I mentioned in an article earlier this month that, in the current uncertain times, I am focusing my goals on developing habits. The reason for this is that focusing on the small actions I can take will help me to move in the right direction. I may not be able to do everything that I would like to do right now, due to the pandemic, but I am determined that when things open up fully again; I will be ready and waiting to seize the opportunity. Creating positive habits is not just about achieving specific outcomes; it is about creating a new mindset and changing the way that I see myself. This helps me to be more optimistic and strengthen my beliefs and my resolve.  The truth which sadly goes unspoken too often is that real change takes time and comes via step-by-step action.

Sure, now and again you will strike it lucky and your journey to your goal will be accelerated a little. This may mean that you can progress more than one step along the path at one time but it doesn’t change the truth that any real change you wish to make requires step-by-step action.

Pursuing Excellence

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2 Questions to inspire step-by-step action

It is all well and good to stay that you need to take step-by-step action but how do you know which steps to take. The good news is that you don’t need to know all the steps you need to take. You only need to know which step you are going to take next. And one of the truly beautiful aspects of life is that the steps will appear when you are ready to take them. You just need to open and willing to receive the insights. Of course, in the earlier stages of pursuing a goal, there are usually multiple options for steps you can take; all of which will help you to progress.

Below are two questions that will help you to identify the steps you need to take to get to your goal:

1. On a scale of 0-10, how would you evaluate your current life with regard to the specific goal you are pursuing?

This question is not intended to spark long debate. There is no need for detail; just a simple score for where you are on the path to achieving that goal. Let’s say, for example, that you want to run the Dublin Marathon next October. What score, between one and ten, would you give your current position along the path to completing the marathon?

Be honest with yourself as it will help ensure that the second question is more effective.


For a greater understanding of why you fail to make the changes you desire, check out my article on Why do you fail to make changes

2. If you were to increase your score by one point, what would be different?

If you scored low on the previous question that is OK. The point of the exercise is not to be perfect, it is to seek progress and improvements. If you did score low, for example, 3 out of 10, it is tempting to seek to jump straight to 10 but that will only create a sense of overwhelm which will end up holding you back.

Instead, focus on raising your score to four. That is realistic and likely to help you identify the step-by-step actions which will get you there. Then, when you get to four, you can identify the step-by-step actions that will get you to five, and so on.

So, take a few minutes to identify the actions you can take to progress step by step and raise your score by 1. Focus on actions that are within your control and start implementing them.  Do this exercise regularly, it is a quick and easy exercise that can be completed at the end of each day, inspiring you to act differently the next day. You will soon see improvements.

Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting

Before you can achieve great goals and change, you must set effective goals which challenge and inspire you to take the consistent action.

For more great advice to set and pursue great goals, check out 'Ultimate Guide to Goal Setting'.


When you want to achieve new goals, change is required. It can be tempting to try to make drastic, sweeping changes in one go but that rarely works. The bigger the change; the harder it is to make it stick. Real, lasting change comes from small changes consistently applied. After all, small changes applied do better than large changes which are rarely, if ever, applied. Step-by-step action is the simplest way to ensure that you consistently improve your life. The exercise in this article is a great way to help you identify those step-by-step actions.


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