It is often so hard to take the first step towards your goals. It is easy to be bogged down by the negative self talk in our heads: not enough time, not enough ability, not enough desire. Or we have the best intentions yet become masters of procrastination, always waiting for the elusive “best time”.
So here’s the thing…NOW is the best time. And I think deep down we all know this to be the truth. So how do we override that negative self talk, stop making excuses and take that step?
- Keep it simple! Say you want to run a half marathon. And the furthest distance you have run in the last five years is 250 feet (and that was only because your five year old son was about to miss the bus and there was no way you were driving him to school in your plaid pajama pants. Again.) Well if 250 feet is your max distance and your dream is running 13.1 miles of course you are going to be overwhelmed and intimidated! Start simple. Make your first step manageable and realistic! Start with a daily one mile walk, slowly adding in one minute jogging intervals.
- Stay accountable! State your intentions out loud. Tell a friend. Right them down. We are not saying you need to post a selfie and declare to the social media world that you intend to start eating salads for dinner every night. Although if that is your thing, go for it!! We will totally support you and give you a “like”. In all seriousness, once that dream you have is out there, whether it be in a private journal you keep sitting in your desk, or in a tweet to hundreds of followers, it becomes real. Becomes tangible. Which makes you much more likely to take that first step towards achieving it.
- Celebrate milestones! For this one we are going to take a quote from Dan Sullivan, author of The Gap and The Gain. “The way to measure your progress is backward against where you started, not against your ideal.” So what does this mean? Let’s go back to our late for the bus-stop mom who has decided she wants to run a half marathon. At the end of week 3 she is running one mile. Which means she still has 12.1 miles to go before she is ready to race. Totally demoralizing right?? But what if you flip that around? Let’s forget about the end goal for a second and take a look back. She just ran one mile!! Three weeks ago she barely made it to the bus stop which was 250 feet away. That is great motivation to keep going! Celebrate each accomplishment you make along the way and use that momentum to keep moving forward.