focus when it takes too much time to accomplish something. It can easily become overwhelming, if you have to achieve the unachievable within a limited amount of time. Thus, the best way is to create small milestones.
4. Plan in the right way
You probably spend too much time overthinking how you will set things up and after a lot of thinking, you still do not have any idea of what exactly you want to do or how you will make it happen. This is because you do not think clearly and you lack structure in your thoughts. To take action, you need first to think:
What do I want?
What is my specific action plan to achieve my goal, dream or project?
Do I have any smaller milestones?
Which are my deadlines for each step that I will take?
An actual clear plan will make your idea happen and help you make the changes you want in your life. You do not need to have everything planned out to the last detail, but you need to have the basic structure.
5. Refocus your energy
The most common excuse for not taking action is lack of time. People claim that they feel too exhausted from their work or responsibilities and are unable to start doing something else. However, what they do not consider is that by taking action to something they like, they will regain their energy and enthusiasm. Instead of watching TV for an hour or more after work or playing with your phone, start taking action to the things you want to do. Cut out things that take too much of your time and energy.
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that things are difficult.”