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How to Take Action Every Day: 5 Powerful Habits

How to Take Action Every Day

“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”
Leonardo Da Vinci

One of the biggest and most common problems with improving your life or the success you want out of it is that you may not take consistent action over a longer time period.

Now, consistency isn't the sexiest or most exciting word.

But it is, coupled with time, what will give you real results in your life.

Sticking with the program and doing something consistently – and not just when you feel inspired or something like that – is very, very powerful.

This is something I have struggled with a lot in the past. And on some days I still do.

But over the years I have found a few things that really help me with this.

1. When you're taking action, focus only on the process.

I use this one, for example, when I do my workouts and when I write. I don’t take responsibility for the results in my mind.

I take responsibility for showing up and doing my workout/the writing. That's it.

The results come anyway from that consistent action. And this makes it easier for me to take this action because:

  • I know that is all I need to focus on. And so my energy and attention is only focused in one direction and I do a better job.
  • I feel a lot less pressure on myself. And so I'm more relaxed and prone to continue compared to if I stare myself blind on the potential results that never come as quickly as I may want and if I'm on an emotional roller coaster from day to day.

2. Remember why you are taking action.

Find your top priorities and reasons for why you are doing what you are doing.

It could be to provide for your family, to save up for traveling, to get the job you really want or to improve your self-confidence. Or something else.

To not lose track of why you are taking action and to stay focused:

  • Write down your most important reasons. Take a few minutes, sit down with paper and a pen and write down the top 1-3 reasons for why you take action and want to keep doing that in your life right now.
  • Put that note where you can see it every day. Like for example in your workspace or near your bed so that you see it every morning when you wake up.

3. Reminder: you don’t want to hurt yourself.

When you disappoint yourself and don’t think and do as you really deep down want to you hurt yourself by lowering your self-esteem.

Whatever you do during your day sends signals back to yourself about what kind of person you are. Do the right thing like being effective, kind, going to the gym or simply rest and you feel good.

Get lazy, negative or just plain mean and you tend to feel worse after a while.

You don’t get away, there is no escaping yourself. And there is always a price to pay.

4. Take smaller steps on the days when the big ones seem to daunting.

On some days getting started with any of the the most important tasks may seem daunting. And so you start to procrastinate.

When that happens, one thing that has worked for me is to be kind.

To nudge myself forward instead of beating myself up.

So at such times I take:

  • A small step. I may make a deal with myself to just work for 5 minutes on a piece of a bigger and more difficult task.
  • An even smaller step. If that small step feels like too much and I start to procrastinate I make a deal with myself for 1 or 2 minutes of work.

Sometimes that results in a few dents put into a big task, a couple of smaller tasks being completed and many breaks being taken throughout the day.

And sometimes the easy start or restart to the day is all I need to get going again and to have a good and very productive time before the evening arrives.

Either way, I move forward instead of standing still.

5. Celebrate what you did today.

When you appreciate your good work you feel even better about your life and yourself.

And over time taking more action with less inner resistance becomes possible and you associate action with more positive emotions than you may at this time.


  • Take two minutes at the end of the day to think about what you can appreciate about what you did today. Or write down a couple of self-appreciative things in your journal.
  • Have a tasty treat or a bigger celebration.
  • Tell someone how nice something turned out, how you learned a good lesson or how proud you are over something important you did today.

Reward yourself for the things you did right today to strengthen your action taking habit.

And remember to be kind to yourself for the things you may have missed or not gotten done.

No point in trying to beat yourself up. No point in trying to be perfect.

See what you can learn from it and perhaps try another solution tomorrow and see if that works better.

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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ashley Radford

    I particularly like point 4. Just doing a small chunk of something I don’t like or want to do or feel overwhelmed by certainly helps make me feel like I am making some progress and can help reduce any sense of overwhelm. When my flexibility was poor and thus stretching was uncomfortable I used to make myself just do 8 minutes of stretching and inevitably I’d do 10-15 minutes. I improved steadily over time and it became habitual. All 5 points you’ve made are really useful, nice post, well balanced and practical. Thanks!

  • Leonie Egan

    I appreciate your reminding me of what I already know. Positive thinking is an important element as you age as it affects one’s mental and physical and spiritual health. Mindfulness is being aware of every second of your day and how and what are you thinking creates your future. I do pass on your messages. Thank you.

  • andy jang

    I love your articles which really bring me positive mind. Thanks for sharing your articles with us.

  • Arlene

    Thank you for these great reminders. I have a hard time with being kind to myself and knowing it’s okay to take a break when a break is needed. This blog reminded me I had created positive signs for a very dear friend who recently passed away from cancer, but never think of doing it for myself, ever. As I read this, I can see and hear her in my mind saying, “it’s your turn now.” Yes, it is! Thanks again

  • To do is to be.
    Actions are always a process of getting outcome. All your points are fruitful. Never procrastinate and remain idle. Enjoy every actions. Never postpone, criticize and be unusually busy to perform any actions. Good read. Regards.

  • Anonymous

    Peace! Thanks for the Insight and the Time it took to record it to be shared by others. I enjoy applying the principles.

  • Hopeson

    Oh! What a life changing post brother. May God grant you more of his divine wisdom to write more. Stay blessed forever.

  • Great post and reminders for me. Enjoying the journey, rather than focusing on destination has definitely helped me to persevere. Also, I never allow myself to think about quitting once I’m committed.

  • Langa

    I’m so happy and content about this advice it really elevates my frustraion about life in general

  • Nansimbi Mary Gorret

    Thank you the five powerful things give to us hoping to share them to my fellow students on compass (African Rural University) because relay without action in life there is no any progress. This is helping me to keep focused on my studies at the same time progressing with my back home projects at home. I stated the with the reasons like to be able pay my school fees elf and have sustainability, helping my younger brothers and sisters and to be a role model to the community members since am an orphan and to show them a woman can do every thing for the well being of the community. so I will keep focused on the actions i do thanks.

  • Malak

    I like the last one, I think it is very useful to appreciate myself for things I did, and to accept not being peefect.

  • Great reminder. I find especially taking small steps on the road is the best way to get started. Easier said than done when you are feeling down.

  • Thank you for motivational writing! I consciously look forward for your mail!
    Happy writing!

  • Annie Romero

    These are great habits to make. If you don’t think it helps just try one, it can make all the difference to celebrate what you did today! I would recommend reading Doug Carnine’s book How Love Wins. He covers ways to learn kind habits and how that flows into all aspects of life. It’s so good, feedkindness.com is his site, it’s a great one to look at as well!