What you need to know to help you take lasting action in the new year (and a list of books/podcast/videos)

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As I sat down to write the second last post of this year I started thinking about the expectation and hope that we have from what life has to offer us in the new year.

However, what also bothered me was this.

Why is it that...

there are so many people who make promises to themselves at the very beginning of the year with the best of intentions but are rarely able to fulfil them?

some people struggle so much to take action while others keep moving forward and leave them far behind?

In the end, I decided to write 2 posts on this topic as we head into the new year. The first one is all about taking action while the second one is about motivating yourself to make changes in your life and then learn ways to sustain them. 
(I have shared with you some resources like podcasts, youtube videos and books at the end that covers topics like taking action, accepting responsibility and self motivation)
What is that stops so many us from taking steps to move towards our goals?
To create something that we love?
To move forward?
To become better at what we do and reach our goals?

The voice in our head

The thing to remember here is that ALL of us struggle with self doubt and procrastinate from time to time. It becomes a problem only when it stops us from taking action and producing the results that we want in life. We are often unaware of the voice in our heads (our thoughts) which can discourage us and stop us from taking action. In fact, if we are not aware of its presence, we end up believing many of the negative stories that it tells us.  

 

Have you ever said to yourself?

“I dont have the time”

“I am too busy”

 “It would take too much time” 

 “It’s all their fault”

 “The time is’nt right”

I certainly have! Many times as a matter of fact and I still do from time to time. The good news is that I have become better and better at catching these thoughts and becoming aware of the stories I tell myself. As a result, I have been able to make decisions and take action steps which are intentional and fruitful. 

Stuck in passive action 

Many of us can get stuck in the passive action phase and never be able to move forward. While it is certainly important to gather information before starting anything whether it is through courses, classes and qualifications like degrees, we need to be able to apply it in our lives. It is indeed very difficult to produce any worthwhile results without taking any risks and/or dealing with failure and discomfort.
In other words, by getting stuck in the passive action phase, we can become unable to "produce" any tangible results. This has a bearing on both our personal and professional lives. We remain stuck in painful relationships, jobs and situations which no longer serve us. And rather than putting in the effort to take action steps to make some much needed changes in our lives, we choose to stay put. 
Knowing your mind

Too often we allow negative (instead of positive) emotions to drive our need to do something. A classic example is that of people who try to lose weight by starving and depriving themselves of proper nutrition; this is not sustainable in the long run and usually backfires in terms of health outcomes. 

At the end of the day, we need to be really clear about what we actually want to produce before we start working on something and know what it will look like. If you are cooking something for the first time and not sure about what it is you are cooking or what it will look like, it becomes much more difficult for you to do so, isn’t it?

Taking responsibility for our life

Many people believe that life happens "to" them and much of what happens is beyond their control. They give up even before they try anything out properly since they believe there is not much they can do about changing the outcome. In fact, this limiting belief is very commonly used to justify why someone is unable to take any action. As a result, many remain stuck in the same painful relationship/life situation/ work for years unable to move forward. They are simply unaware that they are in control of their own response to a situation and have the power to choose one thought over another. 

They simply allow their feelings, emotions, circumstances and other people’s agenda to determine their own course of action and as a result their entire life. As a result, inspite having the best of intentions, they end up NOT focussing on the very things that matter to them or bring meaning to their life. 

Infact I have written an entire post about this topic and you can read it HERE.

Imperfect action is better than perfect inaction

And last but not the least, very often we get stuck on taking action only when we are certain of getting “perfect” results. Our fear of failure holds us back. As a result, we do not even try to produce the results we want or give up easily if it is too hard. We forget that is is only time and repeated action through practice which helps us to develop the skills required to produce results at the highest level. 

I leave you with some amazing resources which have changed the way I think about this topic and inspired me to take action no matter how hard it seems. This is a collection of podcasts, books and videos which have truly enriched my life.