Taking the First Step to Your GoalsOct 31, 2018
This article was originally published by The Non Millennial Revolution on 16th November, 2018
Frequently taking the first step on a project, whatever it may be, whether personal or business, can be the hardest. You may have in your head a vision of the end result, identified the steps needed but be struggling to start on the road to achieving it.
It can be so daunting that inaction seems the preferred option.
You are more likely to focus on the worst-case scenario of what could go wrong:
What will people say?
What if I’m no good?
What if it doesn’t work?
What if it fails?
It is easy to feel so overwhelmed that we do nothing and stick with the status quo. Inaction however, leads to feelings of being stuck, frustration and dissatisfaction.
Moving from Inaction to the First Step
What’s important to recognise is that we are unable to predict what will happen, what factors will come into play and what opportunities may present themselves. Somehow, we need to find the courage to take one step and then another. Jill Coleman suggests picturing the worst scenario and spending some time pondering it. Think about what would happen, what would you do? Would it stop you pursuing your goal, or would you do it anyway? Also think about some possible ways you would deal with it should the worst-case materialise – which is very unlikely.
For me, since I started My Sarahtivity last year, every time I press publish on an article or social media post I still feel nervous and have butterflies. I usually press publish and disappear for a couple of hours to avoid the uncomfortable feeling.
How Will You Feel if You Don’t Take the First Step?
Ponder on how you will feel in 6 months, a year if you do nothing. The fact that you are trying to instigate a change indicates there is currently an element of dissatisfaction with where you are, what you are doing. If no steps are taken to implement change these feeling will more than likely grow. I had reached a stage in life where I was feeling like I needed something more. I had spent a number of years predominantly as a stay at home mum with the odd bit of work or community work thrown in and while I don’t regret any of that time, now my children are growing up it was time to do something different. The easy option would be to stay doing what I was doing but I decided I wanted more.
Obstacles along the Way
There will be stumbling blocks along the way and obstacles to overcome. You’ll probably make mistakes, but it is true that we do learn from our failures – even if it’s what not to do! One of the things I have struggled with is falling into the “comparison trap”. I would normally be comparing myself to someone who has been in the business for many years so have had to become aware of this and check these thoughts before they stop me producing.
One of my main obstacles has been myself – I have said “I need to get out of my own way”. It’s feeling unsure, nervous but doing it anyway.
Getting Support for Taking the First Step
Having some accountability has proved beneficial in helping me become more proactive and focussed.
Someone to help set some self-imposed deadlines
Help to identify the next steps to take
Helping to gain clarity on where I am wanting to get to
Breaking that down into smaller, more manageable chunks
Reaching out for coaching was a big step in itself, but has proved so beneficial. Procrastination led to frustration at not moving forward. Communicating goals and aims to someone else serves to make them real.
The road to starting My Sarahtivity began around 10 years ago, but I had no idea that this is where I would end up.
Who Knows Where The First Step May Lead
Returning from a holiday, dissatisfaction with my body and weight was highlighted. My husband suggested getting a personal trainer for a while – little did he know I was going to book him in too! The courage to contact someone came from the fact we were doing it together. Over the next few years I have discovered a love of weight lifting and strength training and moved from a place of body loathing to body acceptance. Yes, I have lost weight along the way but have learnt that I am worth more than my aesthetics. I have worked on healing my relationship with food and moved towards an eating in moderation stance.
That first email has led me to here – wanting to share my experiences and show women who have been entrenched in diet culture for many years that there is an alternative.
Key Points for taking the first step to your goals
The first step may be in wanting to adopt a lifestyle change, it may be a business idea or a blog. Taking the first step in one area make it easier to take the first step in another.
Have an end goal in mind but be prepared for this to change.
Identify the steps needed to get to that goal.
Find someone to be accountable to, whether or not this be a coach/mentor or someone you know.
Think about the consequences of taking no action.
Accept that you are unlikely to always get it right – view these instances as a learning opportunity
Dig deep and find the courage for the first small step and build from there.
One thing I know is I have never regretted taking the first step, however unsure I was at the beginning. As I’ve become older I have learnt to care less about the opinions of others and am more prepared to follow what I want to do.
The picture was when I climbed a mountain in the Lake District – I don’t like heights. I struggled and cried on the way up but the feeling in that picture I can still remember.
It all started with one step!