Got Goals? Join Brooke's brand new Big Goals Workshop here.

No matter what result you are trying to create in your life, your success depends on the actions you take.

Maybe you’re trying to lose weight or create a new program.

Perhaps you want to write a book or reach a new milestone in your fitness.

Taking the right actions every single day leads to the creation of your new result.

So, what happens when you are taking action, but not getting the results you want?

That’s where an action audit comes in.

Using the scientific method and two other concepts I talk about in this episode, you can analyze why your actions are not creating the results you want and adjust. I share how to conduct an action audit yourself, and the biggest difference between those who get their desired results and those who don’t.

Are you ready to take your life to the next level? Click here to learn the tools of life coaching.

What you will discover

  • Why we tend to give ourselves too much time to get things done.
  • What an action audit is and how to conduct one.
  • Why even the smallest actions matter to your end results.
  • The difference between being in an action state and a results-producing state.
  • How to use the scientific method to create the outcome you want.

Featured on the show

Episode Transcript

You are listening to The Life Coach School Podcast with Brooke Castillo episode number 514.

Welcome to The Life Coach School Podcast, where it’s all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. And now your host, Master Coach instructor, Brooke Castillo.

What’s up, beautiful friends? Are you ready to get after it today? We’re going to get after it. We’re going to get to it. This year has been so enlightening to me, and we’re only like, I don’t know, what, six weeks in?

Six weeks into this year and I will say that I think that I have accomplished more and created more and taught more in a shorter period of time than I ever had in my life. And I’ve still had plenty of free time to spend with my family and friends and enjoying life. I enjoy so much doing the work that I do, and it’s very easy for me to be motivated and excited about it, but I’m also very excited and motivated when I’m not working and being able to take a break from that.

And through the past six weeks I’ve been doing a lot more coaching than normal. I’ve been coaching tons of you on all of the dreams that you have and all of the things that you want to do in your lives. And one thing that has come up a lot is the discrepancy between what we want to do and what we actually do and what we actually create.

And I recorded a podcast a couple of podcasts ago called What Is Hard, and I got more response to that podcast than I have to any podcast in a long time. And I think it’s because it was a little confronting for many of you, and also motivating for many of you. And I hope that this podcast will be a similar kind of follow-up to that.

One of the most important things to understand about the Model is that second half of it, which is that our actions create our results. And what I want to teach you to do today is called an action audit, which basically what you're going to do is you're going to look and audit your actions and make sure that they are producing the results that you want.

I would say that nine times out of ten when people come to me and they’re discouraged with their results, maybe they’re trying to build a business, maybe they’re trying to lose weight, maybe they’re trying to create something, write a book or create a program or something like that. One of the most common things that they will do is present their results without owning them.

And I think that is one of the biggest differences between people that are able to get a lot of stuff done and people that aren’t - it’s that simple taking responsibility for every result that you create. I’m currently teaching a course right now called Tool Certification. And in that course I’m teaching all of the tools of life coaching in a pretty intensified span of time.

And one of the things that I’m teaching in that class is this concept that our actions create our results. And I got a question the other day from a woman who said, okay, but what about when the results that you get are dependent on other people? For example, if I’m trying to sell a course to 1,000 people, I’m relying on 1,000 people to sign up. So I need to depend on them and that is out of my control.

And I understand what she’s saying, but the way that she’s thinking about it is not serving her at all because she’s kind of not taking full responsibility for getting 1,000 people that really want to take her course signed up for her course as if it was in her complete control. And that is how I think of all my results.

I don’t depend on clients to come find me and sign up. I don’t wait around for that. I take responsibility for going out into the world and finding people whom I can help, letting them know I can help them, and then making them an amazing offer and then teaching them. That is 100%, in my mind 100% within my control.

I know for sure that there are way more people in this world that want and need what I have to offer than I’ll ever be able to serve. I’m never going to run out of clients, I’m never going to run out of students. There are badrillions of people who need what I teach, I can’t handle them all. And so by knowing that, I just have to go find the ones that I can accommodate, that I can help. That is my job and I own that result.

So one of the ways I want to teach you to own the results that you are creating, and you’ll hear yourself if you're not owning your results, you’ll say, oh, well, this has to do with the industry. Or this has to do with metabolism that I can’t control. Or if you're trying to stop overdrinking, this has to do with social pressure, right?

So as soon as it’s something outside of us, then we don’t take action on it. We wait for something to happen. And the more we wait for something to happen, the less stuff happens. That’s how it works.

So there’s two concepts that I have found to be helpful when thinking about taking action in a very productive way that produces the highest level of results possible in the shortest amount of time. I think that most of us are giving ourselves way too much time to get our work done and way too much time to achieve the success that we want.

