“Many people fail in life, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage, but simply because they have never organised their energies around a goal.” – Elbert Hubbard
Taking massive action is a well-promoted approach to achieving goals and getting things done, but is it the best approach? Well, it can be an effective way to get the ball rolling and keep it rolling for some, but for others, taking massive action can lead to doing lots of stuff and being very busy, but not necessarily getting any closer to achieving their goals.
You see, achieving what you want or getting to where you want to go in life is not just about getting busy and working hard, it’s about being busy and working hard on the things that matter – the things that will make a difference in terms of moving towards your goal.
Success = intention + focused action
Taking massive action is all about creating a big picture plan of your goals or ambitions and putting steps in place to get you there. This makes perfect sense because, after all, you need to know where you’re going to set yourself on track to getting there, right? Making your goals SMART goals is a crucial step in the right direction. There are several variations of the SMART acronym, but the idea is to make your intention as clear as possible by making your goals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Rewarding, and Time-based.
In effect, creating a massive action plan is all about figuring out the what, why, and how of your goal.
What is it you want to achieve, exactly? For example, the goal of losing weight is not specific enough. How much weight, and by when?
Why do you want to achieve your goal? The more emotions you can attach to achieving your goal, the more compelling your reasons for sticking with it become.
How are you going to achieve your goal? The more stepping stone goals you can put in place, the more likely it is you’ll stay motivated to go all the way.
Your SMART goal is your intention, so now it’s time to take focused action. You’re all fired up and ready to take your planned massive action, but this is where things can begin to go off the rails. In fact, the massive action approach can lead to failure.
Small Steps to Lasting Change
If we use the above goal of losing weight, there’s a temptation to go at it all guns blazing and make massive lifestyle changes. For example, you might go from eating meat-feast take-aways every night of the week to going completely vegan and eating nothing but green smoothies. You see, the idea of taking massive action can lead to the belief that every action you take must be massive.
This is not the case. The reality is that the more radical the changes you make, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to maintain them.
Success is seldom the result of a one-off action. Getting from where you are to where you want to be is going to take repeated action, and every action can be a small step towards your big goal.
Small Steps to Big Achievements
People fail to take massive action because they fail to create a clear picture of what it is they want to achieve, they lack a clear intention, and people fail to keep taking action because the massive action steps they take are too radical to be maintained. Stepping too far out of your comfort zone can lead to fear stopping you in your tracks or procrastination keeping you “busy” doing anything other than what really needs to be done.
The bottom line is it doesn’t matter how much you plan or how great your plans are, if you don’t act on those plans or do any of the things you plan to do. Small steps get you moving, and achieving small stepping-stone goals keeps your motivation high to keep moving, one focused step at a time towards your big goal.
Don MacNaughton is a High Performance Coach and has worked tirelessly to help clients achieve success in the world of sport and business over the past 15 years. The next, highly popular, NLP Diploma and Life Coaching Certificate course starts in April 2019. Click here for more information or to sign up.