Replace Intentions with Actions for Astonishing Results sounds easy enough. Making resolutions for the new year is an established part of our culture. According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, 45% of Americans make New Year’s Resolutions. Only 8% successfully reach their goals. The successful ones are those whose actions match their intentions.
Making a resolution is a declaration of intention. But, there is a catch. Simply stating your intentions is not enough to translate them into reality. The critical factor that most of us leave out of the equation: taking action.
Actions Turn Dreams Into Results
Actions are what makes your dreams come true. It is great to dream. Dreams are a good place to start when creating a vision for the life you want. However, intentions will remain intentions without taking action. If you want a different result from what you have now, a change in behavior is necessary for success.
Many of my big dreams have come true. Like living in San Francisco. I didn’t just dream about it, I prepared for my move from San Diego to the City by the Bay. I did research. I got a subscription to the San Francisco Chronicle. I applied to audition at A.C.T. I saved money for my move. I made inquiries about where to live. I contacted several residence hotels and I booked a room. I turned my dreams into concrete actions.
The Power of Self-Talk
Self-talk can be empowering or it can keep you stuck. A conversation with a friend reminded me of this critical tool. The alignment of words with actions has the power to change the world. Words can move us forward or keep us in a place of denial. He told me about how his father. The old man likes to complain to his son about his health. He knows what to do to feel better and yet refuses to make any changes in his behavior. His dad is stuck in a place of wishful thinking. My friend feels that unless his father makes changes, he doesn’t have the right to complain. I agree. It is okay to express discontent. It is not okay to chronically complain about the same situation over and over again without taking action to change it. Like my friend, I noticed this pattern of self-talk and failure to take action in myself. It is a state of being out of alignment with the truth. My friend is working on being mindful of when his words don’t match his intentions and correcting his course of action. Speaking the truth is far easier than being deceptive or deluded. I feel at peace when I walk my talk. The stress of saying one thing and doing another disappears. I have more energy and a lightness when I do what I say I will do.
Alignment of Words and Actions
I couldn’t stop thinking of my conversation with my friend. I started to explore areas where I have been feeling stuck. Places where I got locked onto magical thinking. Being aware without being wrong or feeling shame. I clearly see areas where I am putting power behind my words with supportive actions. I also see ideas and goals that are languishing. Some goals are only good ideas because I haven’t moved into action to make them come true.
As my friend said, “I can do better.” It was not a put down, it was an honest assessment of himself. I too, can do better. If I take enough make small steps forward, I will make it to the finish line.
Fear Sometimes Keeps Me From Taking Action
Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of not being perfect. I know when I do something concrete that moves me closer to my goal, I feel excited and less fearful. It’s easy to talk about what I want. It is sometimes harder to do what I must to make my dreams come true.
Authors come to me because they “say” they want to sell more books. We talk about their goals. We talk about possibilities. We talk about what they are willing to do. Those who take action consistently are the ones who move the needle and sell more books.
Breaking Through the Fear
Being willing to take action on intentions is what it takes to turn dreams into reality. My gift is being able to see a dream, turn it into a project and break it down into small actions. Actions that are doable. Energy amplifies each time I complete a task propels me to keep chipping away and going forward.
Getting out of the mindset of perfection is freeing. Getting into the mindset that doing something every day makes a difference is empowering.
If you feel stuck, I have a proven way to get you out of the quicksand. This is true whether your goal is finish your book, publish your book or sell more books. You need to the help of other people. To sell more books, you need to connect with people in a meaningful way. It doesn’t happen overnight. If you are serious about building your author platform, I can help you on your journey. One of the best tools for breaking free of feeling stuck is a book by Byron Katie, Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life.
There is another tool I use, the 5-15 Report. It is a one page document that I discovered when I worked at Smith & Hawken. It takes 15 minutes to write and 5 minutes to read. It is a way to capture what is going on over the course of a week. You can download a sample pdf for your own use.
Judy Baker is a certified Action Plan Marketing Coach, blogger, and speaker. “Marketing is a Conversation” — getting people talking is one of the ways she helps independent authors sell more books. brandvines.com delivers practical book marketing tips. Baker lives in Sonoma with her husband and three chickens, Spot, Buffy and Rosita.