When I was a little girl my Dad used to tell me “Sometimes I think about thinking and sometimes I think”. As a child, I never really understood how powerful that saying was, however I do know that it certainly played a part in helping me to become the blue sky thinker that I am today. While great things can come from “thinking about thinking”, the reality is that it can also be a bit of a way to back burner some of the harder things in our lives. Especially the things that we want most want to do, but that perhaps take much work on our part. Unfortunately, more times than we realize, we put too much of our energy into thinking – when what we really need is to be doing.
Here is the reality –
Thinking and doing are not the same. Thinking is thinking. Doing is doing. One is action, while the other is contemplation. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting that we make decisions or act without consideration or thought. What I am saying is this: the difference is that you need to decide and act. Or as Greg Hartle has coached me so many times – Act, Analyse and Adjust. Only when we “do” can we come to understand what works, what doesn’t and what feels right. It is the actual activity of action that creates ongoing momentum in both our work and personal lives.
Here are 27 actions you can take, starting today, to move your life (and your business/work) forward. They are not in any particular priority order – just ideas to get you going. Pick a few and act today!
- Take a walk – get outside and get your body moving. Breathe. Repeat daily.
- Buy yourself a notebook and start recording things you observe, note or that interest you. Go over it weekly. Think of ways your observations apply to your work and your life.
- Set aside a day for yourself. During that day do actual planning for what you want to accomplish in your life. Promise yourself that you will walk away with concrete next steps.
- Turn off all social networks for several hours each day and focus on doing the things that need to get done.
- Find 2-3 people that you will hold you accountable to reaching toward your goals. Trust them.
- Do you write? Then write. Just start and keep going. Don’t write? Then perhaps you draw or paint. Do it.
- Go out of your way to do more healthy things for yourself. Skip that chocolate bar, drink more water, increase your sleep. Pick one thing and commit to doing it for 30 days. See 12 in 12 for more ideas on this.
- Whenever you can – take the stairs. Push yourself just that extra little bit.
- Take steps to surround yourself with people who will challenge you. They are all around us. Find them. Read this post by me and this post by Chris Eh Young to learn more about how you can do this.
- Get up one hour earlier than you normally do. Use the extra time to accomplish something that matters to you.
- Go to sleep one hour earlier than you normally do. Sleep.
- Develop times in the day where you are technology free. Eating lunch, when you are in bed, when you are talking to your family. Just choose a time that works.
- Find 2-3 conferences that you would like to attend this year or next. Set your plan in place to ensure you get to them. If you are a blogger or operate a business online SOBCon should for sure be on your radar.
- If you are an introvert – buy and read this The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership (affiliate link) by Lisa Petrilli. It will help your business and your life.
- Practice generosity with a stranger. Hold a door, pay for someone’s coffee, give up your seat, lend a hand etc. Just act and do something.
- Decide on 5 people that you would like to get to know a little better this year. Start following them online, read what they write, comment on their blogs, begin to interact. Developing deeper relationships will help you in more than one way.
- Phone your parents or another family member if you have not spoken to them in a while. Don’t think about it – just do it. We are all busy, but we need to take the steps to connect with the people who matter to us.
- Learn something new – a sport, a hobby or something else that interests you. Choose something that you have always wanted to do but were afraid to try.
- Set your fear aside. Really – we all have things that scare us. Every time you find yourself in that scary place – push through. It will make all the difference in your life.
- In relation to pushing through fear – Read The Flinch (affiliate link) by Julien Smith.
- Reduce your expenses. Go through all of what you spend monthly and identify the things you don’t really need. Reassign the money toward something that you really want to do – attending an event/conference, taking a vacation, doing something special with your friends or family.
- Push your technology boundaries further. Take steps to learn things you don’t yet know or understand.
- Listen. Yes – really listen to the people who are around you. Hear what they are telling you and look for opportunities to apply their feedback to your life or your business.
- Ask questions. If you are not sure about something – ask. It is always better to understand than not understand. Sometimes you need to pick the best moment to ask about what is on your mind. Remember this though, no question is ever too silly.
- Trust. Really – trust me on this. Trust is actually in short supply in this world. Take the steps that you need to so that you can bring trust into your life on a regular basis. Read this post by Liz Strauss.
- Decide on your values. In your heart, you know what they are. Write them down. Live them. Apply them to everything you do. Let them be the filter that you make decisions through.
- Believe in yourself. Now you might be wondering if this is really an action that will make a difference. Let me assure you – it is. Believing in yourself will fuel you to accomplish just about anything that you set your mind to. Let go of the doubts, the negative talk in your head and believe. Just believe.
This post is part of the #1to31 collection of posts. Here is how you can join in:
#1to31 posts are simply collections of ideas, strategies, suggestions, tips, links or other interesting items. The date that they are posted on corresponds to the number of items included in the post. When you share your post online, you include the #1to31 hashtag in the headline; so that similar style posts can be easily found online and via Twitter. That is pretty much it! You can write about whatever areas you are passionate about. The intention is simply to give you a quick framework that you can build a post from.