One of the big issues I see people deal with after attending my Dream Big Vision Board workshop is moving forward to bring dreams, ambitions, and visions into reality. And, even if you have not created a vision board to get clear about what you want to be and do and have in your life, most of us have ideas about how we want to bring change into our lives or make progress or grow in important ways.
Taking the first step can be daunting.
We tend to think we need to be bold and brave and strive to make heroic changes — and thoughts like that can bring up all sorts of resistance. All of a sudden it can feel scary to make a huge change. Confidence can slip away at the thought of doing something so big. Coupled with that, the prospect of failure and the shame we envision can be paralyzing. Or, we tell ourselves we're not ready yet and so we put off getting started. And sometimes, our doubts tell us it’s useless to try.
Even accomplished women who have a deep desire to step up to living a bigger life can get stuck this way — and they may be especially prone to setting huge expectations for themselves and getting tripped up.
Here are 3 steps you can take right now to get started on making important change in your life.
1. What do you want? It’s time to get clear!
It’s exciting to anticipate making big important changes, but if you are not clear about what you really want — and why — you may jump in and find yourself having to back up and refocus. Why risk hampering yourself like that?
Sometimes we want something new in our lives, but that feeling is fuzzy. Say you are exhausted by overwork and you want to more day-to-day sanity in your life. The why is not hard to figure out, but what exactly do you want?
- More and better sleep?
- Getting rid of bad clients who drain your spirit — and learning how to avoid them in the future?
- More support from family members, or finding helpers like a bookkeeper or VA?
- More time for exercise and other self-care?
Pinpoint what it is your really want. Because without knowing, how can you begin to bring that change into your life?
Let’s use another example, and take the process of getting clear a step further.
Say you want to relocate. Do some writing about what your reasons are for making a move. And, list your criteria. You may desire a warmer climate, or seek less costly housing, or a location with better job opportunities, or some combination of those factors. Maybe you need to have access to an international airport, or need to live near a major medical center. Get all of that down on paper. Next, rank the importance of each factor, as you will likely need to compromise on some of your criteria. The more information you pin down, the smoother and clearer your process will be going forward.
This is a doable and crucial first step — and, you’ll have started taking important action!
2. Set your sights on one or two small steps to keep going.
Rather than set a huge goal and try to tackle it in one great stride, think about one or two small, doable steps you can take now to move forward. We’re going for wins, and building momentum.
Let’s say you are in an unhappy professional position and want to move on to find work that will be more satisfying and meaningful, or you want to find an organization with a culture that feels like “home.”
Having started with Step One — getting clear about what you want and why — and having established the criteria for a great next job, you can decide on one or two doable small steps to take next.
You might first choose the most appealing option on your list and dig in to learn more. Rather than jumping in to a full-fledged job search, you can start by reading up on the sector or job type, or companies in the industry sector. Then identify people you can meet with — or people you can reach out to and ask for introductions. Prepare a solid list of the questions on your mind about the kind of work, available opportunities, compensation, etc.
Once you have set up and had a few productive conversations, you’ll be on your way. And, when you are ready to confirm what you want to go after, you can plan for the next small step to take — like creating a tailored resume and a great cover letter.
3. Build in accountability and support.
When you tell someone that you intend to do something important, and regularly keep them up to date on your progress, you are more likely to stay on track. Accountability is a powerful motivator and keeps your momentum strong.
The key is to get that support from someone who truly cares about you and your success — someone who believes in you and will support you in a positive way. You can seek out an "Accountability Buddy” and set up a schedule for check-ins. And, having a coach can be a great asset when you are trying to make important change and want to do it as smoothly as possible. Because, inevitably there will be bumps in the road, times when your confidence dips or your best next step is unclear. Having a capable guide to get you through the rough patches and help you to see the way forward and stay on track will accelerate your progress.
Life presents us with an ongoing series of opportunities to grow, change and expand. And every time you decide to step into what’s next, you’ll be called on to commit again and take consistent action to reach your next level.
Some final thoughts.
As you go through each step along the way, remember to acknowledge yourself for setting your intentions, committing to taking action, and for each small piece of progress as you attain it. Celebrate your ongoing commitment, your ability to leave old limiting mindsets behind, your willingness to make big change, your courage to persevere, and your creativity and resolve.
And finally, be sure to celebrate your successes!
I would love to hear from you as you undertake or move through periods of important change in your life. Comment below or email me — I always read what you post or send.
And, if you want to talk with me about how coaching can support you to step into the big life you desire, just complete my Coaching Inquiry Form and we'll make a date for a call (there’s no obligation or cost for this deep heart-to-heart conversation).