“9 Steps, that’s too many. There’s only one step that matters, action, take action. You have to do.”

My friend, Sol, an amazing artist, came over to help me move into my new apartment. We were unpacking my boxes of books, yes, I have a large collection. No matter how much I try to minimize the amount of stuff I accumulate and move around the country with me, I always have several boxes of books. Our last box of books was the one that contained close to a hundred copies of my new book, 9 Steps to Successful Goal Achievement. 
When she opened that box, she said,

9 Steps, that’s too many. There’s only one step that matters, action, take action. You have to do.

She is a great artist and she follows that advice. She is constantly painting. Every chance she gets, she paints. As I thought about it, she is completely right. 

All 9 steps I mention in my book and in my Goal Getting program are very important to goal achievement. I won’t go over all nine in this article, but there are three I will cover, that are critical to your success in achieving your goals.

Write It Down
The first step and one of the most important steps it to write your goal down. My number one goal in 2018 was to lose weight. When I wrote this goal down, I didn’t just write “I want to lose weight.” When you write your goals down, they must be specific. You want your mind to know what it wants and so it knows what it has to do. 
“Specific is Terrific!”

You must also write down when you want to achieve this goal. Include a deadline when you write it down as well. I also encourage my clients to write down how they will feel when they achieve this goal.

When I wrote my goal, in cursive, to release weight, I wrote down:

When I step on the scale on December 31st, 2018, I will look down and see 185 pounds. I will be so excited I will jump up, pump my fist and shout Whooo Hooo!

I wrote down a specific goal with a deadline and I included the emotion and feelings I would have when I achieved that goal. Every time I read that goal (which I did often), I visualized myself stepping on the scale that morning and felt the excitement of finally releasing my weight. I achieved that goal on September 27th, 2018, three months early. Whooo Hooo!

Set An Action Plan
Another pillar of goal getting success is to set an action plan. You have to know what you must do to accomplish the goal you set. I work with my clients to define each action or step they must do. For me to lose weight, I knew the key was to burn more calories than I consume in a day. You have to have a deficit of 3500 calories to burn a pound of fat. What actions can you take to do that? What time frame do you want to burn that fat?  
What ever your goal is, there are specific actions you can take that will move you forward. Write them down. Set a plan daily, weekly, whenever you need to do each step.  It’s like going on a journey. You have to know where you are going. Where do you want to end up? Once you know where you are going, you plan how your are going to get there. Follow that action plan and you will arrive at your goal.

Make a Commitment
When you know what you want and how your are going to get it, you need to make a commitment with yourself to do what it takes to achieve that goal. Think about why you want to achieve that goal. What is your why? Define your why for wanting to achieve that goal. When you know your why, it will make it much easier to make a commitment to yourself and keep it. 
A commitment with yourself is like a contract with yourself. I help my clients do just that. We write up a contract they will agree to, put a date on it and sign it. Yes, SIGN IT. Put your signature on the contract. When we buy a home, we sign a promissory note. We promise to pay back the money we borrowed in return for owning that property. Will you commit to a contract with yourself? Will you do what you promise to do? You’ve just created an action plan. Now, make the commitment to do what it takes to achieve that goal.

Now, all 9 steps are important. There are reasons they are there. But, my friend, Sol, was right. The most important step is Action. You can write you goals down. You can create an action plan. You can make a commitment to do what you planned. However, if you don’t take action, If you don’t actually do something, you will not get the goals you set. You will not be successful at goal achievement.

Action is implied in the 9 Steps to Successful Goal Achievement. If you don’t take action, you won’t succeed.

My friend is right. Taking Action is the only step that matters. Without action, there is no movement.
Take action


  • Tony Woodall


    Motivated Action Goup, LLC

    Tony is the CEO of Motivated Action Group, specializing in Leadership Development & Personal Development. He is a professional speaker, coach, and consultant. During his career as a Chief Information Officer, he built successful teams and systems for fast-growing start-up mortgage companies helping propel them to large national organizations. He earned the designations of Certified Mortgage Banker, Certified Mortgage Technologist and Accredited Mortgage Professional from the Mortgage Bankers Association. The author of 9 Steps to Successful Goal Achievement, The How-To Guide for Goal Setting Success, Tony helps corporations, associations, and busy executives achieve their high-performance goals. His inspirational Goal Getting™, Don't Just Set'em, Get'em program has been presented as CE courses for Boards of Realtors, Sales Academy sessions for banks and financial institutions. An award-winning speaker, Tony presents engaging, inspirational and transformational keynotes and workshops for corporate sales and customer service colleagues that desire high-performance results. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Tony now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he loves the weather, the food, the ocean, and the many great hiking trails around the area. His favorite hike includes his two loves, the beach, and the mountains. He starts his hikes at Stinson Beach and hikes up Mount Tamalpais.