You want something different in your life, but it's hard to stay focused. Between working and other obligations, family and friends, you can easily lose sight of your goals. Inertia can actually be a powerful force, keeping you in one place instead of moving forward. The best way to combat it is to take a first step right now, as soon as you finish reading this article. The first three steps below are all things you can do today to get started, and the last step can help you carry on.
Whether you want to walk the Pacific Coast Trail, get your teaching credentials or finally work up the courage to audition for community theater, it can be easy to hold that dream in your mind as something you'll do someday without ever really working up the courage to take the first step. When you tell someone, your dream becomes more real. Be sure to tell a person who will be sympathetic to your goal and not someone who will belittle it.
Identify One Obstacle
Sometimes it's hard to get started because there's an obstacle in the way from the very start. For example, if you want to go back to college, you might be worried about the cost. Take a quick look at what kind of loans and scholarships you might be eligible for. Even if you are familiar with the process of applying for loans, you might be worried about how you will repay them. With a student loan repayment calculator, you can get a ballpark idea of what your monthly payments will be like. It will probably look a lot less scary than what is looming in your mind. The purpose of this is not to necessarily come up with a detailed solution but to look at one element that is scaring you and remind yourself that it isn't insurmountable.
Take One Step
Now it's time to take one step toward your goal. You want to walk a long-distance trail or run a marathon? Put on your shoes and go walk around the block. Do you want to go to school? Look at the website for the college nearest you and see whether they offer the courses that you are interested in. Are you longing to visit Paris? Find and bookmark a few travel sites. Like facing the obstacle, this step should not be a complicated or time-consuming one. Spend less than half an hour on it. The important thing is that you have gotten started.
Look at the Big Picture
This is usually one of the first steps you take when you are setting a goal, but when you are struggling to get started, it can actually bog you down. The idea of making that big master plan before you do anything can be overwhelming. However, once you have completed all of the above steps, you can take a step back and consider what you need to do to reach your goal. If you are really struggling with making a plan, a life coach or another professional, such as a career counselor or a personal trainer, may be helpful.