If you’re here reading this, I have a sneaky suspicion you and I have something in common. We love to learn, we want to get it right, and we want to get the best advice possible.
We scour the internet consuming every piece of information, every download and every video we can lay our eyes on.
The problem is, since we often spend so much time digesting other people’s advice and suggestions, we never actually get started with what we want to do.
* This article is shared by Vicky Shilling from The Flourishing Pantry blog *
Here’s an example from my own life.
When I started my blog The Flourishing Pantry, I wanted it to be perfect.
I paid for an online blogging course, and the first tip was: find a niche.
The problem is, not everyone knows what their niche is right away.
I certainly didn’t.
And for many people, not having the perfect answer straight away stops them from even beginning.
Eventually, after days of racking my brains, staring at a blank sheet of paper and feeling hopeless I was left thinking: “I don’t have a niche, what’s the point in starting a blog at all?”.
I wanted to start a blog, but I didn’t have the perfect niche. I had to make a choice – either give up at the first hurdle or just start somewhere.
My example is fairly specific to blogging. But getting stuck before we’ve even begun is something that can happen when we try to tackle any goals we want to achieve in life.
You want to run a marathon, but you don’t know which training plan to go with to suit your needs.
“Ahhh… let’s not bother.”
You want to move into a brand new industry for work, but you haven’t a clue where to begin.
“Oh well… I’ll just stick to the old job.”
Even writing this blog post – I had a blank page staring back at me when I began.
I had to start getting something down in order to shape it into what you see now.
Otherwise, you’d be staring at an empty web page right now!
When we set big goals or even small ones for ourselves, the first step can feel totally overwhelming.
We can easily find excuses about why we need to learn more skills, take more time, read more books, watch more videos or just keep searching for the perfect piece of advice that will help us begin.
The scary truth of it is there isn’t a perfect blueprint for the things you want to do.
No-one has a plan they’re hiding from you that another hour on Google is going to reveal.
Do you know what will get that goal achieved? Just getting started.
Here are a few reasons why it’s important just to start somewhere, right here and right now:
1. You’ll instantly feel like you’re making progress
Before you get started on a new project, there will be lots of excited anticipation.
Maybe it’s something you’ve been thinking about for a while, and the potential of achieving the goal is thrilling.
But as time goes by with no action taken, your excitement will start to wane. You’ll start to feel a failure and that time is passing you by.
Doing research and getting tips just adds to this feeling that whilst others have achieved that elusive goal, you’ll never get there.
Taking one tiny step right now towards your goal will instantly feel like progress.
As human beings, we’re wired to be motivated by seeing progress, and even tiny steps can keep us hooked on doing more.
2. Because you need to find your own path
The internet is an amazing resource.
You’ll be able to find a course or website filled with resources on pretty much any topic you can dream of in just a few clicks.
But as I’ve mentioned already, following someone else’s blueprint won’t get you the results you’re after.
It is absolutely crucial that you find your own way of doing things.
The only way to stay motivated and on-track towards reaching your goal is by finding your own authentic way of doing things.
3. Because you’re going to make mistakes, and that’s okay
Scary news: when you’re setting out to do something new that you’ve never done before, you’re going to make mistakes.
That is simply a fact of the universe and nothing you can learn, read or do in advance will prepare you or help avoid this happening.
Instead of trying to avoid making mistakes, learn to reframe them as opportunities to see yourself growing.
If you put yourself out there and tried something new and it didn’t work, it means you’ve learned something.
That lesson is going to carry you forward to a better decision and more skill next time. But you’d have never learned that lesson if you never tried.
4. Perfection doesn’t exist
When I started my blog, even after all my trying to get it right, it wasn’t perfection.
Over the last few years, I’ve changed niche at least three times, I’ve written posts that flopped and I focused on topics that I wasn’t qualified to talk about.
I even re-did my layout completely 6 months in.
But at least I started somewhere.
Without those foundations, I wouldn’t have a blog or a business today at all.
And guess what?
It’s still evolving to this day. And I’m okay with that.
We can all strive for perfection, but getting things done is more important so you have a starting point from which to grow and develop.
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Are you convinced about how important it is to begin now? Are you daring to go?
Here are some tips on how to get started right now:
1. Identify why your goal is important
It’s really important if you are setting a goal to understand why it’s important to you.
Goals are hard to achieve and there are going to be set-backs along the way (see my point above about making mistakes!).
Get out a note-book and write down at least 3 answers to the follow questions:
- Why is this important to you?
- What value does this goal have to you?
- What would the goal give you?
- What is at stake if you don’t achieve it?
If you’re absolutely convinced that this goal is what you really want, and you know what is driving you to take action, we’re ready for the next step.
2. Write down all the ways it’s possible to achieve your goals
If you don’t know the right place to start, try using this list of questions to help you create a big directory of all your possible options.
Use this chance as a ‘no restrictions, money is no object, everything on the table’ exercise.
Put down every way you could achieve your goal so you have it all in front of you.
- 5 people that could help you
- 5 ways you can gain more knowledge or self-educate
- 5 ways you could pay to get professional help to get closer to your goals
- 5 people you admire and are living the dream you want
- 5 bad habits that might be holding you back
- 5 replacement behaviors you can implement
- 5 ways you can keep yourself accountable
- 5 ideas you have right now to start tackling your goal
3. Create an action plan
Download this template and start creating an action plan.
Into the action plan pick out 3-10 tasks that you created in your list using the step above and plan out when you’re going to do them.
Today? Tomorrow? This week? Next week? Fill in the gaps to your masterplan of attack.
Make sure your list of actions has a mix of easy wins – quick and simple things you could do right now.
This can be things like reaching out to a friend for advice or buying a book – combined with some tougher tasks that will push you out of your comfort zone but will also help you achieve your goals faster.
Make sure one thing is something you can do today.
That’s right – today!
There’s no time like the present to take that one small step that will give you the momentum you need.
4. Employ the 5 Second Rule
If you think of something you’d like to do, take action within 5 seconds.
If you don’t take action within this time frame, your brain will talk you out of it.
Our brains are designed to keep us safe and keep us doing the same things in the same routine. But we all know that…
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And that’s it!
I hope I’ve inspired you to get started now on whatever project or plan you have in mind that you’ve not been able to begin yet.
Getting started is just the beginning – the best is yet to come.
If you are looking to start a wellness business and need help taking the first step, you can download my Just Get Started checklist with the 10 things you can action right now.
What is your biggest challenge when starting a goal? Share in a comment at the bottom of this page.