1. Write down your goal and give yourself a deadline. A goal without a deadline can be put off indefinitely.
2. Break your goal into small pieces. The bigger your goal or the change you want to make, the more quickly it can send you into overwhelm. So if your goal feels daunting, break it into manageable, bite-sized steps. Remember, you don’t have to know every step of the way; just the next few steps immediately ahead. Your next steps will become obvious as you move along.
3. Visualize the future you want. Imagine the emotions you will feel. Picture yourself in a favorite place celebrating what you’ve accomplished. Imagine those who love you most celebrating your success.
4. Harness fear. Fear is a powerful emotion that can keep us mired in excuses. Yet, by focusing on what you don’t want, you can harness it in your favor. So write down how you will feel a year from now if you do nothing. Be brave and really honest with yourself about the cost of continued inaction. After all, if nothing changes, nothing changes!
5. Build accountability. Enlist a support team or an accountability partner or, as I suggested in Stop Playing Safe, recruit your own Personal Board of Advisors to help keep you focused and on track. Set up a time to check-in regularly and let them know ways in which they can help. For instance, to remind you of past accomplishments, and why you set about making these changes in the first place.
6. Reward progress. Set up a reward system to ensure you celebrate progress and small successes as you go along. Whether a fun activity with friends, or a treat for yourself, make it something that acknowledges your progress and effort.
7. Act bravely daily. Starting today. Building momentum is crucial as you start out. So commit to stepping out of your comfort zone at least once per day. Beginning today – before your fear-laden excuses, disguised as sheer laziness, kick in again. It can be something really small. After all, it doesn’t matter how fast you are going, so long as you are stepping forward in a direction that inspires you. So take that first step, then another, then another… after all – life rewards action!