by Diann Daniel

Beating the Coulda, Woulda, Shouldas (or Tips for Making Innovation a Reality)

Aug 23, 20072 mins

Ever feel like you’re stuck in the “thinking about it” stage? Whether it’s motivating yourself to do something at work, lose weight, eat healthier, the key is capitalizing on the energy of the idea and taking action, says John Wesley on Too often a great idea can be lost because we don’t act on it quickly enough. I loved his simple guide to busting out of analysis paralysis (at last peek 684 other people digg it too). Here’s a few tips based on his post.

1. Ideas are only the starting point. Lots of people have great ideas, but never do anything with them. The ideas for Harry Potter, the iPod or the first computer for that matter, were merely sparks lighting the next step of those who needed to act on them. I, for one, can’t imagine my life without any of the three, and I’m grateful they didn’t stay free-floating ideas.

2. Just do it–now. Conditions will never be perfect and the “right time” is all too often a myth. When you get a great idea, don’t wait. Write up an action plan for that great idea you’ve been meaning to give time to. Go to the gym today. Tell your boss about that project for improving service delivery.

3. Action is the best cure for fear. If you’ve ever sat awake at night worried about a big performance, you know that time magnifies fear. Where possible, take action. And whatever scares you will get easier the more often you do it.

4. First: action. Then: motivation. Don’t wait until you feel creative or motivated. Set aside time for your goals, then do them. Tell yourself you just need to brainstorm or write or run for 10 minutes, you’re almost guaranteed to want more once you get going.

5. Stay in the present. You can’t change yesterday, and you can’t predict tomorrow. Right now is the only time you can truly affect.