In The Action Solution you learned that to be successful in any area of your life—including quitting or cutting back drinking—you have to do what successful people do. And what is it that successful people do? They take action. By applying the lessons from Day 9, you will set yourself up to regularly take action and avoid distraction.
Today you learned that once you take that first step towards action, the rest will flow much easier. You get into motion. Even if you haven’t started perfectly, you learn from your mistakes, make the necessary corrections and keep taking action. Action is where the juice of life is—that means DOING SOMETHING. Action is the bridge between your dreams and reality. Today’s solution supports you in taking that first step towards ACTION.
Think of action like a moving car. When the car is moving you can easily change direction. When you are stopped it is sometimes hard to get going, and get enough feedback to know how to adjust.
We often demonstrate this in our trainings by having a volunteer stand across from us on the stage and say, "on-course" or "off-course," to help guide us to where they are standing. In the beginning, we don’t move and the volunteer doesn’t say anything since we are not on or off-course yet.
The first lesson is to get moving to get feedback.
As we intentionally weave around the stage, the volunteer provides the proper feedback. The most powerful thing is that we are actually "off-course" far more than we are "on-course," however we still reach our goal.
This is a critical lesson, especially with thriving in sobriety—you can, and probably will, make far more mistakes in pursuit of cutting back or quitting drinking. You might be "off-course" far more than “on-course” and feel like you are “lost” at times and that this just isn’t working, but if you keep moving you WILL reach your goal.
Action is best explained as the bridge between your inner world and your outer world. So far in this program, you have been working primarily on your inner world, so the actions you take become second nature in supporting your outer world of thriving in sobriety. If you have found it challenging to take action so far, today helps you take positive action, and avoid distraction, for the rest of your life.
Heroes do what needs to be done—they make decisions based on long-term dreams rather than the short-term and shortsighted approach of making decisions that might feel temporarily good, but only ensure pain, unhappiness, and worse health in your future. Anytime you take action and do what needs to be done, you are a hero. The opposite of heroic action is simply inaction or procrastination.
Worries are the problem drinker’s greatest enemy. To take action and avoid procrastination you have to stop worrying and instead ask yourself, "What one little thing can I do about this worry right now to help solve it?" The most important thing to do is to recognize your worry and then quickly move on to acknowledge that you are doing something— no matter how small—to deal with it.
Get ready and fire first instead of spending months "aiming" only to find out you have been aiming in the wrong direction. Make adjustments as necessary, but at least you've just taken action.
Day 9 Checklist
One of the best ways we can help ourselves take action (and continue taking action) is by utilizing accountability tools. We've compiled some of the best websites to help you get the job done.
- HABITFORGE - This great tool for accountability and reminders allows you to set new habits for 21 days. For example, you can use it to remind you to write in your journal daily. You can set it to remind you at 10 AM via email, and then send you another email at 10 PM asking you if you completed it.
- STICKK - This tool helps you achieve your goals by creating a binding agreement they refer to as a Commitment Contract. This contract creates accountability for yourself and your actions. StickK works with you to help you define and accomplish your goals. You can even use the Commitment Journal to track your progress.
- IDONETHIS - This powerful tool enables you to capture what you accomplish every day by simply responding to an email. The power of this is getting used to celebrating your accomplishments (or actions) as you complete them. It is very easy for us to always remember what we didn’t do, instead of realizing how much we actually did do. Additionally, you can even use it as a journal, which is all stored in a calendar online you can easily access and review. This tool provides you a free 14-day trial.
We would love to hear any other tools you use or would recommend on today's forum.
Similar to the concept of accountability is inevitability thinking, taught by one of Dave's favorite teachers and role models, Eben Pagan. This simple and logical concept helps you set up conditions for yourself so that what you have to do happens automatically.
By asking yourself these three questions, you can determine ways that might help you follow through:
- What conditions would I need to put in place so that the outcome I would like to have happen, happens automatically?
- How do I set up the situation so that the outcome happens by itself?
- How do I set up the system so that it produces the result over and over again?
How can set up your day to ensure that you finish this program and reach your goal of thriving in sobriety? One example of Dave's was when he was developing the first version of The 30-Day Sobriety Solution. He spent a great deal of time researching, writing, and testing this program, and then found that getting it to the market was a challenge.
He did several things to ensure that he would follow through, based off awareness from past successes.
- He picked a date he could both meet, but was still a stretch.
- He announced that date to his email list, posted a blog, created a Facebook page for the program, and tweeted about it.
- He told his family and friends.
What happened next demonstrates the power of this concept. Within weeks someone found him on the internet and asked for his help to quit drinking after failing with AA and other past attempts.
Together Chris & Dave helped each other accomplish their goals. Dave was able to stay accountable because he know someone was counting on him, and Chris was able to do the program for free and get some individualized help. And if the name Chris sounds familiar, that is because it is the same Chris that is featured in the book and recently celebrated five years of sobriety.
What can you do right now to help ensure your success? Let us know in today's forum!
Oftentimes, success happens when you just lean into it. When you make yourself open to opportunities and are willing to do what it takes to pursue it further — without a contract, without a promise of success, without any expectation whatsoever. You just lean into it. You see what it feels like, instead of sitting on the sidelines deliberating, reflecting, and contemplating.
One of the most exciting benefits of just leaning into it is that you begin creating momentum. That invisible energy force that brings more opportunity, more resources, and more people who can help you into your life at seemingly just the right time for you to benefit the most from them.