The best career development advice is completely useless unless you actually take action. Most people understand precisely what they must do to develop their career, but yet they still don’t do it.
If all you needed was wisdom, then self-improvement would work like this…
You: I’d like to lose 10 pounds.
Me: Eat less and exercise more.
(Three weeks later…)
Me: How much weight did you lose?
You: 10 pounds! Thank you!
Me: You’re welcome.
Life doesn’t work like this because – like most people – you probably have a remarkable ability to routinely forget the things that matter most to you, such as:
- Achieving your goals
- Being both confident and competent
- Staying in great shape, physically and emotionally
I’m sure as you read this, you understand my ‘eat less and exercise more’ advice. But when you’ve had a couple of drinks in a restaurant and having a wonderful time with your friends, it’s nearly impossible to turn down desert. At times like this, you need something else that motivates you more — much more — than the lure of a sweet treat.
So get a plan and take action
Step 1 – Get a plan
Make a list of what matters most to you. Put everything that matters on this plan, such as being a loving spouse, raising healthy children, exploring the world, founding your own company, becoming vice president, or retiring by the age of 50. If it’s not on your list, it simply doesn’t matter.
Step 2 – Organise your plan
Depending on how your mind works, organise your plan by one or more categories (work vs. home, or short vs long term, etc.). Don’t rush this process. The more time you spend organising your plan, the deeper each item will sink into your mind.
Step 3 – Colour your plan
Add colourful pictures or nice fonts. Print it on coloured paper and leave plenty of space around each item.
Step 4 – Keep your plan handy
Keep a copy of your plan with you at all times. It needs to be with you at work and home; in your wallet or purse, and/or on your computer screen. Make it impossible to ignore.
Now this is the vital step
Step 5 – Take action
Read your plan every day and take action. You need to complete an action each and every day to make things happen.
This is your life. You only get one shot, and it’s ridiculously easy to miss. Don’t forget to take action.
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