Saturday, August 13, 2016

5 Things to Consider When Deciding Which Course of Action to Take

Likely, you have many ideas. Concepts for plans and products you could execute, books you could write, and contacts you could make. But how do you decide which ones would be most worth your time and take you the furthest?
By taking fear and paralysis out of the picture (fearing making the wrong move so not making one at all -- which is also a decision of sorts) and replacing them with expectation and purpose, you can make wise choices that will move you forward. Here are 5 things to consider when deciding which course of action to take.

1. Do your homework, and set an action date.

An inexpensive wall calendar is good for this. Take it apart and arrange it so you can see several months at a time on the side of your fridge or office wall. Once you figured out your realistic timeline on paper, plot it on your calendar and start working towards it. 

2. Know that action brings momentum and moves you forward and let go of your worries about failure.

For most decisions, the stakes are not as high as you may think. Keep your research or first drafts safe. Even if you decide to change direction, they can serve you well in a future project. Authors have backlists of books they've previously written they often pull out when the time is right after a few successes. Think of this preliminary work as investment into later into your writing career as well.

3. Don't get married to the plan. That spot is reserved for the outcome.

Each writer is different. Each life circumstance is different. Each season of life is different. Pull together the advice that works for you and make it go to work. If you are losing momentum, energy, inspiration, or time; tweak your strategy accordingly. It's fine to shift to shorter sessions earlier or later in the day or to cram production into a block of time you've been able to set aside. Whatever works for you. 

4. Plot your course by working backwards.

What would you need to achieve your final result? What steps would bring you to that point? What could you do today that would bring you to closer to those steps? Identify content and process you need to research, and contacts you need to make. And keep writing.

5. Enjoy the ride.

Celebrate the steps you take and the tasks you accomplish that get you closer to where you are aiming to go. It is not failure if it doesn't come together immediately. You are setting the stage for future success and enjoying the process along the way. Connecting with why this goal is important to you helps keep this in perspective.


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