live intentionally robert louis sims

How to Take Immediate Control of Your Life

By Rob

November 26, 2022

achievement, goals, living intentionally, Productivity, success

Estimated Reading Time:

minutes remaining


Do you feel like your life is out of control? Are you struggling to achieve your goals? Do you have clear intentions but feel challenged when it comes to taking action on them?

The truth is that a lot of people have clear intentions. They know what they want to do but struggle with becoming intentional and turning those plans into actions.

In this video, Rob shares with you how to stop struggling and start turning your intentions into tangible real-world outcomes. 

  • “The sad truth is that only about 8% of the people who set their New Year's resolutions achieve them. That means 92% of the people out there setting New Year's resolutions are not getting what they want."
  • In this episode, you will learn the biggest difference between those who only set their intentions and the 8% that actually achieve them.
  • Discover the 4 Paths to Intention, which path you're currently stuck on, and how to progress to the next path so you can start living intentionally. 
  • Are you tired of feeling stuck? Are you ready to "FINALLY" start taking action toward your goals and dreams? If so, watch this video to learn how you can get unstuck, take immediate control of your life, and make the change you desire.,
  • Watch the video to get the full training.
  • Already have the Life by Intentions Planner and making every day count? Celebrate! Take a picture of you with your planner and use #LIFEBYINTENTIONS so I can find you on social media!

Ready to Start Living Intentionally?


Many people have clear intentions about what they want to do and how they want to do it, but when it comes to following through, most people really struggle. So if you've ever set a goal, if you've ever had a clear intention in mind, something you’ve set out to do and accomplish, but you just got stuck, then this episode is for you.

So in this episode, I'm going to share with you four steps to living intentionally. Plus, I'm gonna share with you how you can figure out which path you're currently stuck on so you can get unstuck and start creating the life of your dreams.

Hey, it's me, Rob, and welcome to Attention Made Simple with me.

Hey guys, let me ask you a question. Have you ever got super excited about achieving a goal? I mean, you got clear on what you wanted to do, you sat down, you wrote it out, and you even wrote out the steps to accomplish it?

Maybe you put some signs up around your room or your office to remind yourself of your goal. Maybe you even told everybody, “Hey, I'm going to do this thing.” Maybe you actually got started taking action for a little bit (some people actually do take action.) But here's the reality. If you're like most people, you gave up or even forgot about that goal or intention within six weeks.

See, the sad truth is, and I saw this the other day, the sad truth is that only about 8% of the people who set their New Year's resolutions, only 8% achieve them. That means 92% of the people out there setting New Year's resolutions are not getting what they want.

They're getting excited, they're getting pumped up. But for some reason, you know, life started getting in the way. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you're making other plans.”

See, I got to a point where I was really, really, really, really, telling myself that I was gonna write. If you know my story about Life by Intentions, my book, I had wanted to write a book ever since I was a little kid. So I would sit down, and I would get started, but I wouldn't get very far. I might write a few pages here and there, but eventually, I would end up putting that notebook or file away and just forget about it. And then a few months later, I would get pumped up again and be like, “Hey man, I'm going to do it this time.”

I got really sick of that.

I remember I was sitting with my wife at lunch, and it was on a Saturday, and I remember just feeling so much frustration and pain with myself for setting these goals and telling her I was going to write this book for years and then never following through.

I remember just looking into her eyes and thinking, I got to do this. I've got to do this. I've got to find a way to get unstuck. I got to find a way to do more than just write out the title. Sometimes you don't even get that far right, but I had to figure out how can I actually start the project, set the intention, move forward, and turn it into a reality.

So this time, instead of being like, “Hey, I'm just going to do this again,” because you know what? Let me tell you some of the best advice I ever got when you get stuck, and it's hard, it’s really hard, is this, “Do something else. Anything else.”

So if you have been saying things like, hey, I'm going to lose that weight, or I'm going to get in shape, I'm going to run that marathon, I'm going to take control of my finances, I’m going to get more connected to my spouse, my kids, my parents, my friends, or I'm going to start that new relationship, or I'm going to move forward. Whatever it is that you've been saying you're going to do, if you just keep saying that and then nothing happens, then figure out what you can do differently. 

The point is, just do anything else than what you’ve been doing.

Ask yourself: What can I do that's NOT what I normally do?

