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How To Always Know What To Do Next

Updated: Feb 7, 2022

The power of your thoughts can open any door and you can set yourself free. - Lucy Macdonald

Are you stuck in decision-paralysis, feeling unsure of your next step? Sometimes it seems like there's a veritable maze of choices ahead, and that the world keeps changing too fast to find a solid direction forward.

As we're all facing ongoing change, keeping a clear focus is more important than ever to ensure you don't get swept away by uncertainty.

So today we're sharing a great technique with you to help you always know what to do next, no matter how uncertain and changeable the world is right now. This technique is called appreciative inquiry and it really can make a huge difference!

Appreciative inquiry opens whole new doors for us and opens our eyes to a new way of thinking. With positive thoughts and attitudes, we discover new ways of reaching our goals.

Using appreciative inquiry, you can be free to dream new ambitions, innovate with change, and set yourself up for success!

To gain clarity on your direction, no matter the circumstance, use the appreciative inquiry Four D Model:

Discover, Dream, Design, Deliver.

Let's dive in!

Step 1: Discover

Discovery is about finding what type of processes and skills work for you, and will help you along your way. It is also a process of learning to appreciate what has been given to us and using it to our benefit.

During your Discover phase, speak with your colleagues, networking partners, peers and collaborators to discover what has worked in the past. Ask them about their experiences, about what methods have worked for them, and gain insights from their outside perspective on which of your past actions have been successful.

Step 2: Dream

The Dream phase focusses on what would work for you in the future. Your 'dream session' can be run individually, or with a group of your peers that you respect and trust. Either way, it should allow you to open up about what you want to achieve and dream up ideas for improvement. Dreaming is to use positive energy to create a vision for the future, while also creating goals that will help you reach that point.

During your Dream phase, imagine YOUR ideal and perfect situation. Ask:

  • Would this work in the future?

  • What do I want to see happen?

  • What would be perfect for me, my clients and my industry as a whole?

Step 3: Design

The Design phase is all about how you plan to reach the outcome that you defined in the Discovery and Dream phase. This part of the model focusses on what needs to be done to reach your goals and the progress required.

Remember to use positive language and stay in a positive mindset throughout the design phase. Remember the 4 P's of goal setting? Following that structure will ensure you're designing a process that you actually WANT to achieve - one that is a carrot and not a rod for your back.

During your Design phase, ask yourself:

  • What do I need to do to make this happen?

  • Will things need to be changed or altered?

  • Do I need to introduce a new element?

Step 4: Deliver

The Delivery phase, sometimes called the Destiny phase, is the final stage of the Appreciative Inquiry Four D model.

Delivery focusses on executing the plans, ideas and processes that were developed in the previous phases. In this part of the model, you need to take the necessary actions to progress towards change and positively obtaining your goal.

A plan isn't worth the paper it is written on if if doesn't have your dedicated, dynamic energy behind it to carry it out!

During your Delivery phase, take positive action to:

  • Implement any changes needed

  • Remove elements that no longer work

  • Schedule actions into your calendar to keep yourself accountable.


If you're feeling uncertain, overwhelmed, or anxious this week, try using the Appreciative Inquiry Four D Model. You'll find your focus and gain clarity on what to do next.

  • Imagine the big picture

  • Come up with action that will get you to that success

  • Be specific about what resources and items you need to achieve your goal, and

  • Schedule them into action.

Ready to turn your dream into a profitable, sustainable reality? I know you are! Reach out to me for a 100% free, no-obligation strategy session to learn how we can help you to do just that.

As always, don't hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments, we love to hear from you!


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