Putting Action to Your Good Intentions

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Putting Action to Your Good Intentions

We often judge ourselves on our intentions and judge other people according to their actions. Meaning we have a higher standard for other people than we usually do for ourselves. We cut ourselves too much slack, believe our own excuses, exaggerate our accomplishments and minimize our setbacks. Many of us have a desire to succeed but won’t spend enough energy to follow through. Here are some steps that will move you beyond wishful thinking. 

Plan it. 

The planning stage begins with taking a careful inventory of where you are right now. Many of us underestimate our strengths, our available resources. Or we may discount our intelligence, abilities, and opportunities. Goals are activities to help us achieve important personal and professional tasks. Poor planning can lead to unnecessary crises or half-finished plans. Set a goal big enough to provide a worthwhile challenge but not so monumental that it could never be accomplished. Keep in mind that goals can be qualities and characteristics in yourself. A goal might include being more responsible, respectful, persevering, or compassionate. We do want to find a way to make it measurable. 

Start it. 

According to Aristotle, Mary Poppins, and others: “Well begun is half done.” Although getting started may be more difficult then you first thought. There is a myriad of disruptions that sabotage our efforts along the way. Identify and eliminate common distractions in your life. If the task is not urgent and not important, consider it a distraction. Watching television, playing video games, and endlessly texting may be viewed as distractions. if a task is urgent, but not important, you might be easily interrupted by it. Other people are often the source of these interruptions. Someone walking by your chair while you are reading and asking questions might be an interruption. Watch for other important sounding but time squandering, goal killing delays. Procrastination, distraction, and interruption must be managed. Be grateful without complaining how hard the challenge can be. 

Sustain it. 

This is the maintenance stage of any goal or project. And it can be the most difficult. In this stage of achieving a goal, you may run into problems, blocks, and difficulties. Expecting your goal to be simply attained will be unrealistic and increase an overall sense of frustration. Find ways to keep your enthusiasm high. Boredom is one of the chief difficulties in the maintenance stage. Planting can be exciting; harvest brings the payoff; but the boring part of the hot summer can be difficult for even the most patient and persevering among us. One of the most difficult parts for me is having a goal but not yet seeing the results that I expected. Only to find out, that more time, energy, and money will be required. Don’t grow weary and give up. Use accountability, support, and the encouragement of others to sustain your motivation. Out of frustration and fatigue people give up rather than press through. Although I am fond of saying, “if the horse is dead-dismount,” in most cases it isn’t dead, just disinterested. Adjust your strategy and your tactics rather than forsake your goal. 

Recovery is a journey. Enjoy the Ride!