Eliminating the Gap Between Good Intentions and Follow Through

As Thomas Jefferson said: “If you want something that you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” 
The gap between getting from point A to B is one of personal fortitude.  A key attribute between meeting your intentions by following through is related to how much ownership you possess.  

Jefferson appears to imply that getting a result is inherent on how much you desire to follow through.  

Sadly, good intentions miss the mark when our desire is based on something other than having clear ownership for the goal.

Closing the Saying and Doing Gap

What are the qualities needed to follow through? 

  1. Explore how much you want something.  Know what it means to you, and why.  Failure to answer the why…you need to question whether you have the right objective.
  2. Does your heart (beliefs, feelings) tell you that you’re on the right track?
  3. Make a ‘graded task assignment’ – break the follow through into manageable chunks. 
  4. Create an accountability structure.  Who is going to keep you accountable for getting there. Set up reporting periods.
  5. Examine what failing would be like.  What are the consequences of inaction?  What are the costs and benefits?
  6. What do successes look like?  What is the payoff to follow through?

Develop the spirit to stretch beyond what you think is your capability.  Do something you’ve never done.


Learning to Power Through Bad Habits


Counterproductive habits or behaviors come in many shapes and sizes.  They also have different impacts on a person.  The worst habits are the ones that are subtle, and gradually sap away your motivation and capacity.

Subtle habits that slow your capacity:

  1. Poor sleep habits 
  2. A focus on overspending 
  3. Negative thinking
  4. Unwholesome thoughts
  5. Conflict with others
  6. Deep animosity
  7. Holding onto anger
  8. Obsessing over details
  9. Not getting results

Little by little, these behaviors erode our best efforts.  They dull our senses, and waste valuable talents.  They are time stealers, and suck our internal resources away.  

Letting Go:

The hardest part of giving up an unproductive aspect of ourselves is the perceived comfort we get from engaging these behaviors.  

As one colleague stated: “We love what we hate, and hate what we love.”

Ways to power through:

We begin moving through at the very moment we decide we don’t want these problem behaviors to define us any longer.  

Taking the short and long views around change:

The Short View: What can I stop doing today? This the list of immediate actions we have in our grasp.

The Long View: What repeated daily habits do I need to incorporate to see better results?  The long view is where we look at the growth factors around our change:

  1. What we need to put into building new skill sets
  2. Who we need to forgive
  3. Forgiving ourselves
  4. Changing specific target habits
  5. Engaging health
  6. Changing our methods 

Whatever the long view, it is a mission of sorts, and one that requires navigation and a daily commitment.

Questions For Today—

  1. What 3 behaviors can I stop today?
  2. Can I make a long term plan to change, and begin today?

10 Ways to Move Forward When You Feel Stuck

Photo by the author

Like the flower that blooms in the Spring, it takes the right conditions to break through the ground.  Breaking through personal obstacles is really no different.

The Rut: Anything that is keeping you stuck from where you’re desiring to go.  

Other ways that describe being stuck:

  1. I’m in a job I dislike
  2. I’m not moving forward in my role 
  3. I can’t get ahead of the bills
  4. My boss doesn’t seem to recognize the contribution I make
  5. I feel blah all the time 

Recognizing you’re stuck is 50% toward the solution.  Some don’t even see they’re stuck until a crisis hits. Being stuck wasn’t something that happened once or twice, it’s something that progressed over time.

10 Ways to move beyond stuck

  1. Look at what is actually not stuck: Leverage those resources
  2. Identify your supports – or seek out support
  3. Look at self sabotage – ways your choices are making it harder to succeed
  4. Ask yourself: What does being stuck really mean…what does it require me to do?
  5. What one tipping point do you need that would make the difference?  
  6. Are your expectations holding  you back?  Are they the right ones?
  7. Are you doing more, or expecting more?
  8. What do I need to do less of, and more of?
  9. Learn, expand.
  10. Understand that struggle is making you stronger

Not moving down a desired path doesn’t mean you aren’t moving.  It means something is taking a different direction unintended.

Moving beyond a challenge requires concerted effort to understand the patterns around you, many of which need discovered.

Work through being stuck by identifying the pattern in operation, then choose a set of new patterns that may lead to different results.