This was in high relief this week, as I spoke with several dissertation writers who were complaining that they "didn’t feel like working on their dissertations" or they "had too much to do" (socially or otherwise) to make progress.
So here’s the thing: Reaching any goal of importance requires two commitments: a commitment to change and a commitment to take action. Let’s explore these more fully.
The first commitment: to change is activated when you recognize that your current actions are not bringing you closer to your goal. A commitment to change is needed when you realize that your actions are not moving you in a straight line.
A dissertation process marked by detours will never get you to the finish line as fast as a dissertation process which proceeds in more or less a straight line. So when you recognize, inside, that your actions are not leading to your desired results, you must make a commitment to change.
This may mean a change of mindset, a change of behavior and it could also mean a change in priorities or changes in time management and the way you schedule your life.
The point is, the first commitment that must be made is to change whatever is not working.
The second commitment I mentioned is that of action. Action is the process of making your changes real: manifesting them into the practical, observable world.
Where change can be an internal process, action is always external. Your second commitment must be to act in alignment with the changes you want to create.
Action need not always consist of grand, sweeping gestures. And, in fact, it is more sustainable when it is consistent and simple, as opposed to inconsistent and overly grand. You don’t have to be dramatic or work all night without sleep to finish. You can complete while being reasonably balanced and healthy about the process. You just have to commit to change what is not working and take action to do so.
If your dissertation process has gotten stuck or derailed- and, unfortunately, that is the case for more than 50% of you, it is time to make two commitments: one to change and the second to act.
Keep walking towards what you do want (rather than what you don’t want). You’ll arrive at your desired destination a whole lot quicker.