Taking Successful Action
Whenever Lynnda came home from work upset or frustrated she would share her problems and frustrations. Early in our marriage, I assumed she was looking for a solution and wanted my help. I was wrong. I finally understood she wasn’t looking for a solution or help. All Lynnda wanted was for me to listen. She needed to vent her frustrations. Voicing the problem gave her clarity and she was able to decide on a course of action. Occasionally I still want to be “Mr. Fix It” then remember to shut up and listen. One of the many things I love about Lynnda is, she is not a whiner. She will complain, but also looks for a solution or way to change the situation.
Lynnda has been talking about losing weight. This week she started a healthy eating program. It is a life style change. She has a clear vision of what she wants to achieve. When it comes to getting things done we are very much alike. We know wishing and hoping won’t get it done. We need to have a vision that emotionally excites us. One we want so badly we are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve it. Success isn’t about what we say or dream. Success is a result of what we do.
Lynnda’s program provides most of her food and a coach who calls her every day. The coach is an accountability partner, an encourager and an expert who can answer questions and be a guide. Most important her coach has been through the same program and succeeded. The information she shares with Lynnda isn’t just based on theory it is based on experience. My role in this process is to support and encourage. Maybe most important, not to bring home goodies that will tempt her.
A few years ago, Lynnda broke her neck in a serious car accident. While she was still in the ICU she asked the head trauma doctor, “We have a trip to Disney World with our grandchildren planned for the middle of next month. Is there any reason I can’t go?” Then next day she was in a walker going down the hall. She was determined not to disappoint the grandchildren. One month later we were at Walt Disney World with the grandkids. Lynnda even rode the Haunted Mansion. If she could do that, I know she can do this. Her success will probably help me to eat healthier. I have already stopped buying goodies.
We have discussed in this column the importance of acting instead of talking and complaining. I share Lynnda’s and my experiences as well as those of others to help you. What we all do and how we do it is essential to success. As things move toward the new normal, now is a good time to act. Last weekend, a good friend of mine took his first family trip since before the pandemic. I could tell by his voice he was different. He was happy, energized, excited, up-beat and I believe, more creative. The trip helped his mental health and probably that of his family.
Some thoughts on taking successful actions you may find useful;
· Have a vision you want bad enough to do whatever it takes to achieve it.
· Model your actions based on those who have already had success. If you want to be healthy or wealthy look at what others have done to succeed. Lynnda chose the program because of the success others she knows in the program had. If it worked for them it can work for her.
· Have a coach. Even professionals like Tiger Woods have coaches. The coach can see things we can’t. They can hold us accountable. They can keep us on track. They are experts in what we want to achieve and should have a track record of success. After my soccer injury, Mark my physical therapist, had never worked with a patient who had ruptured both quads, very few have. Mark was experienced, highly recommended and I liked how he worked with Lynnda on her knee. Mark got me running again. Then my daughter, the marathon runner took over as coach to get me successfully running half marathons again.
· Have a plan that will get you where you want to be and track your progress.
· Evaluate your progress. Get feedback from your coach or an expert and adjust the plan if necessary. Whether it is a healthy eating plan, a half marathon plan or a marketing plan, changes will be required at some point.
· Start small. Build on each success. Do a pilot on major goals or projects. Lynnda started one day at a time. My half marathon goal started by walking a quarter mile.
· Celebrate successes, even little ones.
· Don’t beat yourself up for failures. Fix them. Get back up. Try a different approach. Continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result will result in failure.
· Stay positive. Spend your time around positive people. Beware of the dream stealers. They have all the reasons why you won’t succeed.
· Have a team with a common goal that everyone wants. This is critical for large projects. A team can be you and your coach for personal goals.
· Communicate effectively and treat everyone with respect and dignity.
We know these principals work in our personal lives. They also have worked in business, the work Shale Crescent USA does and for others. Be impatient enough to keep working and consistently moving toward your goal but patient enough to understand whether running a half marathon, losing weight, creating jobs or fixing environmental problems takes time. With the exception of my injury the problems happened over a long period of time. We can’t expect to fix it overnight.
We all have our own problems. Our country has some big problems. None of them are insurmountable if we work together and follow some basic principles. Anything is possible.