Cheryl's Blog

Week 19 – Smart Actions: Doing what matters most


Happy Mother’s Day to everyone who, in some way or another, gives of their time and energy to someone in need.  When we love and care for another being, we are expressing the very best of mothering.  And, if you haven’t yet seen this video about the instinct of mothering, today’s the day to enjoy it here.

This week, join me for a unique experience as I partner with Dr. Mona Lisa Schulz, brain scientist and medical intuitive, for “The Clinic,” – a special show on on Wednesday, May 13th at 5pm ET/2pm PT.  Together we’ll take calls where Dr. Schulz will conduct readings to determine the emotional root causes of a health issue and then I’ll help callers to formulate an action plan that addresses the issue.  Should make for interesting radio…

Follow me on Twitter (username: coachoncall) and on my Facebook page here. I’d love to connect with you in this new way.

Have a wonderful week!



p.s. – Need a little Divine Direction?  Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here.

Topic of the Week

Smart Actions

“Security is not the meaning of my life. Great opportunities

are worth the risks.”

— Shirley Hufstedler

I love simplicity. As a coach, I especially love learning about small behavior changes that can reap big rewards. For example, I use a technique that’s made an enormous difference in both the success of my company and the quality of my life. This week, I’d like to share it with you.

In the morning when I start my workday, I begin with the following question:

“What action do I most want to avoid doing today?”

Then, once I have an answer, I do two things. First, I identify the cause of my resistance. For example, does the task feel too tedious or difficult to complete?  Do I need more information or guidance from someone who’s done it before?  Is it related to a goal that no longer serves me?  Or, am I simply afraid?  Then, once I know what’s going on and feel convinced that it is, in fact, important, I take this action right away.

Starting your day with this simple step has several key benefits. First, you’ll quickly discover whether or not the items on your to-do list are truly designed to move you toward a worthy goal.  Second, it will save you time and energy by keeping you focused on the actions you really need to take rather than the busy work we all tend to get caught up in when trying to avoid something that feels uncomfortable or risky.  And finally, once you’ve determined that this task is indeed important, by doing it first, you accelerate your progress toward your goal.  Let’s look at a couple of examples of what I mean.

Imagine that you’d like to become an actress. You begin your day by reviewing your to-do list and notice that the action you most want to avoid is calling a local theater that’s holding auditions for a new performance. When you think about making the call you feel nervous and excited at the same time (a good sign!). You not only recognize that this is the step you most want to avoid, you also know it’s the one that could be most significant in terms of moving you closer to your goal.  So, rather than spend time reading trade magazines or updating your bio once again, you make the call.

Or, let’s imagine that you want to change careers altogether and the action you most want to avoid is writing a resume (most people hate this step, by the way).  When you consider your resistance, you realize that you haven’t done one in years and you don’t know where to begin.  So, instead of dreaming about a new career, or talking with friends about the change you hope to make someday, you call a colleague who recently changed careers, get a referral to a good job counselor, and you get the resume done this week.  Then, you’re ready to get the ball rolling!

It’s really pretty simple. So many of us dance around the action steps that matter most because of the anxiety they cause. Understandably so. After all, using this method does mean that you will, on occasion, experience disappointment or rejection, or come up against the need to ask for help. But, what’s the alternative? Would you rather waste time doing things that really don’t make that much of a difference? Are you willing to keep putting off your dreams?  Since there’s a good chance that you’ll live through disappointment or rejection, why not face your fears head on?

Believe me, you have far more to gain than you have to lose!

Take Action Challenge

Print out the following question and hang it in a place where you’ll see it every day:

What action do I most want to avoid doing today?

Then, once you determine the most important action, do it and notice how quickly the things you want most begin to move toward you!

Life Makeover For The Year 2009 (sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson. If you have any questions or comments, or for reprint permission of this newsletter, please email: © Copyright 1999-2009. Cheryl Richardson, P.O. Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950. All rights reserved.