The Action Habit: 7 Proven Ways to Move from Deciding to Doing

Frog On A Log
Chris Shilling is the founder of Serve and Lead and an author, speaker, consultant, and leadership coach. You can download the latest e-book in his Learn and Lead series here. You can also follow Chris and Serve and Lead on Twitter and Facebook.

 

I have a simple math question for you.

5 frogs are sitting on a log.

4 of the frogs decide to jump off. How many frogs are left?

Did you answer 1?

The correct answer is still 5.  This is because there is a difference between deciding and doing.

 

Have you experienced this in your own life? We tend to make a lot of decisions. We decide to eat healthier, get another degree, or start a new business. However, all of these decisions really mean nothing.

In order to make a decision mean anything, we need to take action. 

This concept is so simple, yet most people never move from deciding to doing. They do not get into the habit of taking action and do not accomplish all they could be accomplishing. By getting into the habit of putting ideas and decisions into action, we are in a better position to achieve the results we desire.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts; your thoughts become your words; your words become your actions; your actions become your habits; your habits become your values; your values become your destiny.” –Unknown

Here are 7 proven ways you can move from deciding to doing:

1. Stop waiting until conditions are perfect.

If you are waiting for everything to be perfect in order to get started you will be waiting forever. Things will never be perfect. There will always be something that is not right or could be better. There is no perfect time; there is only the present time. You must take action now and you can make adjustments as you move along. I know the perfect time to start was last year. The second best time is right now.

 

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” -Chinese Proverb

 

2. Stop, get up, and do it.

Turn yourself into a doer. A doer is someone who has an idea and moves forward with it immediately. Have you ever said to anyone, “It is a great day to go to the beach,” and then sat around and watched TV? Next time stop, get up, and go do it. Do you want to begin exercising or present a new idea at work? Do it today. When we pause and wait, we lose the will to move forward and allow doubt to creep into our minds.

 

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” –Amelia Earhart

 

3. Stop over-thinking things

When we over-think things, we start to get paralysis of analysis. We start to analyze things to the point that we cannot move forward. We obsess over how conditions aren’t perfect, question the amount of time we have to commit, or come up with a whole host of reasons not to move forward.

 

4. Take continuous action.

Once you get started, continue to take continuous action. Make sure that you keep your momentum going by doing something productive related to your idea every day. This can be as easy as scheduling time to spend 15 minutes completing a small task daily. Those small tasks will add up quickly, and help you build confidence by seeing achievement.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” –Confucius

 

5. Use your action to overcome fear.

Most people detest public speaking. However, have you ever realized the worst part? It is usually waiting around to speak. Even the most experienced and poised speakers can get nervous during this time. However, once you get started that fear and anxiety disappear. Action can be a cure for fear. If you find yourself scared, become a doer and see how you overcome your fear and build confidence.

 

6. Focus on the present.

There is an old Chinese Proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Yes, if we had planted those seeds 20 years ago we would have a full grown tree to provide us with shade right now. But if we don’t plant that tree now, 20 years in the future we will still be standing in the sun. Focus on what you can do in the present.

 

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” –George Eliot

 

7. Eliminate the distractions.

Have you ever jumped on your computer to write an article only to start responding to emails, checking your social networking sites, and searching the internet? We live in a world of increasing noise. This noise can cause distractions that prevent us from being productive and give us an excuse to procrastinate. Focus in and drown out the distractions, and you will gain momentum from your production.

The simple truth is that one average idea put into action is far more valuable than 20 genius ideas that are being saved for some other day or the right time. When you have an idea or make a decision, get into the habit of taking action. Jump off the log and discover all of the amazing things you can accomplish.

 

“One average idea put into action is far more valuable than 20 genius ideas that are being saved.” -Chris Shilling

What are some ways that you have been able to move from deciding to doing in your own life? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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