If you’re anything like me, then you are constantly coming up with new business projects, ways to improve your life and goals for yourself.
But how many of these great new ideas do you actually end up following through with?
I would have the best intentions to get started working towards my goals but somehow I would find myself two hours deep into the weird part of Youtube (like… fish beauty pageant videos weird) when I had originally sat down at my desk to start building my new business.
I’d have nothing to show for my time, I was still no closer to achieving my dreams and I’d feel AWFUL.
As bad as it felt, this constant cycle eventually forced me to get serious about what was really happening. I was afraid of starting new things.
When you have any big scary goal set for yourself starting is ALWAYS the most difficult part. You most likely have a little voice in your head saying things like;
‘I don’t know how to create a website’,
‘I don’t have time to take an interior design course’,
‘I look bad in workout clothes’,
‘I’m not good enough to become a wedding photographer’,
‘What if I fail?’
As irrational as it might seem, we are afraid of starting to work towards our goals.
But the truth is, it doesn’t matter if you fail, if you end up quitting or not reaching your goal because you WILL have picked up a valuable skill, learnt something, made a new connection or been inspired to try something else.
Here are the four steps you can take to actually start achieving your goals and building your dream life.
I know you can do it!!!!
1. Break it Down
When we have big dreams our goals can often seem unattainable in the beginning. This results in us never even getting started. We are so overwhelmed thinking about the end result that we don’t know where to start.
To overcome this and actually get started on your goals you should break down each goal into an ordered list of small specific steps. The more overwhelmed you are the smaller the steps should be.
Let’s look at a simple example. If my goal was to read one book a month but I hadn’t read since I was ten years old my list might look like this:
– May 1 Ask a friend for a book recommendation
– May 2 Buy or borrow the book
– May 2 Get a notebook to track my reading
– May 2 Put the book and notebook beside my bed
– May 3 Read one page just before bed
– May 4 Read two pages just before bed
– May 31 Read one chapter before bed
Now after one month I would have slowly built up to reading one chapter a night, so next month I would easily be able to finish a whole book!
See how specific and actionable the steps are? I included dates so that it gives me a deadline to have each step completed and forces me to start.
You might think that including, ‘put the book and notebook beside my bed’, is unnecessary but ticking quick easy steps like this off your list will help to keep you motivated because you can see that you’re making progress.
The benefit of creating a detailed list or action plan is that it takes the decision making out of your hands, you don’t need to decide what to do or when to do it.
Having a small clearly defined first step with a set deadline makes starting to achieve your goal easier. When you feel overwhelmed all you have to do is follow the next step on the list.
2. Start in the Middle
You’ve followed step one and broken down your goal into an action plan.
So now you’ve started working towards your goals and building your dream life, right?
If your answer is no then don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
Sometimes what keeps us from achieving our goals, even when we’ve broken them down into specific steps, is not being able to complete the very first step we have set for ourselves.
This is because it’s really scary to start from the ground up, with zero.
To get over this initial intimidation and action paralysis we might need to start in the middle.
Sounds crazy, I know, but hear me out!
Say you want to start a blog and you decide that your first step is to pick a niche. It makes complete sense for this to be your first step, every article ever written about starting a blog recommends you to first choose your niche!
But making a decision like this is hard.
Your perfectionist side starts you show and you want to make sure you have considered every single consequence of picking a certain niche. You feel like you need to have it all planned out and have every detail decided on before you start your blog. This is where the procrastination kicks in.
Often when the logical first step to achieving our goal is too difficult we end up not getting started at all.
In these cases it can actually be really beneficial to skip the first step (or first few steps) and start somewhere easier.
In this case we could start by writing our first blog post, setting up our social media accounts or even buying our domain name and building our website if they aren’t dependent on the niche!
Starting somewhere is better than never starting at all!!
3. Tell People About It
A sure fire way to get you to start reaching your goals is to tell friends and family what you want to achieve.
Yes, even before you’ve started.
I know it can be difficult to tell people about your dreams and ambitions but talking about your goals will hold you accountable for starting to achieve them.
People are going to ask you how your marathon training or your cake business is going if you’ve told them about these goals before. Nobody wants to have to admit to their friends or family that they haven’t been for a run or baked a single cake yet!
Telling people about your goals can give you that push you need to get started.
You might even come across someone who shares the same goals as you! Teaming up with someone who has similar aspirations will help you stay motivated and will make getting started even easier.
4. Do it Now
Often we never get started because we always say that we’ll start tomorrow.
Procrastinating and putting off starting on your goals is a habit lots of people have. Hopefully the tips I have shared in this post will help you to get started building your dream life and achieving your goals.
I have a challenge for you, yes you reading this 😉
I want you to choose one goal that you are going to start working towards today (not tomorrow) and let me know what it is in the comments!
Good luck, you’ve got this!