Action is hard for some of us (I'm raising my hand). And for others it’s the thing they are most familiar and comfortable with, but not always for the best reasons.
All of us can get stuck and find it difficult to move forward. And even the most action oriented can get off course and follow wrong action.
When you are a sitting duck or you’ve gotten lost in the middle of the pond, use this guide as a practice that will get your legs kicking again and help you make real progress:
(And don’t forget,
WRITE. IT. DOWN.)
Awareness- Acknowledge where you are, who you are, how you feel, what you’re thinking and feeling, what you need. Dig deep. Be real.
Choice- Recognize that it is your choice about how things go from here. You can choose joy, hope, newness & goodness or you can choose pride, pain, offense & regret. Your circumstances don't control you. Only you control you. Events happen to you, circumstances affect you, people hurt you, but how you respond to them is yours and yours alone. Take responsibility for yourself and you will find greater power and permission to move on.
Thankfulness- This is the key step, for without gratitude you are guaranteed to suffer. Suffer lack, bitterness, regret, offense and so much more. Decide and commit to purposely think on what you are thankful for. Even what the hard things bring. Write it down. Better yet, say it out loud around people. Do you wish you were a light to others in some way? Watch what happens when you share your thankfulness openly. You will become an atmosphere changer.
Inner hope- What does your mind, body and heart tell you about the situation? What does the Word your Mirror tell you? (Remind yourself that the mirror doesn't show you what you think of yourself, so you should be seeing things that surprise you and are somewhat different than what you and others think. The Word tells you what God says about you so you best be learning His language!) What do the people who you trust and who truly love you say about you and your circumstances? Assess your self-talk and align with truth.
Organize- Make a plan to move forward. What are the right next steps to take? Make them small. DO NOT create steps that are for next month. What will you do today? Lay out your MITs (Most Important Tasks). Decide you will DO what is yours to do.
And maybe you need to answer this if you’re not doing the above step:
Why aren’t you choosing to move forward and take steps? Take responsibility for your path and be truthful. More often than not your CAN’T is really a WON’T.
Next!- Where will all of this take you? What is the goal? Is it as honest and simple as, “Becoming wholehearted”? Or is it more long-term and defined like, “Working full-time doing what I love and making good money doing it?” or "Teaching my kids at home," or "Learning how to play piano."
In some situations, like deciding what to write in a blog post, Next! is the place you will want to start, with the best end in mind, so that you know where you're headed. Or if you are just getting started you begin with the end in mind and then end with a new Next! so that you stay on track.
You will find future posts giving you ACTION! prompts at times and you are encouraged to write down your answers to them and to share your thoughts with others. Both of these will help good things to come to pass.
Becoming wholehearted with you,