When we examine committed action we must remember the emphasis on the word ‘committed’, not just action. A helpful way of introducing committed action is to find something manageable that our client is willing to go out and do – a small first step towards the ultimate goal. Too often our clients try to attempt to do too much too soon; if they fail, their confidence and motivation to continue are likely to be affected.
When introducing ‘committed action’ we need to break down what committed action will look like. While the goal may be large and possibly distant, we want to help a client commit to eventually reach that goal. The first step is a small goal manageable in the here and now.
We start with an examination of the big goal. This is something that our clients want to go out and achieve. For example, a client starts with a big goal for 12 months. We then look at what might be able to be achieved – a realistic target – in three months, then one month. It is important to note that no commitment is required at these stages; we are simply asking them to predict what might be a reasonable objective in that amount of time. Starting at the level of these goals is still likely to be too overwhelming for most of our clients.
Next we break things down further by looking at what this client could do in the next seven days. There is still no commitment at this stage.
The next question to ask is what they could do in the next 24 hours. This is a ‘here and now’ question, asking for an action that is possible here, and now, rather than in three or six or 12 months into the future. In doing this we have reduced something large and difficult to do, to something that is more tangible and achievable.
Achievement at the 24-hour stage generates motion and momentum, and the confidence that achievement is possible and goals are attainable. The first step is crucial in achieving the goal.
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