When All You Do Is Plan and the #1 Thing To Take Action


It is a really big deal when the sun shines in Indianapolis.

Everywhere I go, people say, “Hey, did you notice the sun?”

Well, or wait!?

Maybe I’m the one saying that everywhere I go.


“Hhmmm, sunshine? Really?”

Like, how could I not see the beautiful sunshine?


I think the last time we had sunshine was February 18, maybe. Honestly, I’m not sure really.

But whether or not the sun is shining in Indianapolis has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that

I’m a list maker.

(I’ve even been known to add stuff to my list, that I’ve already completed, so I can check it off…it’s a beautiful thing * I hang my head in confession*)

I mean, to use my daughter’s words ,

“I feel so accomplished!”

Please tell me you do that too!

Oh good! Come sit by me then.

I’m a note taker

and a planner scribbler

and a notebook writer

and a scrap paper doodler…

Are you too?

It’s all about the words…

and the plan.

And planning is important,

but I’ve learned that you can get really stuck when all you do is plan.

I have learned that action brings focus.

When you have ideas floating around in your head and you don’t know how to get started, which way to turn, what to do first…

HERE IS THE #1 THING YOU SHOULD DO WHEN ALL YOU DO IS PLAN and you need to move from planning to action. (In case you don’t know which way to turn. And in case you don’t know what to do first.)

Find a sheet of copy paper, or a section of paper towel or the margin of a newspaper…anything really….or your text messenger on your phone…and start writing…write as fast as you can. Just start!!

Get your thoughts and ideas out of your head and into words where you can see them.

Then take the words that you have written and number them in order of what needs to happen first, second and so on. I promise, writing them down and numbering them really clarifies what needs to be a priority.

At this point you may need to rewrite your list. It is likely as you rewrite the list you will think of other things that need to be done along the way. And then you will see that the action of simply getting your thoughts into visible words on the page, will give you focus.


It is so super easy to just get stuck right there in the planning. Sometimes “the planning” becomes our place of comfort, instead of ever getting off dead center and actually doing.

How many times have you sat on a committee with great minds who had wonderful creative ideas, and yet it seemed that the ideas never moved to action…

When all we do is plan, it feels comfortable, we have it all figured out. But that next little step of action…takes risk.

There are questions like:

What if I fail?

What if people make fun of me?

What if I lose money?

What if I don’t have money?

What if it makes me tired…or busier?

Yes, there absolutely is risk in action, in doing, but if you don’t take the next step you will never know where the journey may lead…

When all you do is plan.


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  1. Thanks for the great advice. As I look at my desk right now, I have sixteen post-it notes with those all important tasks listed in plain view. Now I just need an organizer for my post it notes…or maybe color themed post-it notes.

    1. Philip you are amazing with how you plan and finish what you start. Obviously you have a system that works exceedingly well. You amaze and inspire me continually. LOVE YOU MOST!

  2. Yes, I too add to my list of things I have already done so I can mark them off. It does feel like we got more done that way.

  3. Rachel, I love that you add to your list to mark it off! I do too! It gives such a sense of accomplishment and it’s inspiring to get more done to mark off the list! You amaze me at how much you do in any single day! Love you!

    1. Squeeeee!!!! Esther! See we should start an “I Add to My To Do List After It Is Done Club”. We could be charter members! haha Yes, it is inspiring to see how much you get done that way. Most days, I don’t get ENOUGH done in my opinion.

  4. You can add me to the Add to List to mark it off. It shows how much I really did get done. Yes the list is always longer than the day !
    Rachel keep writing and inspiring us. Have a Spring is almost.here good day !

    1. So that makes 4 of us who add to our list after it is done, just so we can mark it off. Donnie, I think we have a club!!!!

  5. I have a dear friend who tells people I am the only one she knows who adds things to her to do list so she can mark them off. I need to send her this post to show her I’m not the abnormal one here! It also gives me the excuse why everything didn’t get checked off! Just put a vase of faux tulips and pussywillow in the living room. I NEED Spring!

    1. Ann, yes! Of course she needs to know there’s a whole club of us that do this!! Cynde called us list sisters!!

  6. Wow, I think we are list sisters, the numbering, the writing accomplished things on so they can be crossed off!!!! Wow, so glad to hear there is someone else out there, that feels accomplishment with crossing things off the list. Love this post!!!!
    Thank you for confessing, lol. Love it!!!

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