If you look at the success that I have been able to achieve, the amount of time that it has taken me is ridiculously short. And I believe it’s because I take into account the Model and the concepts that my actions produce my results.

They’re not dependent on the economy. They’re not dependent on other people. They’re not dependent on other people’s opinions, not dependent on whether I have the support. It’s all dependent on my thinking, my feeling, my actions, my results. My strategic actions, for sure, produce my results.

So here are the two concepts. One is called the Pareto principle, which I think is worth reading up on. I’m not going to go into too much detail about it, but I’m just going to give you the concept. And the concept is that 80% of the outcomes in business, in life, even in a garden, come from 20% of the inputs.

So the example that they use is in a garden 20% of the pea pods produce 80% of the actual peas in a garden. And it’s the same when they go in and study employees in organizations and when they study tasks with an individual. So if you think about this with your own daily practices, your own daily actions, 20%, if you buy into this concept, right? 20% of the things that you're doing will produce 80% of the results.

Now, here’s the bad news, it also works the other way, if you're creating results you don’t want. So if you think about overeating, 20% of your overeating is going to produce 80% of your weight gain, right? So we’re like, oh, a little bit won’t matter. Yes it will, okay? It all adds up.

A little bit of action doesn’t matter, a little bit of working out doesn’t matter, yes it does. 20% of your actions will produce 80% of your results. So the key is, what 20%? Where are the most powerful actions in my day that are producing the most results?

And I was thinking about this, I was thinking about so many of my students that are trying to be entrepreneurs, that are trying to build businesses. And I think about 80% of their day, of their work that they’re doing isn’t producing the results that they need. 80%. And I know this because people will come to me and say, I have been working at this for three months, for six months, for a year, and I don’t have the results that I want.

And in their mind I think they’re telling themselves the story that they’re doing all the things to produce all the results. But the results aren’t being produced because of something that’s outside of their control or something intrinsically wrong with them personally. And I promise you, neither one of those are true. You’re simply producing the results you don’t want. You’re always producing results. Your actions are always producing results.

So you can go to the end of a day, any day, and do an audit. And you can say, what were the results that were produced today? Now, they may not be good results. They may not be the results that you wanted. But there were some results produced. And it might have just been the hours passed by and there was no productivity. But you can look at the end of your day and say, what were the results that were produced and what were the actions that produced those results?

So when you start to really look at this, you will understand that maybe when it comes to working out, the walk that you took or the gym session that you had which took maybe a half hour or maybe 40 minutes produced the most health results in your life that day. Okay?

The mental work that you did, the coaching that you did, the session that you had, the class that you attended produced the most motivation that you’ve ever had, right? And zoning in on the actions that produced the most results that you wanted.

Okay, so that is the Pareto principle. Now, there’s another principle that goes right along with it, which I love, which is called Parkinson’s Law. And Parkinson’s Law says that work will expand to fill the time allotted for its completion. And they did a study where they went in, I think it was in Japan, they went in and cut the work week down from five days to four, gave them eight less hours to produce the same amount of work and they actually produced more work in less time.

Total contradiction to the idea that more time put into a business or more effort put into a business will produce more results. They shrunk the amount of time that was allotted for the work and more got done. So I think about this a lot when I’m teaching time management. And I have a program and it’s called Monday Hour One, and if you want to learn this program, it’s inside of Scholars. You can go to Go to Monday Hour One.

Monday Hour One is how I manage my time, but one of the most important concepts inside of that program is that you have to allot time in your calendar on Monday to get something done. And the question that I get very often from my students is what if I don’t know how much time it will take to get it done?

And that question is so revealing because it’s basically saying, well, I will determine how much time it will take me to get something done by how much time it takes me to get done. But I mean, it’s going to depend on how focused you are. It’s going to depend on are you looking at your phone? It’s going to depend on how many breaks you allow yourself to take. It’s going to depend on how much time you have given for a sense of urgency around something.

There are so many factors. So if you’re not controlling those factors, it could take you way longer. It could take you three weeks to do something that could take an hour. And I remember I used to have a friend that was helping people write books and she would help people write books in 90 days.

And I would be like, that’s not enough time to write a book. And she would say, yes, if you take the amount of hours that someone actually spends writing in a year and you just put those hours within 90 days, it’s actually the same amount of time to get the book done. And it’s not rushed or hurried, it’s the exact same amount of time. And that blew my mind. I mean, you do hear about people that write books, novels, in a very short amount of time.

So the idea with Parkinson’s Law is that you can decide how long it will take for you to get something done. If you think about when some of you all went to college or even in high school, they would say you have this much time to create this research paper. So if you ask yourself, well, how long will it take me to complete this research paper? Well, you knew you only had three weeks, so you knew it wasn’t going to take longer than three weeks. How did you know that? Because that’s the only amount of time you had for it.

