The turn of the year is always a good time to evaluate what’s working in our lives, what’s not, and make any changes that will start us down a better path.
As we pause and reflect on where we’ve been and where we want to go, we normally have a sense of what to do. But that sense comes with a risk.
Even if it only represents an inkling of clarity about what to do, it’s imperative that you act immediately. If you don’t, you can fall prey to the Law of Diminishing Intent.
The Law of Diminishing Intent
I see this with people who set major goals for the year. Let’s say they want to lose weight, write a book, or start a new business. Dreaming up big results can be emotionally satisfying and intellectually stimulating.
But getting started requires action. And that can be tough, even risky. After all, how can you…
- make room in your schedule for the gym?
- find the hours it takes each week to sit and write?
- know if your new product has enough demand in the marketplace?
Those are all good questions. And they’re important to answer. But they don’t encapsulate the real risk. They don’t even come close.
The real risk is this: When facing these sorts of challenges, instead of taking action, we can coast on the good feeling of the dream without taking the necessary steps to see it realized.
The Law of Diminishing Intent says, the longer you wait to take action, the less likely you will be to take it. Jim Rohn originally noticed this phenomenon and coined the term.
To counteract it, I recommend using the LEAP Principle: Never leave the scene of clarity without taking decisive action.
How to Beat the Law
If you want to see a big change, you must be willing to take a big LEAP. It’s as simple as four steps, one for each letter of the acronym:
- Lean into the change with expectancy. When you notice that a change is desirable or necessary, that’s the trigger. Determine to follow through. That inkling is all you need to get going.
Engage with the concept until you achieve clarity. Don’t let the feeling pass. Work with it until you’ve got a sense of what to do. That nagging thought in the back of your mind might be the start of a whole new adventure—or the ladder you need to climb out of a deep rut.
Activate and do something—anything. Sometimes we wait to move until we have all the information. That’s a mistake. Clarity comes in degrees. And you only need enough light for the next step. Even if you get off on the wrong foot, the rest of the journey will become clearer as you go.
Pounce and do it now. Once you’ve determined your next step, take it. Don’t wait. Waiting feels safe, but waiting kills dreams.
LEAPing into Action
I’ve seen high-achievers leverage the LEAP Principle time and again.
At one of the first meetings of my Inner Circle Mastermind, one of the members realized he needed to quit a professional organization he was a member of. The commitment was chipping away at his resources and not providing enough return.
He didn’t take a note. He didn’t schedule it for later that week. That would have left the issue unresolved.
And the delay would have allowed his intent to diminish. As he built up the complications of quitting in his mind, he would have found reasons to stay on board.
Instead, he left the room at the very first break, made a phone call, and resigned. He took a LEAP.
What about you? Don’t defer your dreams. Don’t delay your goals. Don’t procrastinate on the one thing you need to do today to make meaningful progress in your personal or professional life.
Take a LEAP.