So when I was writing or I was wanting to write, I would usually tell myself that I was going to write. Then I would plan out a time to do it. Get my writing space all set up, and then nothing.

So I started asking myself, “What can I do differently?”

Well, this time, I decided that I was going to research what it actually takes to follow through and achieve your goals.

And so, I decided to go to the library and get every book that they have on how to follow through with your dreams and goals. And even though I've already read a ton of these books, I decided this time that I wasn’t going to just read them, I was going to scrutinize them.

I'm going to find things; I'm going to try them. I'm going to see what works and what doesn't work. And then I'm going to eliminate what doesn’t work and keep the rest.

That is the scientific method if you think about it. I have a clear intention, and then I have a hypothesis. The hypothesis is simply that if I do this thing, if I do A, then I'll get B. And if I don't get B, the scientific method is to go back to A because B doesn't change.

So, in this case, B is writing and publishing a book, right? And if I do this long enough, and I do this right, then I'll end up finally writing and publishing a book.

So I picked an action for A, and then I kept putting new things into A, and if it worked, I would keep doing it, and if it didn't work, I would get rid of it. So when you look at my book, Life By Intentions, that is what that book is all about, finding what worked.

So I dove into all the research I could find on how people follow through. I was searching for the answer to the question: What's the difference between that 8% and the 92%, the 8% that succeed, and the 92% that don't?

So if you really want to go deep into this and learn more about how to stop struggling and start creating the life of your dreams, check out my book, Life by Intentions.

It's a good book. I'm really proud of it. I should be, right? I mean, I wrote it, but I really am proud of it because I think it’s life-changing. The feedback I've gotten from people is amazing, plus, as I'm telling you right now, it literally changed my life. It was what moved me from being stuck to being successful.

The 4 Paths to Living Intentionally

So the first thing you've got to do if you want to start living intentionally is to figure out which of The Four Paths to Intention you are currently stuck on so you can take control and move to the next path.

Okay, let's get to it. If you want to take control of your life, if you want to move forward with your life, then we've got to figure out which path you're currently stuck on.

And so you might be on the first path, you might be on the second path, or you might be on the third path. Now the fourth. That's the path you want to be on. That's where you are intentional. You're living that intentional life. You are saying, I'm going to do this thing, and you're doing it. And that's when you feel good about yourself.

Because you're like, man, I'm not just thinking about it. I'm not just talking about it, I'm doing it. That's the path we want to get to.

So before I share with you the four paths, I got to warn you about the Curse of Knowledge. Because what happens is when I teach this to people, they go, “Yeah, I do that. I do that, and I'm still stuck. That's not working, Rob.”

That's the Curse of knowledge, you have to be careful of the Curse of Knowledge because, basically, when you have the knowledge, you know you're supposed to do something, but then you don't do it.

And I know I'm guilty of that. I've been guilty of it so many times. I’ve been telling people that if they want to get these results, all they have to do is this. And then they're like, “Whoa, Rob, are you doing that? Are you doing what you're telling me to do, Rob?”

That's important because if I'm going to teach you, then I need to be doing it as well, but I also want you to know I struggle with it.

Look, it's the name of the show, right? Achievement Made Simple, not Achievement Made Easy, right? It's simple, but it's not easy because we are in it. We’re living it. That's why we often need a coach. I can tell you one of the best things you can do is get yourself a productivity coach, an accountability coach. Or what I am, a Maximum Achievement Coach.

I came up with Maximum Achievement Performance Coaching because I wanted to be able to help people, but not in the traditional life coaching way or not in a traditional counseling or therapy way. I don't do therapy with people. I could. I went to school for that, but more in a coaching way because I used to coach basketball, and when I coached basketball, I didn't get out there and do it for them.

I also didn't sit there and listen to them complain that they couldn't get the ball to go in the hoop. No, I'm there to motivate, inspire, and teach them the fundamentals. Show them the fundamentals and then make sure they follow through and practice, practice, practice. Because the only way you get good at anything is through practice, rehearsal, and repetition.

Rehearse, right? If you've ever been good at anything, you know it's because you put the time in to become good at it, but you didn't do it alone. Because see, the problem is that when we do it alone, we don't get feedback. We need someone. That's why in basketball, you need a basketball coach, and they're going say stuff like, “Hey, your elbow is sticking way out here when you're trying to shoot that shot, and you need to pull it in.”

