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Ways of Being Proactive

Ways of Being Proactive

Being proactive means taking an active part in your life: you think ahead and anticipate possible outcomes and focus on getting things you want to happen; take conscious control over your life and don't allow life to just flow over you or pass you by; don't merely react to things as they occur; and take charge and orchestrate the events of your life as much as you possibly can.

Make a List

Make a list of all the things you want to happen or things you think need doing. If you've been putting important things off for a while, prioritize your needs and desires, and put the crucial items first. No item is too big or too small--if you've been putting off fixing a broken step on your patio or you've been wanting to organize your finances, put it on the list. Try to knock at least one item off your list every week, depending on the size and scope of the issue. Cross off each item as you accomplish it; this will help you to feel more motivated and enthusiastic, and will also give you a visual idea of your accomplishments.

Take Responsibility

According to Steve Covey in "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," proactive people take responsibility for the things that happen instead of blaming external factors. By taking responsibility, you make a conscious decision to act and react in a way that is in line with your core beliefs and values. You don't react as strongly to external stimuli like other people's opinions or the weather, letting these factors control how you feel. Instead, you choose how you want to respond in any given situation in a value-based manner. What's important to you is what matters and your attitude ultimately depends on you. In other words, no one can make you feel a certain way without your permission.

Face Challenges

Facing challenges by taking initiative, whether at work or at home, can help to foster a feeling of being proactive. According to "A Leader's Guide to the Struggle to Be Strong," taking initiative means taking action, meeting challenges and solving problems. The first step is to know what your goals are, because you can't get there if you have no clue what it is you actually want. Once you know what you want, you can begin to take proactive steps to reaching your goals. Try not to see problems, only challenges. For example, if you want to start a home business, begin to do research as to what will be required. If you want to meet new people, start finding out about different social opportunities in your neighborhood. Facing challenges by dealing with them head-on is one of the most important components of being proactive.

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