Good Intentions Will Not Get You Very Far

by Don Smith

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I saw a meme the other day that said, “Intentions are powerful.” That's true; intentions are powerful. But intentions alone won't get you very far.

You probably know several people who you don't trust for critical tasks even though you realize they have the best of intentions.

Why is that?

You don't trust them because they don't actually deliver results. They don't DO what they INTEND to do.

How many times have you rolled your eyes when someone announces their New Year's Resolution is to get in shape? Many people do successfully use the new year to make significant changes in their lives, but we both know that many others have good intentions yet won't follow through with the appropriate actions to make their goal a reality.

Trust boils down to people consistently DOING what they say they are going to do WHEN they said they were going to do it.

Another meme that was going around some time back perfectly illustrates the point. “I TOLD you I would do it! You don't need to remind me every six months!!!”

Forgetfulness or being too busy is a common excuse, but won't earn you trust points. If you tell someone you're going to do something, write it down and do it. If you're too busy, tell them that, don't let them think that you're going to deliver when you aren't. The best of intentions won't get you very far without corresponding action.

If you want people to trust you, DO what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it consistently, and you'll earn that trust. If you want your good intentions to be worth anything, you have to take action.

My challenge to you this New Year is to follow through with your good intentions by taking the appropriate actions. Don't try to do too much at once, because that's a recipe for failure. Pick one thing and commit to doing it. Hire a coach if you need someone to guide you and keep you accountable. But don't assume that good intention will get you where you want to be.

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

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