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.


Free Exclusive Happiness Tips

Join the 80,000 people that subscribe to the Positivity Newsletter and you’ll get practical tips on happiness, self-esteem, productivity and more each week.

You’ll also get these three guides for free:

  • 21 Things I Wish They Had Taught Me in School.
  • 7 Steps to Stop Being So Lazy.
  • 10 Things You Can Do When Life Sucks.

100% privacy and no spam. You can unsubscribe anytime.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • It’s a nice article. I always prefer to read your blog because of your actionable tips.

    I liked point no. 4 and 5 very much.

    By taking little steps every day, we can move ahead towards our goal by more passionately.

    The celebration is also necessary when we complete our task.

    Thanks for sharing this nice piece of writing.

  • Latha

    Henrik. am finding it next to impossible to forget my ex. ten years and now that it is over and he has married again, my heart is in a million pieces. I cannot stop thinking about him and our past, the best moments of my life. I cannot move forward I feel so hollow and empty

  • Many thanks for this – several things here that I’m going to try today.
    I really enjoy starting my working day reading your blogs. I’m always uplifted by them.

  • Ranjan Venkatesh

    This blog is one of the highlights of my day, I am really thankful for the digestible and relevant information.

  • Thanks for writing this!

    #1 is literally what made me successfully start and grow my weightlifting and writing habits.

    All I had to do was to stop thinking and worrying so much about achieving/not achieving and to just show up daily.

  • Shary

    I have ur quote by DaVinci on my fridge. Very powerful quote. I especially like no. 4 guidance rule.
    Your articles are like a Vit C tablet: easy to take and preventative & helpful for making a difference in my life.
    Please continue making a difference.
    However I came upon your website several years ago, it had been a game changer in my life and I thank you.

  • randy cole

    Excellent article Henrik, thank you! You really nailed every key point concisely, especially the ones about focusing on the process and taking small steps to keep moving forward. I’m going to print this and put it in the front of my journal!?

  • Thanks for this Henrik, this is great. I’ve just referenced it in one of my blog posts here to help people get started really focusing on the things they want faster with the app we’ve created.

    Check it out if you are interested.



  • Good tips

  • Hello Henrik,
    Do you know what’s the most important thing to me is? That you’re asking people to take actions.
    I strongly believe that people will make their own ways, they will find the best and the fundamentals – you mentioned – to follow, only when they are willing to do something.
    Honestly, speaking I’m working on the personal growth, what I have found is that people don’t take actions and that’s’ the biggest issue that they don’t succeed.
    Once they start following Leonardo Da Vinci, then they can understand you – how to achieve something. Like, you mentioned, focus, setting goals, and taking small steps etc.

    A big thanks for your contribution.

  • Sharon

    Your insight was very helpful, 1 and 2 are key for me and the other 3 are much-needed actions as well, I have to start small and prioritize so I am focusing on 1 and 2. Thank you for making a difference in my life.

  • I am inspired to take action after reading this

  • I shared several points of the article. I think the important thing is to start, to think that making mistakes is fundamental for a path of growth of ourselves.
    The mere fact of taking initiative in our lives will give us a positive impulse that will facilitate the follow-up. Errors will come and must be welcome. How to find the strength to start then? Draw a little from the sense of duty, managing it as a homework when you were small, if necessary, but the rest will come by itself.

  • Sir, it is my pleasure to reply you because I have read all your mails in inbox that I found really helpful for me. I love your updates and all the encouraging stuff you send. It has really console me in my worst fear and helped me out to overcome from that. I was really upset over thinking about disasterous things and about future worries. Sometime it was hard to breath and sometime it was feeling like I will get heart attack. Most of those moments I only found that it was just inside my head, nowhere else. It was also hurtful when my gf left me for some months and all I can do it to see her. I was so desperate to talk her those days but all I could do is to see her activities only but she didn’t talk even she cried a lot cause of the issue. I thought I will quit this life because of this but I didn’t mean to do this cause I was still hoping that from somewhere she will come and i will again talk to her. I only concentrated on the mails on my inbox and found them helpful in that situation. I also left it to happen. Now you know what she is with me lol. That was the another fantastic thing ever happened to me. I learnt a lesson from it. Good or bad things happens for a reason and I faced them both so I better take it as a lesson.
    Thank you for all of this good work.
    You are truly helping others.

    Love you.