Now, most of us completed those research papers in three hours the night before. But had we been assigned, hey, you have to do this research paper and you only have three hours, we would have lost our minds and said that’s not enough time. And yet most of us did it right up in that last minute. Isn’t that fascinating?

So when you take these two concepts and you apply them to doing an action audit in the space of your day, you can completely change your life. So when I look at what I’ve accomplished in the last six weeks of this year in terms of work that I have created, classes that I have created, coaching that I have done, it is more than I probably did all of last year, in six weeks.

And I have produced results at the highest level for me in every area of my life in less time because I’m in the mode of creation and result production. There’s a difference between being in an action state where you’re just taking lots of action and not managing the results, versus being in a result production state.

So when a client or a student comes to me and starts telling me about all the action that they’re taking and how frustrated they are by all the action that they’re taking, I zoom in and ask them, no, I don’t want to know what action you’re taking. I want to know the results you’re producing. Are you producing any results? Because I want to see results, whether they’re negative or positive. I want to know that they’re failing or they’re winning.

If they’re just taking a bunch of busy action that isn’t producing any result, we’re not going to get anywhere, right? It’s kind of like you’re trying to hike a mountain and you’re just going around in circles. You’re not going anywhere. I want to know what was the step you took? What was the result of the step? Did you make an offer to somebody? Did you create a program and offer it to someone?

It’s so shocking to me at how many people have been trying to be entrepreneurs for a long period of time and what they’ve been doing isn’t producing any results, positive or negative, so they can’t even learn from it. All they’ve been doing is posting on social media with no results from it. No yeses and no no’s. We need to get some no’s in order to learn from the no’s so we can then start getting some yeses.

And it’s the same thing with somebody that’s trying to lose weight. Have you planned your food and tried to eat exactly what you wanted to eat on that day? And if the answer is yes and you haven’t lost weight, then we need to change what you’re eating. If the answer is no, then we need to focus on making sure you eat what you had planned, period. But if you don’t write down what you’re going to eat and you don’t pay attention to what you’re eating and you’re not being conscious, we’re not producing any results.

And people say, well, I’ve been trying. Trying doesn’t produce results. Do you know what I’m saying? It doesn’t get to that 20% of the 80%. You have to actually do something and measure the result. The way to create anything, especially something new that hasn’t ever been created before, which I think is the best way to create anything. And even with weight loss, you’re creating a new result for yourself that’s never been created before. You have to use that scientific formula.

You have to make a hypothesis of what will work, a really good educated guess. You have to do that thing enough so you get a result. You have to measure the result. Then you have to look at the result and say, did the action produce the result that I wanted?

If the answer is yes, repeat. If the answer is no, we need to change what we’re doing. It’s a very simple, beautiful, awesome method to follow, to create anything. But too many of us are spending 80% of our time producing zero results.

So here’s how you do an action audit. You go through and you write down your results from the day or from the week or from the month. What are the results that you produced? Maybe it was five pounds of weight loss. Maybe it was you got two clients. Maybe it was you got no clients. Maybe it was you wrote three chapters of your book. Okay, these are the results.

Then you go back and if they’re the results that you really want, you go back and you specifically find the exact actions that produced that result and you delete any action that didn’t produce that result. All of the busy work around that action that didn’t produce the result you wanted, that’s the 80% that you have to change.

Then you can also go and look at the results you got that you did not want, those actions that are producing the results that you don’t want. And you go in and you find a way to stop doing those things. And what you will find is that in 100% of your day, 20% of your actions are producing the results that you really want.

Now think about this, if you could double that or triple that, so more of your actions were producing more of your results, even without spending any more time, you have doubled or tripled your productivity in terms of producing results. In terms of getting pages written or getting exercise done or writing down what you’re eating and managing your food intake and becoming more conscious of what’s going in your body. That’s it.

And the next layer, if we’re going to kind of sneak in this Parkinson’s Law, we could even double it again because we could say, okay, what is the action I’m taking that’s producing the result I want, and could I do that in less time? Can I produce more of a result in less time? I found the action, I found the thing that’s producing it and I want to do that more.

That’s step one. But also, step two, could I actually complete that in less time if I was less distracted and I gave myself a time limit? My guess is the answer is yes. And when you do those two steps, those two layers of things and you start paying attention to the actions that you’re taking, you will be blown away at the amount of time you are wasting.

And here’s the other kicker, when you waste time, when you spend time in confusion, when you spend time in worry, when you spend time in buffering, when you spend time in distraction, you are way more exhausted than when you spend time producing. Producing results is energizing. It’s motivating.

