PART 2 - Taking Action on What Matters


By Karin Leonard

In the previous article we discussed managing everyday procrastination. How are you doing with that? Be sure to pat yourself on the back for continuously improving.  This month we'll be exploring another category of procrastination, namely putting on the brakes when it comes to our goals and dreams.


Jeremy has always wanted to change from his corporate job to being a self-employed consultant. Yet, for ten years he has procrastinated taking any action.  Mind you, he has perfectly sound reasons: "The economy isn't stable enough...I'm too busy right now...I'll do it some other time..."

Since there are always reasons for our behavior -- and usually positive intentions -- it is important to understand what benefit Jeremy is deriving from not taking action. Maybe there are limiting beliefs around what is possible for him -- or a fear of the unknown. Making those hidden reasons visible increases our choices, and we can address them more effectively.

 Let's assume, for example, that fear of financial disaster has kept Jeremy from taking action on his dream. Since this is a very real concern, Jeremy needs to take time out to come up with a sound and workable plan. This may provide him with a sense of safety and will make forward movement more likely.


Big goals like Jeremy's tend to be quite different from our current reality and it may seem out of  reach. We need to build bridges between what is and what we want.  Dreams need to be broken down into "bite size" pieces, until we end up with items that can be scheduled into our calendar.

In Jeremy's case, let's say he wants to launch his consultant career by June 1998. By then his professional life would be quite different from what it is now. In order to make his goal more believable and achievable he can trace his actions with the end in mind -- where does he need to be in 12 months, six months -- one month to meet his target date?


I've heard it said that "The way we spend our days is the way we spend our lives". And really each day is another opportunity to create the life of our choice. Realizing our dreams is greatly supported by building structures that make our success more likely. They can lend power to our intentions the way a riverbed guides the flow of water to the ocean. An example of a structure would be a daily (and/or weekly) to-do list that always includes a couple of items that bring you closer to realizing your long-term goals, along with 'putting out fires" and busy work.

Try to find closure on something each day. This positive reinforcement will build momentum. And remember that those who achieved great results did so over time, thinking of so-called failure as time-released success.



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Karin Leonard & Associates:  (831) 724-5400  

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