Being proactive might seem like a quality that lucky people are born with, but in fact, you’re about to learn how to build this valuable trait for yourself.
It’s no wonder people admire those who have the courage to take the initiative on their goals. It’s one of the best traits an employee or person can have! As a result, companies clammer to hire them.
The ancient Stoics knew the importance of planning for the future and taking action. After all these centuries, it’s still a quality that demands respect.
In a moment, we’ll go over what being proactive means and how you can integrate it into your life.
So, let’s get started!
What is being proactive?
“Action is the foundational key for all success.”
— Pablo Picasso
Anyone can transform into a go-getter who never procrastinates when critical tasks need to be done.
You don’t wait for the “perfect” time because it doesn’t exist.
“You have to think a little smarter, be proactive, not reactive.”
On the other hand, you could do what reactive people do and wait for a problem to take over, then scramble for a way to fix it. Reactive people don’t plan or take steps toward their goals. Instead, they hope they’ll work on it someday when life is stress-free and they’re brimming with motivation, intelligence, and free time. Pfft! Right.
As you can see, it’s better to take the proactive route. Also, it’s the first habit in Stephen Covey’s ultra-successful book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. So, yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.
The following tips will help you to create the changes you want in life rather than wish they were true. You get behind the wheel and head in the direction you want.
Here’s how you can be more proactive starting today:
No doubt, being more action-oriented will boosts your productivity and success levels. It’ll make every day more enjoyable.
But remember that life doesn’t play by our rules. It’ll surprise you with events you couldn’t have planned, and that’s okay. As for the things you can prepare for, here are some tips.
1. Get proactive by choosing a goal
“If you don’t make a conscious effort to visualize, who you are and what you want to become in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape your journey by default. Your silence makes you reactive vs. proactive.”
— Shannon L. Alder
You’ll need a specific goal to practice being proactive every day. Make sure you know what you want so you aren’t striving for some vague idea that sounds good at the time. It would be best if you were specific so you can track your progress. That will also increase your motivation to keep going.
- Write a book
- Learn a new skill or language
- Lose 15 pounds
- Buy a house
- Read 10 pages of a book every day
- Meditate for 5 minutes every morning
- Wake up at 5 AM and exercise daily
Choose something that will improve your daily life and encourage yourself to stick with it. Then move on to the next step.
2. Be proactive with taking responsibility
“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”
— C.G. Jung
An influential leader has the confidence to take ownership of their actions. Especially when they make mistakes, they don’t blame others or deny what happened. Instead, they learn from it and move on to the next step. It’s such an admirable and exceptional quality to have.
Being proactive is about focusing on the things you can control in life and letting the rest go. Besides, you can’t do anything about those things anyway.
But if you don’t take responsibility for the things you do, you’ll struggle to do anything worthwhile.
When you think about how valuable and important your goal is to you, your entire perspective changes. Now, you’re determined and committed to taking daily steps towards your destination. You couldn’t imagine skipping a few days to do nothing.
Furthermore, you also get to take responsibility for the spectacular accomplishments you’ll achieve. Guaranteed, your confidence will soar when you’re basking in the glory of doing it all yourself!
“I believe that everyone chooses how to approach life. If you’re proactive, you focus on preparing. If you’re reactive, you end up focusing on repairing.”
― John C. Maxwell
Every simplistic bit of effort will bring you closer to fulfilling your dream, and there’s no one to blame but yourself if you deny yourself that.
After all, no one else can reach your goals for you.
3. Break it down into small steps
“Recast your current problems into proactive goals.”
— JSuze Orman
Next, break your goal into smaller steps. For instance, if you want to buy a house, you could calculate your mortgage and home insurance budget, save up for a down payment, check your credit score, choose the ideal city for you, finding a home loan lender, and check out houses for sale.
But keep in mind that your plan needs to adapt to the inevitable road bumps along the way. Random issues might pop up, like getting out of debt or improving your credit score. But don’t get overwhelmed by them and give up. Simplify the situation by breaking possible solutions down into simple tasks. You got this.
