1 Nov, 2019

How To Get Things Done So You Create The Life You Want

Do you have goals in your life? Are there things you want to achieve? Do you have things to do and places to go in your life?

And, if you do, what’s stopping you.

For the vast majority of people, one of the reasons they don’t achieve what they want in life is they don’t get around to it. They have an idea, they get excited and they want to take action. But then, because they think about it rather than doing something, the excitement fizzles out, fear and doubt set in and they step back into the comfort-zone of doing that they’ve always done.

The law of diminishing intent

If that sounds at all familiar then don’t worry. You are not alone. In fact, this phenomenon is a documented behaviour called, ‘The law of diminishing intent.’

All those bright ideas and ambitions come from the creative part of your brain. It fires you up and inspires you. The hesitation and procrastination come from the primal part of your brain – which is there to protect you. Not making changes is the safe option according to this very ancient reasoning (based on the evidence of you still being alive) so it will very rapidly talk you out of taking any new action or doing anything which is uncomfortable in the short term.

In fact, you have around five seconds between the intent to do something and the primal brain stepping in and saying “No. Let’ just stay here on the couch eating peanuts…”

If there is something you need to do, or an impulse you want to control, you have five seconds to act before your brain kicks in and turns on the default setting (be that fear and worry, to stay in bed a bit longer or to eat the bar of chocolate).

The magic tool that defeats the law of diminishing intent.

This is one of the greatest tools I’ve ever come across. I use it all the time. I first came across it in a TED Talk by Mel Robbins and it is a great way to take action.

And it is as simple as it is effective.

If there is something you want to do, the moment the intention to act strikes you:

Five… Four… Three… Two… One…. And then, take action!

It works just as well when you are impulsed to do something that takes you away from your goals.

Five… Four… Three… Two… One…. Choose a better course of action!

It’s such a simple technique, not only to move you forward, but to move you away from the destructive habits which so many of us have. It is such a powerful tool to get yourself started:

  • Five… Four… Three… Two… One…. Get out of bed
  • Five… Four… Three… Two… One…. Don’t snap at the kids
  • Five… Four… Three… Two… One…. Give your team member your full attention
  • Five… Four… Three… Two… One…. Go for a run
  • Five… Four… Three… Two… One…. Turn off your mobile to avoid distractions
  • Five… Four… Three… Two… One…. Close the fridge door.

A few more tips to get things done

Always say it like you really mean it. I use the countdown from the Thunderbirds TV show: ‘Five, four, three, two, one. Thunderbirds are Go!’

Always count down. If you count up, you could just carry on counting.

Never cheat on it. This is a tool which cannot be done casually. It has to be done with true conviction every time, because if you don’t do it that way, you will become a casualty of the exercise; something else which adds to the evidence of, “you can’t do this”, and gives power to your default settings.

If you want more tools, tips and techniques to help you get things done in your life then take a look at https://petecohen.com/coaching/. There is short coaching video to help you make change in your life and then you can book a call with me to see how else I can help you.

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