Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday's Soapbox - Theories, Plans and Action

"Everything sounds good."

That's one of my favorite statements.

People talk about their goals all the time. They even have a theory about how to make that goal a reality. Then, they take that theory and create a plan - specific steps outlining how they are going to get it done. And finally, they begin to act on those steps.

You can sense their excitement - their exuberance - their high energy level. They were about to make it happen!

Again, it all sounds good.

Then, something happens along the way. Suddenly, the action begins to slow...until progress to getting what you want becomes virtually nonexistent.

Learning a new language? You order your Rosetta Stone and can't wait to pop it in your computer - even downloading the lessons on your iPod. Then, after three or four sessions, you skip a day...then another...until the weeks turn into months and suddenly, you can't remember the ten words you thought you learned.

Want to lose weight? You buy new shoes, put a workout schedule on the refrigerator and cross off the days you hit the gym. You subscribe to a few fitness magazines and start shopping at Whole Foods. Next thing you know, it's been a month since you've crossed anything out on your fridge, the front desk person at the gym couldn't pick you out of a lineup and you start hitting the drive thru.

Focused on getting a promotion? You show up early, take on extra projects, and join a professional organization for training and networking. A month later, you start hitting the snooze button, pull back on the additional work and skip the next couple of meetings with your professional development group.

Want to put a spark in your relationship? You promise to say "I love you" as often as you did before you got married, you refuse to say goodbye without a good, ol' fashion kiss, and you both pick a day of the week where you'll have date night. Soon after, you have to work late, you're rushing to get out the door (no time for kisses!) and the kids activities take over date nights.

Why, why, why do people think they only need a theory, a plan and a couple of action steps to accomplish a goal?

The reality is, a goal will NEVER be accomplished without the the "D" word - Dedication!

People who are dedicated understand that the process is just as important as the end product. They get their reward from sticking to the plan - not just obtaining the outcome. Dedication means to devote wholly and earnestly - giving 100% to the process.

So, what have you let fall by the wayside? What have you started that you haven't finished? Are you in it 100%? Wholly? Earnestly?

You probably have the right theory - the right goal - the right plan. The question you have the dedication?


  1. Doreen-would you get outta my head!!!?? LOL this is right on point. I am LOOKING at the evidence of several INITIATIVES that I started only to get half way through and lose my spark to follow through! Let me pick up my book on Comparative Religions RIGHT NOW.... :) Tawana

  2. I'm not just in your head and stepping on your toes...I'm about to dust off my Rosetta Stone, as this was the year I was going to learn Spanish!