Action expresses priorities.
You’ve identified the first life area or areas that if improved, would improve everything else in your life.
But … that’s a whole life area, you say. It’s huge.
And there’s a small, medium, or big discrepancy between how it is now, and how it would be if it was a “10.”
Fear not! We’re going to break it down into smaller steps.
What do you want to achieve in this life area? Write it down.
I want _______________________________________________
Now: What’s one step you can take today or this week to take you in that direction?
One step I can take to achieve what I want is:
Is that something you can do today or this week?
If it is…
When do you want to achieve it by? Write it down:
Congratulations! You’re on your way to getting what you want.
Repeat these steps every time you feel stuck or as if you’ve run out of things to do.
How do you want to make yourself accountable to follow through on this step?
For instance: pick one or more of these accountabilities or create your own.
- I will write/type this down in my journal, calendar or create a document for it to track my progress.
- I will tell someone I trust (or more than one trusted person) and ask them to check in with me by e-mail, phone, or text on a specific date.
- Other: I will __________________________to ensure I follow through.
Choose action steps based on your ability to get them done in a week or less. If you have too big of a step (particularly if it depends on other people’s responses or actions), you may need to break it down further.
For instance, imagine my client’s goal is to improve her relationships and reconnect with people she feels she doesn’t see enough. She wants to hold a party and schedule it. It’s important to her to ensure key people are there. She doesn’t just want to schedule it without input. The action step she identifies is to write and send an e-mail to those key people suggesting several dates and asking people to get back to her with their availability within a week. (Often people are good at doing this for work meetings, but not so good with personal engagements…)
This client’s goal is a SMART one (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound). There’s more about SMART goals in the next section.
Every single huge life area can be improved using this simple step.