It’s one thing to just say “start taking action!” It’s another thing entirely to actually start doing it. Between the thought that you should get started and the moment you actually start is where most people get stuck.
What’s Stopping You From Taking Action?
Here are some of the most common things that stop people from taking action:
- Fear of failure or judgment
- Doubt and lack of confidence
- Being haunted by past mistakes
- Not having a plan or goals
- Unrealistic expectations
And the list goes on and on. It may sound a bit harsh, but anything you add to this list is ultimately an excuse. I’m not saying those reasons are invalid or wrong. I’ve experienced every single thing on this list.
BUT… you can’t let these stop you from taking action. Recognize these issues for what they are. Feel all the feelings. And then, take the next step.
Ready to move forward and leave the excuses behind you? Let’s get going!
12 Steps To Start Taking Action
I know that taking action for your online business isn’t always easy. Life gets in the way and there just aren’t enough hours in the day.
However, I’ve learned a few tricks over the years that help me take consistent action — like sending my newsletter every single week for the last 3 years — even when I don’t feel like it or lack the motivation.
Follow these steps, truly implement them, and you’ll be surprised by how much you’ll accomplish this year.
Write Down Your Goals
You can’t take action without having at least a basic plan. Taking action is the journey and your goals are the destination. Together, they’ll give you a roadmap to achieving your dreams.
Take out a piece of paper or open up a new Google Doc and start brainstorming. Put your 3 biggest goals at the top of the paper in order of importance. Those are your priorities. Make them realistic and measurable.
Break Your Goals into Action Steps
Once you have your goals, break each one down into the simplest steps. The goal itself might feel incredibly difficult, but once you start breaking it down into bite-sized tasks, the goal becomes much easier to accomplish.
Plan Your Day Before it Starts
Before you even start your day, plan out the 3 most important things you need to get done. You can do this the night before, or first thing in the morning.
I have a Google Sheet with a column for each day of the year. Every morning, I make a note of 1-3 things I have to get done that day. When I’ve finished them, I check them off my list. It takes less than 5 minutes, and I feel infinitely more productive and focused when I do this.
Adjust Your Plan and Goals as Needed
While you must have plans and goals, they also need to be flexible. Your life is busy and complicated and ever-changing. Rigid plans will only leave you feeling frustrated and exhausted. It’s perfectly okay to change your plans, rearrange your schedule, and adjust your goals.
Stop Overthinking and Planning Every Detail
I know… I just told you that you need a plan. But hear me out! You don’t need every single detail of the plan in order to start taking action. Let go of the overthinking and perfectionism, and just get started. The plan will develop and become more clear as you go.
Commit to Your Priorities
Commitment is a key factor to achieving your goals. Personally, I like to make my commitments to myself, because I’m the one responsible for my actions and my business and no one cares about my success as much as I do.
If you aren’t ready to commit and take action towards your goals, then maybe the goals you’ve set aren’t really your priorities. Reevaluate and be honest with yourself until you’re truly ready to do the work.
Don’t Wait for the Perfect Time to Start
If you keep waiting for motivation to kick in, or the stars to align, or for the perfect moment to get started… it’ll never happen.
Progress is more important than perfection. Allow yourself to take imperfect action and learn from any mistakes you make along the way. Don’t be afraid to mess up because it’s in those moments that we grow.
Recognize and Reduce Your Distractions
What’s getting in the way of taking action? Are you distracted by household chores, social media scrolling, or tasks that aren’t priorities?
Recognize these things that are interrupting your progress and find a way to eliminate them. Do chores for 15 minutes every morning or only on your lunch break. Delete social media apps from your phone or block the sites on your computer. Evaluate whether the work you’re doing will really help you achieve your goals or if you are just wasting time.
Create an Environment Conducive to Taking Action
Along with eliminating distractions, set up your environment for success! If you want to exercise more often, make a space where you enjoy working out and have all the tools you need.
For online business, this usually means having a nice space to work. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Just make sure that you have the tools you need to get the job done.
Track Your Progress and Metrics
Your goals need to be measurable so that you can clearly track your progress. Don’t say “I want to make more money this year.” Instead say “I want to make $15,000 more this year than I did last year.” This will enable you to see how close you are to completing your goals. It will also help you know if you need to adjust your plan.
Reward Yourself for Taking Action
Made progress or achieved your goal? Then celebrate and reward yourself!
Set a big reward for achieving your goal, but also reward yourself along the way. This will help you keep up your momentum and feel good about the progress you’re making. Rewards can be as simple as a cookie or as complex as a vacation. It’s really up to you, what you enjoy, and what fits within your budget.
Take Breaks and Avoid Burning Out
Don’t forget that rest is also an action. Frequently, my priority task for Sundays is to simply rest. Giving your brain and your body a break is more productive than you might expect. Sometimes it’s during your resting that things become most clear.
What If You Can’t Figure Out The Next Action?
I get it. Sometimes you’re just unbelievably stuck. Maybe you’re overwhelmed, anxious, or scared to make a decision and move forward. Or maybe you’re struggling to come up with ideas.
If you have trouble coming up with action steps, ask for ideas from someone you trust. This might be your partner, friend, or another business owner. You may even need to work with a coach to get unstuck.
Taking Action Is Like Building A Muscle
The more often you lift a dumbbell, the stronger you will become, and the easier it will be to lift that same dumbbell.
The same concept applies to taking action. The more often you take action, the easier and more natural it will become for you.
If you start with small steps, you’ll build momentum and consistently achieve your goals.
Ready to take action to organize your business? Sign up for the Take Action Newsletter! I’ll send you an email each Wednesday morning with tips, resources, tools, and action steps to help you organize your online business.