And so they don't know that because they can't see themselves, and they're caught up in the moment. So don't get caught up in the moment here going, okay, I know this stuff. No, analyze it. Look at it deeply and say, “Hey, where am I? Maybe that is me, right? Maybe I'm not doing that thing.”

And then ask someone you trust. But I’ll just warn you, most people are going to either criticize you or they're going to placate you. They're going to be like, “Oh no, you're great. That's great. No, no, that's perfect.”

And then they will walk off going, “Golly, that guy needs a lot of help.”

So you’ve got that extreme, and then you have the other extreme. Those who say, “Well, you know what? Everything you do is wrong, and I can just tell you all about it.” Make sure you analyze it yourself and figure out if this is an honest opinion. So don't let them crush you when they say it, and don't let them build you up too much, either. Just look at what is and go from there. Okay?

All right, so with no more delay, here are the 4 Paths to Living Intentionally.

Step 1: Become 100% Responsible

Number one is that you have to become 100% responsible for your life and for the outcomes you're getting in life. This is so critical. If you're going to become intentional, you have to get rid of the excuses and become 100% responsible for every outcome in your life.

That doesn't mean that you need to feel bad about it. That doesn't mean you need to beat yourself up over it. It just means that you’re not going to have any more excuses. You’re going to look at your life and say, “Hey. What's not working, and what excuse am I giving for it?” Right? Because what happens is that way too often, people are making their excuses more important than the outcome.

Have you ever done that before? Have you ever made an excuse so important, you know, you just give it so much value that it becomes more important to you than achieving the outcome. “Well, I can't do it because of…”

When I’m coaching someone, and I never do this until I’ve established rapport with them because they can give excuse after excuse after excuse. But as soon as they start to gimme an excuse, I'm like, “Whoa, let's pretend that excuse is gone now. Now what? Now, what's going to hold you back now?

Right? Because they say, “Well, I can't achieve my goal because I don't have time.”

And I’ll say, “Okay, well, let's just assume that you have the time.”

And they get silent.

“If I had the time?”

“Yeah. If you had the time, then you're telling me you could do this thing, right?”

“Well, if I, yeah. But, but, but, but, but, but…”

They're going to tell you, “If I had the time, I could do it.”

And that's where they live. They live in that excuse.

When you say, “Well, imagine you have more time than you need,” then they will come up with more excuses.

I don't have the right planner. I don't have the right computer. I don't have the right this or that. So it’s not really about time. They're going to make excuses.

So you have to be really upfront with and honest with yourself. What excuse are you making?

So when I wanted to write, that was, that was the thing. My thing was that I didn't have any ideas. I don't know what to write about. I was like, well, that seems pretty legit.

That seems like a legit excuse, doesn't it? I mean, hey, I don't know what to write about. What am I going to write? So I sit down, and I just stare at a wall, or I stare at a blank screen. Well, when you decide to let go of that excuse, and you decide to just write about anything, if it doesn't work, scrap it and start over.

So I started writing Life by Intentions. I was like, well, my excuse was that I didn't know what to write about. My excuse was I couldn't follow through on my goal. So I put those together, and I wrote a book about how to follow through because I had to figure it out for myself.

And then I just kind of documented the story. And here are the steps that I went through. Let's see what will work. Let's see if it'll work for you.

Okay, so number one is no excuse. Right. When you're a hundred percent responsible for yourself, that means that there are no excuses.

So sit down, get your journal out, and write all the excuses that you've come up with. Just put them on paper. And then if you do that, see, as soon as you start writing down your excuses, every time you get one, just write it down, right? Just write it down. Get it out of your head.

Step 2: Become Aware

That actually takes you into the second path, which is awareness, because we have to become aware of why we're not being a hundred percent responsible.

What about my childhood, Rob? You know, I had a rough childhood. Yeah, I'm sorry. I am. I'm sorry you had a rough childhood. That's not fair. That's not right. But it is what it is, as they say. You can't go back and fix it. If you could jump on a time machine, go back, and slap those people around that treated you so badly. Not literally. I wouldn't slap them around, but if you can go back and fix it, then do that.

