Why Launching Into Action Too Soon is Limiting Your Success

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    +44 (0) 7976 751 095 dan@danbeverly.com http://danbeverly.com

    Why Launching Into Action Too Soon is Limiting Your Success

    17 March 2016

    Successful goal pursuit is determined by what happens immediately after you set your goal. Amplify

    your success by delaying action and instead promoting your goals to well-formed outcomes.

    When execution isn't everything

    You've connected with the vision. You've set a meaningful

    and inspiring goal. You're feeling hugely motivated. But

    it's what happens next that determines the success (or

    otherwise!) of your goal pursuit.

    We might instinctively say that action is the next, crucial,

    success-defining step. And yes, to some extent: "execution is

    everything". But a headlong rush into immediate action

    can have negative consequences too.

    To improve your goal pursuit, there is an intermediate


    Goals vs. Outcomes

    One of the great benefits of working with a professional

    coach is the offer of a positive counterbalance to that

    desire to launch into immediate action; and instead,

    challenge the thinking thus far to develop the goal into a

    yet-more complete and well-formed outcome.

    The difference between a goal and an outcome may not

    be obvious at first - but it is significant. A goal is what we

    want, whereas an outcome is what we get. And whilst

    our outcomes are always the result of our actions, they are

    not always what we desire.

    So armed with (the beginnings of!) your goal, spend some

    thinking time fashioning a well-formed outcome with the

    following thoughts and then into action!

    Establish your baseline criteria

    Of course, there are some baseline criteria to establish. I'm

    sure you have these, but here's a quick check.

    State your outcome in positive terms. We want to

    move towards something positive, not away from

    something negative. (The unconscious mind cannot

    process negatives.)

    Be as specific as possible. Make your outcome as

    vivid as you can. Make it "real", right from the start.

    And if it's a larger outcome, break it down into

    smaller parts that are, at once, manageable but still


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    +44 (0) 7976 751 095 dan@danbeverly.com http://danbeverly.com

    Have access to resources. A realistic assessment of

    whether you have, or can get, the resources you

    need: both internal and external.

    Ensure the outcome is within your control. State

    your goal in a way that means you can get it

    yourself, no matter what other people may do.

    Introduce sensory-based language

    Enrich your vision and make your outcome more "real" by

    introducing sensory-based language to your goal. Ask


    What will you see/hear/feel when you achieve this?

    Have your success criteria include a sensory-based check.

    Spare a thought for the status quo

    Very often, there are hidden benefits to the status quo.

    And when we find ourselves not achieving our goals, it

    might be the lure of the current benefits. After all: all

    behaviour has a positive intention. Ask yourself:

    What will I gain when I achieve this outcome?

    What will I lose when I achieve this outcome?

    Look for the hidden benefits of leaving things as they are.

    And then enhance your new outcome by looking for

    ways to maintain those current benefits.

    Check the ecology of your outcome

    "Ecology" is about taking into account the effect of any

    change on the system of which it is a part. And every

    change has a ripple effect, no matter how small. Your

    thinking job is to consider the extent and cost of these

    effects. And whether your outcome fits with your sense of

    who you are and what's important to you. Ask yourself:

    What will happen if you achieve this outcome?

    What won't happen if you achieve this outcome?

    What will happen if you don't achieve this?

    What won't happen if you don't achieve this?

    Think deeply about the advantages and disadvantages of

    following a course of action. And ask of your outcome: if I

    had it, would I want it?

    Outcome sequitur (or more simply: what happens next?)

    After you achieve your outcome:

    What will you do next?

    What will this lead to?

    What will it do for you?

    Our goals are usually steps along the way to more long-

    term effects. Exploring the follow-on consequences of

    actually having achieved our outcome can helps us be

    sure this is what we really want.

    Take 100% responsibility

    It's tempting not to take 100% responsibility for our goals.

    That way: if it doesn't work out, we can always blame

    someone else. But of course, goals take commitment. And

    when we accept 100% responsibility for our results, we

    move ourselves into possibility, potential and achievement.

    So write down your goal. Date it. And sign it. And now

    tell someone who doesn't already know about your goal.

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    +44 (0) 7976 751 095 dan@danbeverly.com http://danbeverly.com

    Define the first step

    The final part of developing a well-formed outcome is to

    define that first step - but now armed with a well-formed

    outcome, not an ill-formed goal. Once again, be specific:

    What precisely will you do?

    When, precisely, will you do it?

    Make Action #1 something meaningful, but not (quote,

    unquote) "big". This is about setting the momentum more

    than anything else.

    Putting well-formed goal pursuit into action

    Well-formed outcomes are a significant step-up from goals.

    From here, you might like to take one or two of your goals

    and experiment with the ideas above. Do they still apply

    and in the same ways, once you've tested and tuned them

    for well-formedness?

    The well-formedness challenge is also a helpful way to

    think about outcomes when helping others work on and

    achieve their goals. How might you introduce some of this

    thinking to your work with your team, clients and


    Dan Beverly is a leadership and performance coach helping high-calibre, high-

    performing professional women embrace the pivotal career moments.

    His mission is to inspire possibility in others: to help us excel in careers without

    compromise; and to leave us feeling energised and uplifted by a new future.

    Go online to book your complimentary Session Zero with Dan and start

    capitalising on your pivotal career moments today.