January 02, 2011

Don’t Put Off Taking Action, Change Direction Instead

If you made new year’s resolutions on New Year’s Day and haven’t yet started on them, a day later, it may be that you picked the wrong thing to change. The same consideration applies any time you take on a goal, and a day or more goes by with no action toward the goal itself. It makes sense to look at the obstacles that are getting in your way and pick one of those as the focal point of your efforts.

  • If you didn’t start on your new year’s resolution because you were tired and didn’t feel like it, make it your goal to improve your health so that you have more energy to put into your goals. You might do this, for example, by exercising, eating better food, meditation, breathing, and visualization.
  • If there was too much going on for you to focus on the goal you chose, choose instead to improve your mental focus so that you are not so easily distracted from the things you want to do. Meditation, breathing, and visualization can help with this also, as can removing clutter from your immediate surroundings and reducing the demands of your daily routine.
  • If you don’t have enough money to tackle your new year’s resolution effectively, then take on the goal of increasing your income or becoming more conscious about your spending.
  • If a goal seems meaningless when you look at it just one day later, you may need to build momentum by working on and completing much smaller goals, one after another.

Don’t think of obstacles as points of failure, but as guideposts. Whatever obstacles you might have encountered, they point you toward the most immediate improvements that you can make in your life. Pick just one obstacle, the one that seems the most important or the one that you are most eager to address right now, and make solving that particular problem your new year’s resolution. Addressing the obstacles that come up immediately when you take on a goal will help you not just with that one goal, but with all the goals you might take on later.

Whatever you do, don’t put off taking action just because you’ve come upon an obstacle. Change direction if you must, but get going — and keep going.


Anonymous said...

I have benefit alot from all your post. Thank you! Recentlly I have also bought ur book on Fear of nothing. I hope to clear my cluster ASAP and change my lifestyle to a more desirable one.

Anonymous said...

Would you be able to guide me through while I'm clearing my cluster?

Rick Aster said...

Anonymous, thank you for your efforts and for taking a look at the book Fear of Nothing. The book is intended to guide you through the stages of decluttering and, unlike other books, doesn’t attempt to simplify it into a one-weekend process. There are times when your own perspective is not enough and you will need to seek the opinions of the people around you. The book Fear of Nothing has suggestions for these situations as well.

Some readers might think it odd that we are looking at a New Year’s resolution post in October and November, so I must take a moment to commend everyone who sees a goal they have neglected and takes action on it and everyone who notices (even if it is just because the end of the year is coming) that time is passing by and action is needed. If you set a goal at the new year and then don’t take action on it until the middle of November, that is still better than what most people do!

Fatima said...

Thank you for responding. I truly appreciate it. Is there a way to be in touch with you? Do you have a facebook? I have started reading your book FEAR OF NOTHING and completed 9 chapters. I see more clarity and meaning in being more organized and clearing my backlog. Your book is a blessing for me at this point of time. I’m living in Malaysia and found it so relevant. I would like to share my testimony and sharing. Hope you can journey with me.

Rick Aster said...

Fatima, I am fascinated that so many of the same issues and dynamics are found in Malaysia. The problems of clutter and to-do list derive from human nature and broad economic forces, so I imagined they would turn up everywhere, but I am curious to see what might be the same and what might be different in different places.

It is easy to find me on Twitter, and information about me can be found at my web site rickaster.com.