What is keeping you awake at night? What is the first thing on your mind when you wake up? What do you think about the minute you have idle time? This may not be true all of the time, but I think all of us have periods of time when we just can’t seem to escape certain things. Seasons when something is at the forefront of our mind. It is in those moments that we need to understand those things are rarely on our mind just for the sake of thinking. Unfortunately, we often only think and miss the opportunity to deal with the things we are thinking through.

There is nothing wrong with thinking a situation through. Giving deliberate thought to something before you take action is certainly a good process. But, if we are not careful, we will be the archer only holding his bow and arrow. Instead of ready, aim, fire it becomes ready, aim, aim, aim, aim and we never fire. I have found that there are three common actions that I need to take when something is constantly on my mind.

Something you need to change

These things are often personal. It could be a habit we need to change or a practice we need to improve on. It could be as simple as the time you wake up in the morning or something as significant as breaking an addiction. Making personal changes can be difficult, but most often extremely rewarding. Our lives usually improve significantly as we make the changes that are constantly on our mind.

Someone you need to talk to

This goes a step further because it is no longer about us. Most commonly, this is the reason we only think about it and never take action; we just don’t know how the other person will respond. This creates fear and so people find it easier to just avoid the conversation altogether. Sometimes it is an apology we need to make while other times it is clarification of a situation or confronting someone about an issue. These conversations can be critically important and avoiding the conversation will only make things worse

Situation you need to address

This is typically something more complicated, involving multiple pieces and is rarely taken care of quickly. Quick improvement can be realized with personal change. Conversations with an individual may find change immediately. These situations, however, usually involve not only personal change and conversations with others but other factors that need to be fixed as well. We usually avoid taking action on these types of situations because it is not simple nor quick. It may be the culture in the organization you lead or even your family. Things like culture take concentrated effort to change and require multiple actions to be taken over time. Choosing not to address the situation will only allow it to continue to deteriorate. It may take time, but the rewards of changing these situations can provide long term rewards and rapid momentum.

So what is it that is consuming your thoughts right now? Is there something you need to take action on? Most likely, you will need to take one of these three actions. Get started today.