Recently there has been a lot of talk in government circles about global warming and the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As usual, there is a lot of noise being made and little or no action taking place. Meanwhile, the time bomb of global warming is moving our planet ever closer to the end of life as we know it. Who can blame a person for being somewhat cynical when there is so much at stake and so little action taking place?
If we took the same approach to our personal success as the government does to global warming, we'd never accomplish our goals. Hmmm. Come to think of it, that may explain why you are not achieving results as quickly as you would like. Take a closer look and you may be shocked to discover that you are employing the same approach as the government to the most important issues in your life.
Consider for a moment what the government does that so infuriates critics who are clamoring for meaningful action. The government's first step is research. Committees are established, conferences held, experts consulted and reports written. Years later, after millions of dollars have been wasted studying the issue to death, the urgency of the situation increases to the point where this delay tactic is no longer effective. Now it is time for phase two - the Planning Stage. In this stage, the government makes many promises but still takes no action on the problem itself.
We have recently reached this second stage with global warming. Further research is no longer politically acceptable; the illusion of action is required. As an example, in its 2007 policy address the government of British Columbia committed to reduce greenhouse gases to 33% below current levels by 2020. A Climate Action Team was established to set target levels for 2012. Meanwhile, no concrete action will be taken to actually reduce emissions. The miniscule funding allocated to this project will be used entirely for planning.
This may sound like a disaster waiting to happen, but examine the parallels in your own life. You probably have at least one impending problem looming on the horizon that is not causing you serious inconvenience yet. You ignore it but also realize it will likely lead to a crisis at some point in the future. Perhaps you need to reduce debt, lose weight, start saving for retirement, or become more aggressive at marketing your business. How do you deal with this? If you are like most people, you go into research mode. You read books and listen to tapes. You attend seminars and courses. You set goals and visualize success. You form a mastermind group to talk about your vision. Meanwhile, how much progress do you make? Not much!
Eventually the situation deteriorates until it becomes obvious you need to take action. Just like the government, you begin making plans and promises. "I'll start spending less and paying down debt next month; I'll join Weight Watchers after my birthday party; I'll start saving 10% after I pay off my credit cards; I'll make five cold calls a day starting next week."
All of this is a con; a clever way to delay taking action. You can rationalize it by saying it is normal human behavior, and you are right. However normal people, like governments, rarely achieve great things. The only way to guarantee you will achieve your goals is to actually roll up yours sleeves and do something.
What can you do to get into action before it is too late? Verne Harnish, author of The Rockefeller Habits, says: "Nothing ever happens in any organization until a specific action ends up on someone's weekly to-do list." The same is true of you as an individual. You can set all the goals and intentions you want, but if you do not have specific actions related to them on your to-do list this week you are not actually making any progress. Sure, having plans may feel good. But unless you are taking action on them you are not moving forward. In other words, no action, no results.
Although I did not read The Rockefeller Habits until recently, I learned this same lesson through 14 years of business coaching. The vast majority of the 5000 clients I have coached came to me because they had big goals and aspirations but were frustrated by their lack of results. I soon discovered that if I got them to focus on weekly actions instead of on their goals, they were able to make things happen very quickly.
That is why I designed the ProCoach Success System as a goal achievement system rather than a goal setting system. The difference is significant. The entire emphasis of our program is on actions rather than on results. When you take action, the results take care of themselves. Members of our community use their ProCoach workbooks to set, track and complete their action goals every week. Consistently taking these small action steps rapidly increases their momentum and enables them to achieve success beyond what they ever dreamed possible.
You can apply this approach to achieve your own goals and dreams. Stop researching, stop planning, stop preparing and get into action. Make sure you put at least one specific action towards each of your major goals on your to-do list every week. It does not matter how small the action is. Follow through with it and your momentum will build over time. Just be sure that whatever is on your list moves you tangibly towards your goal instead of being a "feel-good" planning, visualizing or preparing-to-take-action item.
The next time you get frustrated because you see the government masterfully avoiding action, turn the spotlight back onto yourself and look for ways you are doing the same thing. Then focus on actions you will take in the coming week that will move you towards your most important goals. Use this approach and your success is absolutely assured.
To your success!
Master Certified Coach
Free "Seven Success Accelerators" seminars coming to your area
During the month of March Andrew Barber-Starkey, Master Certified Coach, will be presenting the "The Seven Success Accelerators" evening seminars throughout BC, Alberta and the Pacific Northwest.
If you have a desire to improve your business and personal results you won't want to miss these fabulous seminars. During this inspiring, information-packed evening, Andrew will reveal seven little-known secrets you can use to dramatically accelerate your business and personal results. These unconventional strategies are based on 18 years of research and have been proved effective by over 5000 small business owners, self-employed professionals and commissioned sales people. No matter what business you are in or how well it is doing today, you can achieve more with less effort using the "Seven Success Accelerators".
Click here for further information and registration.
Surrey, BC - Monday, March 12
Bellevue, WA - Tuesday, March 13
Burnaby, BC - Tuesday, March 20
Calgary, AB - Monday, March 26
Red Deer, AB - Tuesday March 27
Edmonton, AB - Wednesday, March 28
Registration for all events begins at 6:30. Seminars are from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m.
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Andrew Barber-Starkey is a Master Certified Coach residing in Vancouver, Canada. His coaching program, the ProCoach Success System, is designed for entrepreneurs, small-business owners, self-employed and commissioned sales people who want to double their income while simultaneously doubling their time off within 3 years.
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