The journey from college to the real world goes hand in hand with thinking. After all, there’s a lot that you’re going to do over the next couple of decades. You will listen to your spirit. Find your inner voice. Follow your dreams. Change the world. Make your mark. Keep thinking and dreaming.

But while you’re busy thinking, there will be other people who will stop saying “I want to be…” or “I think…” and start doing. Thinkers may think of all the possibilities and ways ahead, but it’s the doers who get there. So how do you get from being a thinker to a doer?

Millionaire mompreneur, author and founder of Boldheart, Fabienne Fredrickson famously said the “difference between a dreamer and a doer is the amount of action that follows their vision”.

In a powerful commencement speech at Dartmouth College recently, Shonda Rhimes, creator of hit shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, said, “Dreams are lovely. But they are just dreams. Fleeting, ephemeral, pretty. But dreams do not come true just because you dream them. It’s hard work that makes things happen. It’s hard work that creates change.”

Most of us tend to lean in one direction, but here’s how you can shift the balance towards being a doer. Here’s the 7-step guide to success.

#1 Write down goals and set deadlines
The importance of setting goals is known to everyone, but writing them down increases the odds of achieving them. Write down the 5 to 20 things you need to do to achieve every goal.

Do Schedule mini deadlines for each goal and take stock every month to see how you are doing.

#2 Learn to think out of the box
Edward de Bono, one of the world’s foremost authorities on creativity, coined the phrase “lateral thinking”. He writes that the brain is “not designed to be creative”. But you can train it!

Do Break out of your comfort zone, try different things, frequently change your environment and take your intuition into account.

#3 Don’t do what doesn’t work
If you’ve been thinking about Plan A for long but have been unable to take it to fruition, it’s time to stop and turn to Plan B. Reassess, try to figure out what’s wrong and try a new approach.

Do Take baby steps to get the ball rolling. Working backwards will often put you on the path to doing.

#4 Learn new skills to reinvent
One of the major things that can hold a thinker back is the lack of knowledge about the new venture s/he is planning. Do all that you can to gain knowledge about relevant subjects.

Do Sign up for an online course, attend industry seminars and read all that you can.

#5 Extend time lines and costs
The thinker always tends to look at the brighter side. However, actioning plans tends to take more than the estimated time and money.

Do Increase time and money by 15% to give you a buffer and avoid sudden shocks.

#6 Surround yourself with doers
Hanging out with people who are doers will inspire you to go after your dream. A thinker may feed your thoughts, but it’s the doer who will want to know what your plan is.

Do Work on building a support network that can back you and give your ideas where you’re stuck.

#7 Pick yourself back up
To go from thinker to doer #GoOutAndBe, you need to be tenacious. Giving up is easy but it’s essential to give your new venture the time it needs to settle down. Be patient, but resolute.

Do Embrace a cycle of planning, acting, learning, understanding, adjusting and repeating. As many times as needed.

Being a doer isn’t necessarily better than being a thinker. For you need both qualities to succeed. Thinking is the source of your inspiration and creativity, but it’s the doing that lets you reach for the stars.

Time to #GoOutAndBe.

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This article was first published on MonsterIndia.com.

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