As career women, as mothers, as members in our communities, we intuitively care deeply about improving our workspaces, our homes, the lives of people in our spheres. What comes after that intuitively caring though? How do we move from that inner knowledge to specific, directed action?
How do we create space to figure out what the most effective action might look like for us as an individual? And how do we propel ourselves forward to take action that positively impacts ourselves and others around us?
Determining what better directed, effective action looks like for you.
Start by connecting with your deep-rooted “why.” Take time to examine any feelings you have of frustration or loneliness and what is contributing to that. Is there something you can do to change the situation or the cause of those feelings? Think about why taking specific action(s) appeal or truly matters to you.
Ask yourself who can you impact and how? Why is that valuable to you? Is it career-driven? Something to benefit your family? A way to make the world an easier place for someone else? Just because you really, really want to? (👈 That last one is a totally valid reason, by the way.) Find your reason that will help you realize the importance of your effort. Get clear on your goals and values, and watch that small step ignite the engine that propels you towards action.
Next, create a commitment to yourself. It doesn’t have to be big but it should answer some specific questions:
What are you willing to do to create space for your action(s)? (Find a caregiver for a few hours a week? Wake up one hour earlier every day? Make your children learn how to do their own laundry?)
When will you pursue your plan? (Nap time? Screen time? Early morning? After bedtime?)
Where will your work toward this goal happen? (At home, an open-air space, a coffee shop?) The more specific you are, the better. This is you taking your foot off the break.
Then (and here is the hardest part) just start doing it. (Hit the gas pedal and go, sister.) Take the space you need. Remind yourself why it’s important. Repeat your commitment to yourself. Start with a small amount if you need. Just start. And if you stumble, pick yourself up and start again. Be kind to yourself and be persistent for yourself in your efforts.
When you just can’t focus on your efforts.
Congratulations. You’ve decided what big or small actions you will commit to. You’ve already thought about how to set aside time to determine these. You’ve begun to implement your work around them.
But, what happens when you get stuck or aren’t feeling motivated?
“how-to” > “what-if”
Shift your focus to more on the how-to and less on the what-ifs. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the negative spiral of analysis paralysis. Ask yourself questions like, “What is one small step I can take today to move towards my goal?” And then jump in by taking that small step.
Don’t get caught up on distractions. We all have days where we just can’t imagine doing one more thing. When this effort will become just one more task that we don’t want to do. Try to shift your mindset from “have-to” to “get-to” when this happens.
Tap into the enthusiasm of your surroundings if possible. Get an accountability buddy if it would be helpful. Listen to podcasts by inspiring people to boost yourself up. Let your children’s natural enthusiasm for the world flow over into you. Listen to music that makes you feel joyful. The world is full of enthusiasm - let it into your life and embrace it from a variety of perspectives to help you feel excited about the opportunities you have to make a difference.
Revisit your commitment
Sometimes you also just have to dig in and do it. This is when you can go back to your commitment you made to yourself and the dedicated amount of time you set aside to work on your actions for improvement. Set a timer for those minutes you gave yourself and work only on your small step forward. Nothing else. No distractions. (Turn your phone off or leave it in another room.) Then give yourself permission at the end of that time to pause or continue, based on your momentum and ability. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And if your initial time block is too long, start with something smaller and work your way up.
Acknowledge your efforts
Don’t forget to celebrate your commitment to taking action. At the end of each day think about and appreciate the efforts you’ve made that day, no matter how small. You are doing the work to make your world a better place for you and your community. Acknowledge the effort and keep on keeping on. This will help you keep your motivation to keep on keepin’ on, day after day, until you reach your goal. (And then you can set a new one. 😊 )
Embrace your strength and be bold in your actions.
Women are a quiet authority, but quiet shouldn’t mean unheard. We can wield an irrevocable influence on life once we realize that not only do we belong at the table, but also that our strengths make the table a better place to sit. What would happen if we collectively decide to acknowledge, and then harness, our power as women? Imagine if we used that power to advocate for ourselves, all together now? We could be a force that carries the world forward. A force of positive change. A force of good.
We invite you to be bold with your choices, especially in this time of big changes in the world. Be bold in your beliefs and in your actions. Be bold in advocating for the things that matter to you, and, above all, for you. You are worth it. As are the women surrounding you, and those yet to come. 👑 💪