[Note: This is the 5th in  a 12-week series of posts that will discuss “choices” from the book Monday Morning Choices by David Cottrell.]

You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do – Henry Ford

How much time and energy do you spend “going to?” As in, “I’m going to speak up at the next team meeting” or “I’m going to step up when they ask who wants to manage that new project” or “I’m going to start keeping a journal like I always wanted to.”

We all have these desires and wants. This weeks choice is about taking action, or as Cottrell puts it, not vacationing on “Someday Isle.”

It’s not always easy to take action. Many times we get in our own way. Sometimes our fears stop us.  So it does take courage to step off Someday Isle and start swimming. If you are having trouble, chunk your action down. This blog (and the Internet) is full of how to get things done!

One area that is emphasized in the book is to read every day and continually improve. In a recent HBR blog post Nine Things Successful People Do Differently, Heidi Grant Halvorson writes that the #5 action is “Focus on getting better, rather than being good”

Fortunately, decades of research suggest that the belief in fixed ability is completely wrong — abilities of all kinds are profoundly malleable. Embracing the fact that you can change will allow you to make better choices, and reach your fullest potential. People whose goals are about getting better, rather than being good, take difficulty in stride, and appreciate the journey as much as the destination.

I’ve been a habitual reader for many years. About 5 years ago I took on the Personal MBA (PMBA) Reading List compiled by Josh Kaufman. Josh’s site has become much fancier than when I started, but if you want a focused list of reading material applied to becoming better at business than nothing beats Josh’s list and the support of the PMBA community.

What have you been “going to” for a while and are now ready to make the choice of action to make it happen?