Worrying about it's great, right? Using the excuse is great if it fixes the problem, but if you can't fix it, don't mess with it, right? Unless you are in a dangerous situation. If you're in a dangerous situation and you need help, then get help. If you have major problems because of that, then get a therapist. Remember I told you I'm a coach, maximum achievement and performance coach, and my goal is to get you moving forward, not to keep you stuck in the past.

So take a look at your past and go, “Hey, no more excuses. I've been using my past as an excuse.” And you go, “You know what? That stuff happened, it sucked, but I'm going to move forward.”

When you make that decision to move forward, when you get clear on who you are right now and who you’re going to be in the future, and you realize it is a choice. And when you get that clarity, tell yourself I used to be someone who had these problems because of my past, and I'm sick of it. I'm done with it.

And that's where I got when I was looking at my wife that day, as I was telling you, looking her in the eyes, and I was just feeling so bad. I was like, I am done with this pattern of saying I'm going to start. I'm ready to start. I'm going to make the change. I'm going to start writing. And I’m done with not following through.

I just felt like there were no more excuses. I'm done. When you get to that point, write it down, write down your excuses, become aware of them, and start looking forward.

Step 3: Acknowledge

So that takes you into the third path because once you have an awareness that you're using this excuse not to move forward, the next thing we got to do is acknowledge.

So I got a couple of circles on here, and if you've read Stephen Covey's Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, he talks about the circle of concern. And that's what we've got right here. So you acknowledge what you control, which is the middle, right? This part right here, what do you control?

And then on the outside of the circle, you, that's the stuff you influence. So you have to know, what do I control in this situation? What do I not control? So if you're listening to this guys, it's just two circles. Circle within a circle, and the middle circle is everything you control. And when you're making excuses, that middle circle is really, really small.

But when you decide to take 100% responsibility, you start becoming intentional. And then that middle circle expands because you say, “Okay, I can't control the past, but I can control whether or not I focus on the past. I can't control the past, but I can control how I think about the past. I can't control the fact that this person hurt me in the past, but I can control what meaning I take from that. What I want to learn from that, who I want to become, and where I'm going. I take control of my thoughts. I take control of the meaning of the things that happen to me. I go, wait a minute, there's more than one meaning here.”

This is called multiple vantage points, which means that this bad thing happened to me. So A happened to me, and I've been giving it this meaning. Saying, “Well, it was horrible. It was bad. It’s unfair. But when you look at something from multiple vantage points, you go, “Wait a minute. Could I learn something from it? What can I take from this? How can I use that to motivate me? How can I use that to move me forward? How can I let go of that?” Because it's kind of up to you.

Sometimes we just need to forgive and move forward, and I know you know this, but forgiveness, remember, forgiveness is for me. It’s for us, the person that forgives.

You don't need to tell that person that hurt you. You can, but you don't need to tell them you forgive them. You just need to forgive them in your heart, right? And when you do that, you start loving them and going, “You know what? I forgive you because people do what they know.” That's what they do. And apparently, that's all this person knew. They didn't know what you know, they didn't have that compassion, they didn't have that understanding.

And you can forgive them for that because, and I really, I really believe, I don't know what your thoughts are, but I really believe that if someone gets new information and they really understand that new information right at a gut level, not just a surface level, just like I talked about the beginning of this podcast when I told you to be careful of the curse of knowledge.

You can tell people that you understand forgiveness, but it's not until you do it. It's not until you really go deep in your heart and you go, “How can I really understand this person? How can I really have compassion for this person? I mean, they hurt me so bad. How can I possibly forgive them? But then you look deeper, and you go, maybe they were hurting. Maybe they were hurt. Maybe if I could just love them unconditionally, then I could forgive them, and I could move forward.

And then that bad thing that happened now becomes something that ignites in you some strength like you've never felt before in your life. I hope you're feeling this, guys because I really want you to learn to forgive.

Forgive yourself. Even though so many people have total control over whether or not they love themselves or they hate themselves. Total control over the words and the thoughts they use to describe themself. Total control over their thoughts when they look in the mirror and they look at that face that is theirs, and they can think, “Oh my gosh, I'm, I'm gorgeous.” John Lithgow used to say that on Third Rock from the sun.

