How often do you feel run-off-your-feet busy, yet simultaneous like you are never gaining traction on where you want to go? Taking action is important because, with no action, there are no results. However, the problem is when you get so focused on taking action that you overlook a key detail: is this aligned action? Your actions often end up serving as a distraction or being based on what you feel you “should” do. But whilst these actions may get results, they are rarely the results that you want. So what is aligned action?
What is aligned action?
Aligned action describes any action you take that is in alignment with your:
- Goals – where you want to go
- Core priorities – what is deeply important to you
- Core values – what you value in yourself and others
Positive aligned action must meet your:
- Rational outcomes – tasks are done, decisions are made, challenges have solutions, plans are made
- Emotional outcomes – confidence, commitment, and how you feel about the situation is improved
- Social outcomes – the functionality of any relationships involved (including the one you have with yourself) are improved
A compromise to any one of these outcomes will means that the action is not fully aligned. However, specific actions may lean more toward one or two of these outcomes.
How do I take aligned action?
Ideally, you will consider aligned action when at a planning stage, before you start to take action. But sometimes you might find yourself mid-action and going no-where. If that’s the case, take a deep breath and pause. Ground yourself in your priorities, your values, and your overall goals. How aligned are your actions with these? Is what you are doing right now leading you closer, or further away from these? It can be easy to react to, and act on the thing that is right in front of you – doing the washing up, replying to that email, spontaneously re-organising your entire closet – but is this leading you a step closer to where you want to be? If yes, fantastic! If not, take the time to choose the action steps that are in alignment with what you are trying to achieve (rather than allow your actions to be reactionary).
For what purpose?
Give your actions, habits, and behaviours the “purpose test”. This question “For what purpose?” has been one of the most valuable pieces of advice anyone has ever given to me. I try to ask myself this every day (often many times), and when I do I find things come together. Why? Because it puts me on the path to aligned action.
- For what purpose am I doing/saying this?
- How do I feel about the action that I am taking?
- What direction will this take me in, in relation to where I want to be?
- Which single action could I take today, that would progress me closer to where I want to be?
What one thing will you do today, that will lead you toward your most compelling goal? Share with us in the comments below…