From Intention to Action to Achieve your Goals
“The most effective way to do it, is to do it.”
— Amelia Earhart
We’ve all heard it a thousand times: starting is the hardest part. From starting your job search and updating your LinkedIn profile to eating healthier and making time for good friends and great wine, there is no shortage of to do’s to toss in the “I’ll get to it later pile” (well except for the wine and friends, of course). The only trouble with the “I’ll get to it later pile” is that it quickly turns into the procrastination mountain and forms a gap between intention and action.
What many individuals don’t realize is how much this gap can actually affect and harm them along the way. In fact, a study published by Brandon Gallie found that 1 out of 5 people procrastinate so much that it may be putting their jobs, credit, relationships and health at risk. When you pause to think about this as it relates to your career, how is your habit of procrastinating affecting your opportunities? More importantly, ask yourself if you’re ready to turn procrastination into motivation. If your answer is yes, pour yourself a glass of willpower and read on:
We can share a simple exercise to get you thinking more about turning your intentions into actions.
5 Steps to Go From Intention to Action
- Take a piece of paper, fold it into three sections horizontally.
- On the top left side, write From, in the middle write To and on the right side, write How.
- In the From section, write one thing that you want to change (is it tomorrow, next month, next year, etc.) Whatever it is, make sure it is realistic.
- In the To section, write down what are you’re motivated to changed “To”.
- In the How section, write down how you’re going to get point A to B, add real dates and then let your willpower take the wheel.
The main goal of the exercise above is that you walk away with an actionable to-do list to get started on one specific thing (we’ll worry about the mountain later). Speaking of specifics, our friend had a very specific goal to go from a director position to a VP role. Yet, it wasn’t until our friend had her goal sketched out on paper that she realized she had actually never really shared her ambitions widely within her organization, enabling her own development to become stagnant. Ironically enough, this very realization is what gave our friend the necessary starting point to make a plan to get in front of the right people and assignments to turn her reality around.
Once you’ve accomplished your first goal, start turning the rest of your intentions into actions and watch your procrastination mountain get smaller and smaller.