He would look in the mirror and he would say, “I'm gorgeous.” You have that choice. Or you can look in the mirror and go, “I got a big nose. I got weird-shaped eyebrows.” I'm not making fun of you guys. Please don't take it that way. I'm trying to say that that's what we're doing to ourselves.

We all do it. I've done it before. Look in the mirror and go look at this nose. It's the size of a pencil. It's huge. It's not really that big. It's a big nose, but it’s not that big. Then I realized, you know what? I can get more oxygen in faster than you can, right? If I, but that sounded weird on the podcast, but I just took a deep, deep breath right there to let you know I can take a deep breath.

I got a big nose, and that's a benefit. And I'm like, “Okay, my nose is me. It makes me unique. It's who I am”. So I can look at that nose and go, “Ah, I don't want to do anything. I don't like it.” Or I can look at the nose and go, “I love it. It's my nose. This is my nose, buddy. It's prominent, it's strong, it's mine.”

And that's a choice, right?

So that's what I'm talking about. Acknowledge what you can control, all right. What do you always have control over? You can always control the thoughts that you have about anything. The meaning that you give to anything is within your control. So what's really cool about this is when you start forgiving people, when you start forgiving yourself, all this stuff on the outside of the control circle shrinks.

The second circle is everything you influence. You become an influencer, right? Because people look up to people who have the strength and the courage to take control of their own mind. They do. I can tell you this when I didn't take control of my mind when I was younger, and I had low self-esteem, no one listened to me.

And then I decided, “You know what? I’ve got something to share. I'm learning a lot about how to become happier, how to become more successful. And that can benefit people.”

And when I started just knowing that my presence became stronger and people were gravitating towards me, like, well, let's listen to this guy. He seems to know what he's talking about. I want to get his opinion, not saying my opinions right. I try to actually help you find your own opinion with what I do. But when I'm teaching you, I'm trying to teach you what works.

So I go back to wanting to write. I first became aware of my excuses. Next, I’ve got to become aware of what I control.

I was like, you know what? I control whether I sit down at the computer, open up the word processor, and just start typing words or whether or not I walk around the house in circles. Or I sit down and eat a bowl of ice cream. I control all that. So when I controlled myself, and I sat down and started, I would just write.

I'm just like, I'm going to write something, write anything. Then that started giving me power, and I wrote a bunch of stuff. Some of it was good, and some of it was bad. But eventually, it started making sense, and I started getting into a rhythm and a pattern, and I wrote the book. I actually wrote two books. There was another book in there that I never finished.

I should go back to that. There's a should in there. That's not a good thing, either. You control what you should on s h o u l d. Okay? You control what you should on, which means that if you say, “I should do this, or I should be better, or you should do better. You control that, so stop it.

The should thing is not good unless it motivates you to get up and do something. Change should to “I’m going to do it right now.”

You control the words you use. So when you say, “Oh, I'm trying to do this, you're just telling me that you're not going to do it because you're just going to try to do it. Try doesn't equal done. I'm going to learn, I'm going to take action. I'm going to see what I can do about this. I'm going to complete something. And it doesn't have to be great, right? But we do need to get going.

So once we do that, once we drop the excuse and become 100% responsible, and we decide everything in my life, everything that shows up in my life, I'm 100% responsible for. Now, when bad things happen to you, you're not responsible for that jerk, but what you are responsible for is your reaction to that person.

When we decide that we are going to make lemonade, that is an amazing choice. People throwing lemons at you, life giving you lemons, and you going, “Hey, thank you. I’m going to turn them into something positive.”

So the acknowledgment of your excuses and writing them down becomes awareness, right? And we got to know, what am I doing? What role am I playing in this? And then we acknowledge what we control.

What do I control? Well, my awareness was that I was making excuses. What do I control? Whether or not I sit down at the computer and actually open it up and start just writing, putting ideas out there, and seeing what happens. Once we do that, then we can be intentional because we're taking action, right?

So you set that clear intention. This is what I want to do. No more excuses. Here's what I'm aware of, my excuses. I'm worried about what I'm doing instead of what I should be doing. Then I look at what I control. And then I take action. And when you do that, folks, you are living intentionally.

When we get on the right path, then life starts to really work.

I know it's as simple as when I say I'm going to do something and I don't do it that I really start to lose energy. I really start to lose confidence in myself really fast. But when I say, “Hey, I'm going to do this thing, and even though I'm uncomfortable in the moment, that's really critical, right? You got to, sometimes it's, you're going to be uncomfortable. When I'm uncomfortable in the moment, I'm going to go ahead, and I'm going to do it.

