Without action you aren’t going anywhere

I love my new planner!

It allows me to organize my day, put together a to-do list, has inspirational quotes in it, a place to put my top three priorities, a place to write my gratitude for the day, a place to write notes, and a place to write what I’m going to do that evening.

It’s awesome! It has everything!

And, it’s absolutely useless unless I actually DO what I write down I say I’m going to do.

Gandhi’s 4th rule for change is, “Without action you aren’t going anywhere.” (adapted from Henrik Edberg’s article, Gandhi’s 10 Rules for Change, June 28, 2013).

My first reaction was, “Duh,” but then I started thinking about all the times I’ve planned and organized to do something but then didn’t follow through with the action.

Oops, guilty as charged.

It’s such a simple and straightforward rule, but the execution is difficult and that’s because we get in our own way unless we have a strong enough and compelling reason for the action.

When I was preparing to run my first half-marathon five years ago, I stuck to the training plan and was excited to accomplish this goal. It was a novelty and a new challenge (compelling reason), because I never thought this would be something I would aspire to attempt and yet there I was.

The plan was in place and the action followed. It was a four month process, and when race day arrived I was ready to go.

There are three basic steps:

1. Have a plan.
I wanted to run a half-marathon, so I found a 16-week training plan and organized my training days. I made a commitment to them, because I set each run as an appointment.

2. Have a compelling reason for action.
It always starts with WHY. Why do you want this action/change to happen? What are you willing to DO to make it happen? I wanted to complete a half-marathon, because it was a new fitness challenge for me. My exercise routine had gotten stagnant and I wanted to do something different. It was that simple.

3. Execute.
DO it! Like I said earlier, make it an appointment that you keep. You wouldn’t skip out on a scheduled meeting with others, so don’t skip out on yourself. You are the most important meeting you will ever have. When you execute your plan, in this case you are doing something for yourself that is beneficial to you. It has a ripple effect, because when you feel better about yourself, your interactions with others are also more positive.

This is just one personal example, but it’s the same in all facets of our lives. If we want change to happen professionally, spiritually, civically (I might have just made up that word…), then we have to act.

These steps are basic but are absolutely necessary if we’re going to get to where we want to go. That is, if we want change to happen.

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