I have been focused on taking action on my writing goals over the last few weeks. Researching and exploring the reasons we don’t act on our goals. In particular I’ve been trying to determine why my own action taking cycles.
I am a planner.
Hang on, I hear you say, no she’s not, she’s a pantser. Yes, in my writing I am but otherwise I really love my lists and calendars and mindmaps and goals.
I think it is important to set our goals (in ink) and plan our time and set deadlines for ourselves.
This is not enough. To reach our goals we need to take action – to follow through with the plans and work through the lists.
Sometimes it can be hard to take action even for something we really want.
This inability to take action can be due to a number of reasons:
- Energy levels
- They are not the right goals
- lost sight of goals
- too many goals
- Lack of commitment
- Failing to plan
Over the last few weeks I’ve been reading about how to move through these issues/problems to take action on my writing goals and write more.
I don’t want to be productivity focused – I know I can write more, I want to write more – so how do I do it?
Energy management – Knowing when you work best and working to that cycle. I have discussed this in greater detail here. Remember not to beat yourself up when your energy levels are low.
Fear – Whether it be fear of failure or fear of success or something in between, fear can be so overwhelming it can slow or halt all action.
Motivation – Are you working towards what you really want or what you think you want?
Too much or too little – Are you trying to achieve too much and just don’t have the time. Focus on what is most important to you first. Overwhelming yourself with too many goals will only stop you achieving.
Distractions – Understand what distracts you from taking action and find ways to reduce or remove those distractions.
I know that if I check my email before I do any writing of a morning then I can quite happily fill my whole writing time with reading emails and following up on links to articles and Facebook and so on.
Aware of this I don’t allow myself to even think about email or blogs until after dinner, or sometimes during lunch time at work. Even if I want to check for something, as soon as it is open I know my hour is lost.
Finding the tools to help you
- Everyone is different – I have said this before when looking for tools for your toolbox; see what others are doing and what works for them and then take from them what will work for you.
- Don’t be afraid to mix it up – take tools from various areas
- Don’t be afraid to experiment – try something new and if it doesn’t work for you walk away, or change it to suit yourself.
This isn’t a complete list
There is far more that I could go into. And action taking is different for everyone. Some of you will find it easy to sit down and do what is needed; others will struggle even though you know taking action will get you closer to what you want.
Can it be that easy? What does it take to be able to action your goals?
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