You can’t get anyplace if you don’t start.
And to start, you need a plan. But here’s the deal: many people get stuck in this stage. They think, they plan, they re-think, they re-plan, they adjust, they start all over, and on and on and on.
Don’t do that. Make your plan as simple as possible and then start. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate.
Those four steps are all you need on your path to success (and beyond!), and you can just keep repeating #3 and #4 in a loop for … well, forever. Think about it. In that “Readjust” is all the tweaking of your plan. It includes throwing out an old plan and making a new one (if your old plan is not working), or just sticking with your plan if it is working. You simply tweak and keep moving.
But that’s all Stage Two.
Stage One is Initiative: planning and executing.
“Wait,” you say, “But how do I get a good plan? How do I know I have the right plan?”
That’s on you, but you know how to do this. It’s the same way we all have done it all along: we ask around, we Google, we research. We narrow down our choices and then go for it. Don’t worry so much about acting on your goals, but worry about not acting at all.
Don’t be the person with the big plan who never gets started or the person who just can’t stop researching. Better to be the person with the small plan who starts and keeps going. The story of The Tortoise and The Hare sticks around for a reason: it holds truth. Small, repeated acts usually garner more long-lasting results than infrequent, grand gestures. So learn to be the master of fantastic small repeated acts!
What does that look like in application? If you want to be stronger, hit the gym for an hour or two three days a week, or five days per week—but more than one session per week. If you want to take better care of your body, make better choices and eat clean at most meals. (Don’t beat yourself up for slips and misses, though. Just choose better the next time you have a choice!) If you want to be a better person, act with integrity in the smaller moments of your life (don’t cut lines!) as well as the bigger moments (don’t become Bernie Madoff)!
Initiative isn’t some secret formula sold in pre-workout drinks or in special online courses. It’s the small voice inside you that says, “I can do better.” That voice gets louder and louder until you do something about it. So, do something about it. Conduct your research, plan, act, and then readjust and act some more!
All masters started out as beginners.
All experts started as novices.
All professionals started as amateurs.
But every single one of them started with initiative. Find yours, and let’s get going!