“Action is the foundational key to all success.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Changeability is the ability to change. It’s the fundamental ability underpinning your approach to what you want in life and how you get it.

It’s what The Changeability Podcast is about – developing the ability to change through managing your mind. Getting you in the right mindset and way of thinking to achieve what you want to achieve.

And the Changeability book Changeability: Manage your Mind – Change your Life is basically a 10-step framework of tools and techniques to do just that.

Yes it’s crucial to focus our thoughts and use the power of our thoughts and mind to help us do what we want to do – but that’s not the end of the story.

Today we’re talking about what comes next.

Because it’s all very well doing all this prep, getting yourself in the right frame of mind and developing the positive mindset to get you where you want to be – but you still have to actually get there.

That means taking action.

The one thing that differentiates those who read this and think it’s interesting from those who change something as a result is they take action.

And to take action you need to plan for action.

But not just any old action. It’s not about being busy for the sake of feeling like you’re doing something.

Effective action comes from knowing what you want to achieve, and what to change to get there. It’s the big picture stuff your goals come out of.

Reverse engineering  

Reverse engineering is the term for a technical process, where you start with a finished product and take it apart to see how it works, the components and interrelationships, so you can put it together again or improve it.

Reverse engineering begins with the product and works through the design process in the opposite or backwards direction.

Basically that’s what you can do with your life – start with the finished product, how you want your changed life to look, and work backwards to see the steps that need to be taken to get you there.

Action planning

1. First you have your vision – what you want your life to look like.

Then what do you need to change to get that life.

But these are still big goals and dreams, but not yet actions.

They’re what you need to achieve in order to have the life you want, but don’t indicate how you do it.To do this we need to break it down further.

2. The next layer is the milestone. These are interim goals that unsurprisingly work like a milestone. A stone sign that in the olden days (as children say) told you how many miles it was to your destination. You weren’t there but you were on your way and this was a defined place along the journey.

Your milestones show you’re on the right track. Interim goals that when you achieve them, build towards your big overarching goal or vision.

You might have a vision goal to be slim – but it doesn’t mean anything on its own. So your milestone goal gives you something to aim for on the way to becoming slim e.g. be 10 pounds lighter in one month’s time.

3. Now you have something concrete to aim for – the milestone – and the next layer is to identify the measurable actions to get from where you are now to the milestone.For instance:

– Enrol at the local gym (by a certain date).
– Attend 3 gym sessions or classes a week for the next two months.
– Choose a suitable eating plan (date).
– Remove all unhealthy options from my kitchen (date).
– Create some health eating affirmations (date).

4. The final layer is the micro-step or trigger action.

As the name suggests, these are the first tiny steps that trigger the next action and make it easier and more likely you’ll take it.

For example, leaving your gym clothes laid out in your bedroom or your gym shoes by the door, so you don’t have to think about getting ready to go straight to the gym when you get up in the morning.

When you don’t know where to start

It all seems to make logical sense – but what about when you don’t know what actions to take. You’ve got your vision, you’ve set your milestone but don’t know how to get there?

Some goals will have more obvious actions to take, like a healthy eating plan or training regime, but sometimes you wont know what to do.

The trick here is to find a way to take the first step.

Think around the subject; do a bit of research and make an educated guess about where would be a good place to start.

It doesn’t have to be perfect; it’s about finding a way in, getting started and building momentum.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” ~ Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

The Changeability Podcast episode 48

To hear us talking more about action planning for success and other things along the way listen to episode 48 of The Changeability Podcast.

Resources and links mentioned

Thank you

Thank you for reading and listening to the podcast.  And a special thanks to the action takers who’ve been generous enough to leave The Changeability Podcast a review.

This is very important to us as it makes a big difference to the visibility of the podcast which in turn means more people listen.

So if you have a couple of minutes to help us out we would very much appreciate a review and rating on iTunes or Stitcher.