I Don't Know Where to Start - 9 Steps to Make it Happen
You love the idea of reinventing yourself or making a change to an area of your life. Maybe you want to get healthy, change jobs, make new friends. Maybe you would want a complete over-haul.
But making changes can be hard. Maybe you've even tried before and failed. Maybe you don't know how to begin, where to start.
1.) The first thing you have to do is decide what you want to change.
Do you know what you want? What is important to you? What are you struggling with? What is giving you the most grief in your life? If your ready for a new you and want to make sweeping changes that works too. Just decide what that is, what does it look like?
Be very specific. Take the time to write down exactly what you want to change. Write out what you want your life to look like. Explore in detail what that would entail and try to be quite specific.
If you want to lose weight, write down how much you want to lose, when do you want to start, and when you want to achieve it?
If you want to do a full re-invention, list all the areas of your life and write out what you want each area to look like. Who do you want to be? And remember, be specific.
2.) Commit, go all in. After you’ve made a decision to make changes you need to commit to doing the work. Look at what you've written down. Think about what your life will be like when you finally make this change. Take a moment to imagine it in detail. How will you feel? What will be different?
Ask yourself, if you were sure you could make these changes and get this result or the results you just imagined, would you truly commit to doing the work? Doing the work will require you to do things differently than you have in the past. Because of course, if you keep doing the same things you are currently doing you will continue to get the same results you have now.
If you want to lose weight, will you commit to changing your diet?
If you want to get fit, are you willing to commit to being more active?
You probably have an idea what the changes you want to make will require of you. You may not know the exact how, but you probably have a pretty good idea.
Ask yourself. Are you willing to commit to making the necessary changes?
3.) Plan the first steps. Now that you've decided what you want and you're committed to not only doing the work but to getting what you want its time to make a plan.
If you are doing a full reinvention I recommend you start with the area that is most important to you.
If you are in bad health and it's on your radar, it's always a good place to start. You only have one true home and thats your body.
Start with one area to focus on and go all in on it. If the thing or area you start with doesn't require too much from you, feel free to move on to the next area sooner rather than later. But if your working on something that requires a lot from you, don't overdo.
Just focus on that one thing. If you chose an area that seems a bit overwhelming like health or wealth, just choose one place to begin. Break down the larger more in depth subject into smaller pieces.
Let's say you want to become healthier. You’re overweight, your out of shape, and your on prescription drugs for different medical conditions. Choose just one thing and start there. Maybe you work on losing 5 pounds first. Then maybe you work on eating more vegetables at each meal. After you master that, maybe you set another weight loss goal, maybe 10 pounds this time. You could add in a 10 minute walk after lunch. See what we’re doing here?
Now when your weight is where you want it, maybe you turn your attention to your fitness. Remember to always check with your doctor before changing your diet, fitness, and other physical changes.
You can start with small habit changes, small things like taking vitamins every day, getting in more steps, and drinking more water. The these can be done together, but if you really struggle, master just one thing at a time.
Many of you will want to change everything all at once. I know, because its usually what I want to do when I'm ready for change. But I urge you to stick to one large change or a couple small changes at a time.
Start small and set yourself mini goals and milestones to achieve along the way.
4.) Plan the how. Research a little. Once you have mapped out what you want to do, you may want to do some research.
What kind of diet will you choose? Will you go low-carb? Clean eating? Maybe you will try the Whole 30? What is the Whole30?
If you want to get fit you might want to set some fitness goals and look into different forms of exercise. Maybe you want to be able to walk a mile without getting out of breathe, maybe you want to hike a specific trail, run a 5k, or see specific changes in your body?
List out the small steps you will take to get there. Do a little research and make sure you know how to get what you want in a way thats realistic. Don't set yourself up for failure by setting unachievable goals. Don't plan to lose five pounds a week when a slower, healthier goal is more suitable and attainable.
Be sure to write out your plans and your milestone goals clearly. Place this written plan some where you will see it every single day. I would go as far as setting a reminder to review the plan each day.
5.) Plan for the Roadblocks. While you are writing out your plan give some thought to the things that could get in your way. Most of these roadblocks will be self-inflicted.
Ask yourself. When you've tried to change before and failed or quit what was it that got in your way?
Did you slowly just slide back into old habits?
Did you forget you were making a change?
Did you have a set-back or misstep and just say fuck it?
Identify all the ways you've quit on yourself in the past and figure out how you will have your own back this time. Reminders, check-ins, and motivators go along way for me.
Did someone else get in your way? Do you need to ask someone for help? Figure out what you need to do to succeed this time around.
6.) Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I’ve got to say here that having a community of like-minded people to support you, is a great way to win. If you have a coach or access to coaching, that's even better. Get help and get it done.
7.) Celebrate. You have to celebrate all along the way.
Be sure you're celebrating all your wins and also celebrate the ways you failed and then got back up and dusted yourself off.
One thing I know for sure. I fail all the time, I’m good at failing. But what I’m even better at than failing, is getting back up.
8.) Forget perfect.
I am no where close to a perfect eater. I gain a few pounds after a lax week or two but then I realize I’ve been lax and I get back to a cleaner diet and drop a few pounds. It’s a constant balancing act.
Same thing with my fitness. I may go months doing regular workouts and then go a week or two with nothing. I realize it's been some time and I get my ass up and get back to it.
It’s not perfection but persistence that get things done. I just get back to it. I don't allow myself to say I didn't do it perfect so I quit. Many of us have this nasty habit. Knock it off. Get back up.
9.) Now let's not forget to evaluate. At the end of each week I like to evaluate my progress. This can be a very simple weekly journal practice where you write out what went well, what didn't, and what you want to do differently.
I also really like to keep a habit tracker and check off each thing I did.
You’ve decided what you want. You've committed to making the change. You've created a plan and figured out how to navigate the roadblocks. You’ve set yourself reminders and mini-goals or milestones to achieve along the way, and you’ve asked for support from your friends and family.
You’re celebrating, failing, and getting back up.
You’re doing it.
That's it. You have a complete game plan for making your life the one you really want to be living.
One step at a time.
Now get to work.