Think about this, when you’re losing weight – For example, for me this year, I’ve committed to working out five days a week, period. I’m working with a trainer, I’m working on developing more muscles so I don’t get hurt in pickleball. This is my main goal, I want to get way more muscle tone and way more stability and muscle in my body so I don’t get injured as often. So every single day that I have a workout assigned, I do it, period. That’s it.

So what have you committed to doing? Does it produce the result you want? So the first step for me is just doing the thing I said I was going to do in the amount of time that I said I was going to do it. So I don’t work out for very long, but I have a very intense workout in a very short amount of time. And then I measure my results from that, my muscle tone from that.

I’m producing a crazy amount of success in terms of my body and my muscle tone based on consistent exercise that’s an intense burst for a short amount of time. That’s what I highly recommend for anyone who’s trying to produce the results that they want.

So many people go into the gym and spend an hour and a half and half of that time is spent chatting and talking and looking on their phone and laying around, like literally in between sets versus going in and getting your job done and then having so much time to then relax.

So if you want to utilize yourself at the highest level and not be exhausted, but be energized and motivated by the results you’re getting – When I see that I’m developing muscle, when I see the muscles kind of coming out, when I feel stronger on the pickleball court, that is motivating and energizing.

I have added exercise at this level, five days a week that I wasn’t doing before, and I’m less tired and I have more time because of it, because I get up earlier and I’m focused and I don’t lollygag, I get right to it. So what is that for you?

And people say, well, I like to be spontaneous. What you really like to be is comfortable. You don’t like to have to obey yourself. You don’t like to have to have a schedule. But I will tell you more comfort comes, more real true comfort and rest comes from having done what you said you were going to do and developing self respect in that relationship with yourself.

And looking at your accomplishments and your results and what you’ve actually completed is the energizing piece, not the exhausting piece. I am way more exhausted after a day that I did not produce results than I am after a day that I did.

And that doesn’t seem to make logical sense, but it really is true because when you see the effect of your action, whether it be positive or negative, whether you’re winning or learning, you feel that momentum forward. You’re not just spinning in circles on the hill trying to get up the hill.

So if you come to me and you want to be coached and you say, I’m very discouraged with my results, what you’re really saying is I’m very discouraged with the actions that I’ve been taking because they’re not producing the results that I want. And if you present your question like that, you already have your answer, right?

And so I will ask you questions. Well, what are the actions that you’re taking? Well, I’m doing this and I’m doing this and I’m doing this. Okay, but that’s not producing the result you want. So let’s go back to our scientific method. It sounds like you had a hypothesis that posting on social media every day would get you the result of having clients. That has not worked.

So now we have to make a new hypothesis and we have to try that. Maybe you need to actually email the clients that have joined your list. Maybe you need to create an ad. Maybe you need to go out and attend events and introduce yourself. Let’s try that and see if that works, okay? If that doesn’t work, now we know that we need to change our approach.

And when we just keep changing our approach, not only do we start getting more effective results, more effective actions and results, but we’ve learned so much along the way. That isn’t a sunk cost, that’s a learning cost. That’s an education cost. And you’re not just learning what doesn’t work sometimes, you’re learning how to do it better, but you’re also learning how to take responsibility for your own results.

You’re learning how to manage your time. You’re learning how to take responsibility. You are learning how to produce at the highest level in a short amount of time because you’re educating yourself. And you’re learning how to live your life based on the scientific method, which is the most independent way to do anything.

That’s how all people, inventors, humans of ingenuity, have created all the new things in the world, by experimenting with the scientific method. Having a hypothesis, trying it out, seeing if it works, measuring the results, adjusting and trying again. That’s how we do it. That’s how I still do it in my own business. It’s how I still do it in my own life. It’s how I solve every single problem that’s presented to me.

Whatever the problem is, I create a hypothesis for what the solution is. And then I think, what is the most effective action to produce the highest level of result in the shortest amount of time? This is not too complicated for any of you to do. This is a very simple concept. It requires focus and consciousness and planning.

And the place to start is with an action audit. Look at your current actions, see what they’re producing, change them up until you have the highest quality action, producing the highest quality results in the shortest amount of time.

Have a beautiful week doing this, my friends. This will change your life. Listen to this podcast as many times as you need to in order for you to understand this concept, to understand the concept of the Pareto principle, Parkinson’s law, read up on those, understand them and then blow your own damn mind by how much you can produce in terms of results, not just work, but results in the shortest amount of time. All right, talk to you next week, everyone. Take care, bye bye.

Hey, if you’ve ever wanted to work with me as your coach, now is the time to do it. You can join me in Get Coached in Scholars by going to This is going to be the best year ever. It’s your turn to change your life. Let’s go.

Get Coached in Self Coaching Scholars Today