We often get stuck when we put our focus on the things that we can’t or didn’t do. The key to getting unstuck is to focus on what we can do. For example:
Even if you can’t lose twenty pounds by tomorrow, you can start eating less and moving more.
Maybe you can’t fix all your problems today, but you can begin to solve each problem, one-step at a time.
While you can’t change the way people behave, you can change the way you react.
Perhaps you can’t reform the government, but you can write a letter, vote and support the causes you believe in.
Action leads to progress, so don’t get stuck in a negative vacuum by focusing on what you can’t do. Make a decision about what you can do and do it. Taking even one small step will move you closer to your dream.
A common question I hear from coaching clients is, “Why can’t I make a decision?” Frequently, the answer is, because you are not ready. Either you need more information or you need to deal with the root cause of what is holding you back – like fear. Rest assured, you will make a decision when you are ready to make it. Usually, your gut knows when it’s time, like the gal in my video “Done”. Often, you will commit to take action once the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of making a change.
For most people who have decided, or who are in the process of deciding whether to make a big change, small steps are a good way to start, especially if the change is a scary one. For example, if you suddenly want to change your career, you might not want to quit your job until you have done a little research and possibly some preparation. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. I hear many stories about people who just up and quit and do very well for themselves, but if you are not one of those personalities, then here’s a process for you to consider:
1) Create a vision of your outcome or goal. See it in your mind’s eye as if it is already real. Tap into the feeling of already having what you want: joy, satisfaction, thinness, safety, whatever it is. Keep that feeling in your pocket. Revisit it from time to time, especially during times when you need motivation.
2) Think through, brainstorm and diagram all the steps you can take to get to your goal. Consider various options and possibilities. Try using a mind map, a vision boardor sticky notes…whatever works for you to map out a path.
3) Break each step or item down into small steps, and those down into even smaller steps.
4) Commit to taking consistent action on one or more of your small steps daily or weekly. If needed, work with a buddy or a coach, and set up accountability for yourself.
5) Keep track of your progress, pat yourself on the back, and adjust your plan as needed.
Before you know it, one small step will lead to another and you will arrive at your envisioned destination. In short, you are done - until it’s time for your next project!