So I'm aware that I'm uncomfortable by acknowledging that I have the ability to take action even when I'm not comfortable. Because I want this thing, then I take action, and I feel better, right? Even if it's not perfect.

And please get rid of perfectionism. That's not a path in here. None of these paths have the word perfection in them. That's just arbitrary. You got to decide. I'm just going to do it, and if, if it's not good enough, then I'll do it again. I'll do another one. I'll do something else.

Like in writing books, right? If you want that first book to be a best-seller, you are going to be in the rare. You better already have a following of a couple of million people. You better already have the right marketing skills and build up for that to happen.

Most bestselling authors write several books, and finally, one takes off because they're getting better, right? And they're like, “Well, I can't control whether people buy the book, but I can't control whether I write the book.”

And each book that we write gets better. It's like the videos I'm making and the podcast here, this is only the second podcast, so I don't expect perfection out of myself. And if you were expecting perfection, you didn't make it this far because, obviously, I am not a top podcaster.

I'm just talking to you guys. I'm just visiting with you and trying to coach you and trying to pump you up because better done than on the shelf, right? Better done than on the shelf.


So to wrap it up, guys:

  • Decide what you want.
  • Write down those excuses, right? Get them out and think about how you can overcome them.
  • Acknowledge what you control.
  • Take action.

When you do that, life starts to work. Life starts to happen.

All right, so let me wrap this up, guys. If you want to go deeper with this, I've got a few things for you:

I've got my book, Intentional Mornings, which shows you how to create a morning routine so that you can create the life you want it.

You can get so much more done, and you can change your life one morning at a time. And it's a simple little book. It takes you step by step through how to get a great night's sleep so that you can wake up earlier. How do you wake up earlier? And then, how do you make this morning routine so that you actually get into action and become intentional in the process?

When I did that, when I started living intentionally in the mornings, everything changed. I mean, everything changed. I love early mornings, but it's because I set up a routine, and this routine helps me accomplish my goals. So, I'm getting more done by 6:00 AM or 7:00 AM than most people get done all day.

If that sounds like something you're excited about, then check out my book link down here. You can go to Amazon for Intentional Mornings, you can also pick up Life by Intentions, which shows you how to transform your life, one intention at a time. Then I also have Life by Intentions Planner, which is also at Amazon. And that's a really good planner because it's centered around creating a balanced life.

And then it helps you figure out what your goals are, how to set your goals, and then how to make sure that your day, your week, and your months, are all centered around those things that matter the most to you. Because living intentionally means that you have a plan, and it's an authentic plan for your life.

It’s your life, so don't make a plan around someone else's dreams. Don't, don't let someone else's agenda. As Brendan Burchard says, “Don't let someone else's agenda get in the way of your agenda.”

So first, figure out what you want.

Second, become intentional.

And then, third, live intentionally.

So this is only episode two. I'm excited. We’ve got episode three coming up. I'm going to be working on that. So please, if you want to be the first in line to watch that or listen to this, subscribe. If you're on YouTube, you know, subscribe on iTunes.

Go to my website, and sign up.

Do everything, guys. Just get out there and share this material.

If you think it's helpful, let people know about it. I just want to help you become your best self and live your best life.

Hey guys, go out there today and crush it and make sure that you, Live Intentionally.

Have a good one, guys. See you in the next episode.

Change Your Intentions - Change Your Life

Ready to Create an Intentional Life?

Read Life By Intentions and Intentional Mornings for ONLY FOUR Dollars

Intentional Mornings and Life by Intentions Robert Louis Sims
About the author

Hi, I’m Robert Louis Sims …A.K.A. Rob
I’ve been studying the psychology of achievement since 1989, when I picked up a copy of How to Sell Anything to Anybody by Joe Girard. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with learning the difference between people I have now come to call Intentional Achievers and everyone else.
If you’re looking to take your career, relationships, health, energy, productivity, influence, and life to the next level, then I invite you to join me on Achievement Made Simple.
My mission is to find the principles of achievement and share them with you in a simple way that makes them easy to understand and use in our everyday lives.

Robert Louis Sims

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}