I love this quote. And so needed to read it today. We sometimes put important things off until the time is right and the conditions are perfect. For some reason we tend to look for excuses to postpone starting... I'll do it next week, when the bills are paid, when I save some money, when I get more sleep. I've used them all.
Lately for me it's been waiting for the weather to warm up and winter to let go of it's dreadfully icy grip on us. And waiting until another busy tax season is done so I can be out of the office more often. Surely I'll be more inspired and have more time then!
Truth is though, it's fear and uncertainty that have been holding me back from moving forward on my next big goal. What if I fail? What if I fall? What if things don't work out as planned? Maybe I should wait until everything is perfect and I've got it all figured out?
I realize though that there will never be a better time than right now to start. I need to overcome my fears and my limiting beliefs. The ideal time may never come and I can't keep looking ahead to a day that isn't even on the calendar. So here I am... writing this message to you!
To kick things off I thought it was appropriate to share four ideas that I know will help you get started and move forward with your goals:
1. Write it down
Putting it on paper will give your idea or goal form. Clarity is key to successfully starting and carrying through with a plan. Be detailed and don't forget to include the outcome of your goal. Figure out your "why". Why do I want this? Who do I want this for? And what will be the end result? What will my life look like and who will the new, improved me be?
Using key words from your goal, make yourself a note and put it someplace where you'll see it often. Maybe on your night stand so you see it at the start and end of each day. Or stick it on your refrigerator or the dash of your vehicle. I like to leave post-it notes, here and there, as reminders to keep on going! For the techies out there, you can use your phone to send yourself those little reminders!
2. Take small steps at the beginning
Don't jump in with both feet! Change will stick better if it is gradual. When you see that progress is being made you'll gain momentum and be inspired to move forward with your plan. New things will be less scary if they are slowly introduced into your comfort zone. And old habits on the way out won't be missed so much.
Recently I got myself back into a fitness lifestyle by deciding on my goals and starting with just one change at a time. So I laced up my running shoes and took that first step out of the door. Once I was again comfortable with running, I gradually added yoga to my morning routine. Next up was improving my hydration habits. I now run three times a week, do a short yoga class each morning and drink plenty of water. Now I need to add strength training... I think I'll try 5 minutes each day to start with. I should be able to manage that!
3. Share your plan
A cheerleader is great for morale! Let a good friend in on your goals. Or consider finding a coach, mentor or personal trainer. Being accountable and having to answer the "how are things going?" question is a great check in. Another thought is to find someone working towards the same goals. Having someone come along for the ride and journey with you is even better!
I've had the great pleasure of working with a few amazing life coaches and personal trainers. They have helped me push myself out of my comfort zone and have kept me on track when things got tough. I've shared my big dreams with a few close friends. They support me and sometimes even challenge me when I need it.
4. Celebrate your wins
Even the little ones need recognition. Remember to frequently look back and acknowledge what you've accomplished so far in your journey to reach your goal or make the change. A journal is a great way to keep track of your progress and to see how far you've come.
A fun way that I like to celebrate is to reward myself with something I love, like a new book or something delicious (and healthy of course!). Set milestones and treat yourself each time you hit the mark!
We've all heard that the biggest regrets in life are the chances we didn't take. It's time my friend, to do the things that we've been avoiding or putting off. Make the decision. Today. Choose now. Take that very first step, even if it's a scary one. And don't look back. Maybe it's saving money, starting a new business or working on a relationship. It might be creating a healthy new habit or quitting a bad one. Whether it's a small change or a larger than life goal, let's do this!