What's-the-next-step2 There is a magic that drives performance, I call it…

“The Magic Of Just The Next Step.”

When the next action to take in pursuit of a plan, a goal or even the smallest task, is crystal clear; that next physical action to take calls that action forward. It almost compels you take it. Even in bigger projects or at times when you don’t have everything in order, figuring out the very next physical action to take can spark you into further actions.

Taking action generates momentum… as long as you keep taking the next step and the next step and one after that.

When you have several or even many projects open that you are pursuing; the wise person doesn’t close out their activities on that project without determining the very next physical action they need to take.

Use strong verbs to describe the actions you are taking and include ‘The What”, “The How” and even the “What for” if necessary. So for example:

  • “Brain dump factors and potential topics to blow minds at the Phoenix Group on the 16th of April.”
  • “Call Marie – Review action items from Marketing Committee meeting while wearing a happy smile.”
  • “Write and post a stunning and concise response to Bob’s email.”
  • “Review, improve and approve script changes for the TYRO promotional video”


Use concise but strong language that grabs YOU. You don’t formulate the next steps to please someone else. Just capture the next physical action in a way that sounds good to you.

The habit of establishing the next physical action on a project or goal before closing out previous activities (say a work session, or time spent, or the day, etc.) makes starting the next session or period that much easier and more pleasant. When you have many projects running it can be a life saver, as life WILL throw things across your path that must be dealt with immediately. It’s too easy to allow the wind to be sucked from your sails by life happenings. The next physical action can make it much easier to get back on track when you’ve been knocked, pulled, tromped, beat, or discombobulated by events.

Asking “What is the next physical action to take?”
is easy to practice and, as you experience the benefits over time, one of the most splendid little hacks to apply in building your success habit.

As an aside, “The Magic Of Just The Next Step” is a secret of extraordinarily effective performance coaches and mentors. Regardless of the amount of time you have or the number of issues to be addressed, always ensure that before you end a client session, that the client has a crystal clear very next step to take on their most significant agenda item or items, and you will have a happier client.

Use the magic now for yourself.

List out your different project areas or functions you are responsible for now.

List out your projects within each area and, if necessary, clarify the outcomes or process you are following.

And then list your tasks or mini-projects you are currently working on.

Then, quite simply, figure out the next physical action for each of those smaller components and write them down. If you use a diary or productivity system make sure they get into the right place.

Start now.

Let the magic of just the next step start working its magic on you and for you.

    2 replies to "Just the next step"

    • Angelique Conger

      Thanks for this suggestion. I currently have 5 books I’m working on, and sometimes I wonder where I was going with them when I pick them up again.

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