“Too many people worry about things that are not in their control whilst doing nothing about the things that are in their control – The point of leverage is to turn this perspective around and hence not to worry about the things outside of your influence and rather act on those things which are in your power to do…”
A theme that runs through all self-help articles and books is the idea of knowing what you are in control of, and focusing on these things that you can improve.
After selecting your Roles you are now in a position to identify specific Goals that are relevant to each Role. Since you are inevitably building from the previous steps, the App is now directing you to carefully plan a strategy that conforms to your character. The Goals that you are setting for yourself are restricted to the areas that you have defined as being within your circle of influence and therefore you will be more confident in achieving them. They are on things you can affect and moreover, on things that are important to you.
Goals are where you want to get to, your overall aims and will consist of actions, which are the steps you take on your way to achieving your goal. These actions form the concrete ‘appointments’ you make in the Calendar. The App is designed around the weekly cycle so that through your actions you are constantly moving towards your goals each and every week. A key feature of iAction™ is the in-built Archive, providing the platform so that you can track and measure the progress you accomplish each week. It allows you to see your weekly schedule of past weeks so that you can observe your improvements and movements towards succeeding.
Make the effort that the goals and actions that you enter are clearly defined. Set these targets in a form whereby you know they have been completed. On occasion where this is not possible (e.g. learning a new language), use an honest self-appraisal for when you feel comfortable in having achieved what you set out to do. This will also help you to examine where you are now, and to define where you want to be – therefore you will provide yourself with a well-defined goal of where you want to be that can be targeted through your actions.
The importance of keeping the appointments you set cannot be understated. These are promises you make to yourself. It may not seem like you are undergoing a big change, however that is part of the point. By keeping it simple and dedicating the time to ensure that these small things get done, it is the first step in attaining your Long Term objective. We do advise to make it easy at the beginning by starting with very few (even if this is ONE) per week and make sure you stick to them no matter what. As you get into the habit of doing so, slowly add more each week till you have seven or eight.
The common experiences of people taking part in this kind of exercise is making sure to push yourself. Don’t focus on actions, which you find too easy or too hard, rather concentrate on those that fall somewhere in-between. Your accomplishments in difficult moments are the events that most improve you. Taking action by doing the things you don’t want to do or don’t feel like doing due to apathy or fear builds your mental strength and expands your comfort zone.
A critical underlying concept that is embedded into the App, without you even needing to think about it, is that you are now working on a priority scheme that has organized your actions and investment in time during the week based on importance to you and not by the urgency in which events occur.
Wherever you are – be all there. – Jim Elliot
iAction – planning is of utmost importance…
A theme that runs through all self-help, personal development and life-coaching books is the idea of knowing what you are in control of, and focusing on these things that you can improve. We all want to achieve things in life, and to do so we generally set ourselves goals for these dreams and aspirations. To better understand the constructive effectiveness and the relationship between short term actions and long term goals I would like to recount a famous story to you, which illustrates this point.
The Tokyo International Marathon in 1984 caused a surprise upset when an unheard of Japanese athlete – Yamada – won the race. Later, when asked how he had achieved the success, he responded: “I use wisdom to defeat opponent.” Many people didn’t believe him. To run a marathon requires extreme physical strength and endurance, as anyone in the field will tell you. His answer that wisdom led to his success seems rather strange.
A couple of years later, in the Italian International Marathon, Yamada again won the race. After the event he was asked: “You have won the championship again. Can you talk about your experience?” Yamada gave the same response as he had the previous time, that: “I use wisdom to defeat opponent.” Everyone was puzzled by his explanation and so-called wisdom.
Years later when Yamada wrote his autobiography the mystery is finally discovered. He wrote that: “Before each game, I will travel the whole route and check it carefully. I will mark some important signs along the road, such as the first mark is a bank, the second mark is a tree, and the third mark is a red house… to the end. When the race begins, I run as fast as I can towards the first goal, the bank. When I arrive at the bank, I will strive for the second goal, the tree. I break the whole marathon route into many small goals and finish them one by one easily. At first I don’t know this method and set my goal at the end of the 40 kilometers marathon. Usually I get exhausted in the first 10 kilometers because I am frighten by the remote distance.”
This story gives us a great insight to how to look at and set our goals. It is so important to break down the goals into more manageable actions so that as you set and achieve one small milestone the next one is just around the corner. The story provides us with the inspiration to take active measures in transforming your dream into reality through careful planning through the creation of smaller objectives. Success of long-term desires can be felt along the way whilst achieving and completing the bite-size goals.
Of course you must be considerate not to set short term actions without a longer-term objective. They may provide some satisfaction upon completion, however a defined long term goal is of utmost importance in order to provide the direction that you need in order to contribute to your future resulting success.