Wanna lose weight? Or maybe start a business? Have you fantasized about writing a book? Ever dream of finishing a marathon? How about lernen Deutch? How long have you held on to these sorts of dreams without any progress? Let’s face it, we all have unrequited goals, dreams and ideas. But why? Why don’t we just do what we say we want to do? Because starting is ironically the hardest part.
The idea of a blank canvas, a big new project, a change of unlimited potential can be absolutely paralyzing if you’re not careful. You see, we all have ideas, but barely any of us actually take action on those ideas. Why? Because starting is scary. Starting opens up the possibility of failure. Starting is a contract with yourself. So how does anybody get around to actually starting anything? Use these 5 hacks to get the momentum going…
Decide what you want to do.
Get clear on your most fantastical goals. Having a big ol’ goal list is great, but it’s important to narrow your focus to only one idea if you truly want to achieve a goal. Trying to focus on more than one big idea at a time is overwhelming and will paralyze your progress. Pick one idea that you are most excited about and stick to it. You’re either losing weight or writing a book—not both. Got that? Easy.
Set a timeline.
When do you want to do this by? A year from now? Three months from now? Five years from now? Starting anything big is going to take dedication and longterm commitment. Decide how long you are willing to commit yourself to your goal. Then, imagine where you want to be by the end of that time period. That’s your ultimate goal. (Note: if your ultimate goal involves achieving fame and fortune, don’t bank on the success of your project. Starting something is hard and requires passion and dedication. If you’re only in it for the attention, try reality television.)
Focus on what you can see.
Now that you’ve set a realistic goal for yourself, forget about it. What? That’s right, lose sight of it, toss it out of your mind. It sounds blasphemous, but focus less on your ultimate goal and more on the baby step you must take to eventually get there. You don’t eat a big slice of pie in one bite. Yes, eating the pie is your ultimate goal, but to get there, you must take many small bites. And odds are, you’ll be more focused on enjoying each individual bite than you are on finishing the pie.
Think: what is one thing you can do today to get you closer to your goal? That may be opening a business checking account, drinking a green juice instead of that second latte, setting up a meeting or doing research that extends beyond a quick Google search. Practice this on a daily or weekly basis—take small, manageable actions. Before you know it, you’ll be well into your newest venture!
Don’t spray it.
Don’t go boasting around town about your newest, greatest endeavor just yet. Telling people about your plans to do extraordinary things can backfire. According to research, the praise you get for simply having a great idea can de-incentivize you to actually hunker down and follow through. So, if you go around squawking your dreams and ideas at anyone who will lend an ear, you’re actually setting yourself up for failure. Confide in a few close friends, but otherwise don’t do too much sharing until you actually build some real momentum.
Accentuate the positive.
Starting new things is full of ups and downs.. and divots… and flat tires… and hurdles… and pits of despair. You get the idea. Expect small failures and try to maintain a positive outlook. Failures are part of the game. In fact, those who expect business ventures to fail tend to be successful more often than those who avidly try to avoid failure. Why? Because experiencing failure means you’re getting out of your comfort zone and taking risks. Those who play it safe are usually mildly successful, but they never are able to achieve their true potential. So prepare for failure and grin in spite of it! Just try, try again.
If you have internet access and $20 in your bank account, you can go pretty far towards making your dreams a reality. Knowledge, information and resources are cheaper and more abundant than ever. Whether it is writing a book, losing weight or starting a business, we all have room to grow. What are you waiting for?!
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