4. Sort your action list
“Action expresses priorities.”
– Mahatma Ghandi
Now, arrange your steps from the most fundamental to the most complex. In other words, prioritize your list.
What things are most important to do first, and which ones aren’t as essential?
After you’ve sorted your list, put the tasks in your calendar along with deadlines. Please give yourself plenty of time to complete them but not too much.
5. Get started
“It is easy to sit up and take notice. What is difficult is getting up and taking action.”
– Honore de Balzac
Starting is always the hardest part of any project, especially if you tend to overthink things beforehand. Sometimes it helps to jump in and begin the first step before you can talk yourself out of it.
When I was in my early 20’s I wasn’t very motivated at the time; I was working and partying on repeat. All my friends were doing the same, but I needed to do more with my life. I was serious and on a mission. So, I planned the steps to reach my new life and put them into action.
But, of course, there were obstacles. My Audi kept overheating so, I took it to the mechanic’s and reluctantly chose to leave it there because fixing it would cost way too much! Luckily, one of my friends was about to move to another state, and I could ride with her.
I packed a few bags and gave all the rest of my belongings to my roommate, then I was off to change my world by any means necessary!
You can do the same thing with a little planning and dreaming.
6. Don’t let mistakes stop you
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
— Albert Einstein
Always keep in mind that if you mess up, it’s okay. Every person you admire has made a mountain of mistakes. But they learned from them and used them to move up in their field.
So, if you slip up, don’t worry about it. Instead, learn from it and use it to improve. Otherwise, you might hit the same wall repeatedly until you stop trying. But remember, there’s always a loophole, and you’ll find it if you look hard enough.
7. Think and speak positive statements
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”
— William Hutchison Murray
Become more aware of how you think about yourself and your goal. Don’t let yourself think, “I’ll never be able to do this,” because that will become true.
Instead, think, “Even though this is challenging, I’m getting closer and closer every day.” because that’s the truth!
It’ll be difficult at first but be patient with yourself. Chances are you’re learning new things, and stumbling along the way is to be expected. No one is spectacular at first.
However, after you put in some time and effort, you will be! So, encourage and reward yourself for working hard!
8. Don’t be too easy on yourself
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
― Stephen King
Avoid letting yourself to slack off whenever you don’t feel like doing anything. Remind yourself about how meaningful this goal is to you and how it’ll improve your life. Visualize how thrilling it’ll be when you achieve it.
Being proactive means you take control of your future regardless of whether you want to or not. Furthermore, the motivation will show up after you start working and making progress.
9. Find solutions to the root of your problems
“Don’t wait for your ship to come in, swim out to it.”
— Cathy Hopkins
If you there’s an obstacle on the horizon, plan how you’ll conquer it beforehand. If that method doesn’t work, try something else. Keep trying different strategies until you make it through.
But, don’t dwell on the problem that’ll overwhelm you until you hit the brakes on your journey to a better life. Instead, after you notice what’s wrong, start brainstorming (and Googling) possible solutions. Eventually, you’ll get it.
10. Hang out with proactive people
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
― Jim Rohn
It’s cliché, I know, but you become like the people you hang out with most of the time. You’re not necessarily conforming to the herd mentality; it happens unconsciously.
If you only hang out with people who party every night, you probably won’t be focused on working towards a goal.
However, if you’re around people who talk about and do impressive things, you’ll feel inspired to do the same. Furthermore, they’ll encourage you to go for it.
“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
– Mother Teresa
In short, you have everything you need to be proactive and change your world. Who knows? You might alter other’s lives along the way! Every day you put this into practice, you strengthen your character and fortify your self-confidence. Thus, making you a worthy opponent of anyone that attempts to block your path. There’s no stopping you!
Write out your master plan today and take action on it. You’ll feel incredible and inspired by it! In time, you’ll be shocked at the momentous achievements you’ve earned! All thanks to you!
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