You want to make changes in your life. You’ve got a vision and a direction of travel that feels right for you. You’ve got a rough road map that outlines how you’ll get to where you want to go. All you need now is… to take your first step. Part 5 of my Ultimate Guide to Changing Your Life is about where and how to start that journey.
Read on to find out how to do that, and get underway.
In a way, you could probably say that you’ve started your life change the day you decided to do something differently. And began looking at where you’ve come from, and who you really are, with the intention to envision a life that is right for you.
But what I’m talking about here is the day you start taking purposeful actions that lead you in the direction you want to go.
It might be that your first step forward is actually getting closure for something in your past or current life: Finishing any unfinished business. Letting go of, or saying No to what no longer serves you. Quitting a situation you don’t want to be in anymore. So that you can really feel you’re starting afresh.
(And yes – that might well bring up feelings of grief about what’s ending for you, and what you’re leaving behind now. Let yourself feel that – and also then let it go.)
Or it might be that you start by doing more in depth research and analysis, or by speaking to people about your change, to ‘socialise’ and concretise your ideas, or get other people’s views and input into them.
Both of these are valid and often necessary starting points – but:
Beware not to overdo closure and research
Lest you get bogged down in the past, or stuck in analysis paralysis.
Eventually, you’ll need to draw a line under the past, and decide to let it go. And let the information you have gathered in your research be good enough to move forward.
Because there is no such thing as the perfect starting point. If you find yourself insistent on finding it, and going ’round in circles of dwelling on the past, or conducting more and more research, then ask yourself honestly if you’re not actually making excuses for not moving forward. What might be behind that?
I’ve often thought, when reflecting on my own life changes, and those of my clients, that you get to a point where you’re as prepared and ready as can be – and it’s not so important where you start, as that you start.
Therefore, when you’re at that point, ask yourself:
What’s your best first step forward?
It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, decisive or tentative, far-reaching or immediate. Just do something that leads you in the direction you want to go. And is feasible, doable, possible for you right now.
Don’t know what that is?
Here’s five ways to find yours
- Go back to your road map to the life you love: What’s the first logical step in the sequence of events you’ve mapped out there? Do that.Or, if you have a number of options, pick your best first step by answering any one of these questions:
- What’s the easiest or quickest step you could take?
- What’s the most practical, most feasible step you could take?
- What’s the step that would take you forward most?
- What do you feel most drawn to starting with?
- Which is the most fun way to start with?
- Which starting point would be most meaningful for you?
- Which first step can you see yourself taking?
Any of these are good starting points. So are any other ones you might come up with. Pick one, trust the process, and get underway. If you’re worried, or battling fears of change, pick the easiest and quickest thing to start with – but start.
It’s not like you can make any massive mistakes – what hasn’t revealed to yourself yet, or what you cannot now foresee, will will become apparent as you move forward. You’ll learn more as you move forward, and you’ll be able to adjust along the way, if need be.
So come on – get underway!
What getting underway will give you
All good stuff really – so it’s worth pushing, nudging, cajoling, coaxing or even giving yourself a kick up the backside (if you’re the type :-)) to get underway.
It’ll give you:
1 Your starting signal
Let your first action be symbolic for your change project. And it’ll give you a sense that you’ve pushed out of the starting blocks. That the time of thinking, pondering, preparing is now over, and your life is now changing for real.
2 A sense of excitement
New beginnings naturally bring excitement. So does taking action. It makes us feel that we’re in the flow of life. It builds enthusiasm and energy, which can carry us through the change we want to create, even when the going gets tough.
You’ll start feeling more in control of your life. Even though not everything in life is in our control, you’ll feel that, at least, you’re able to give your life the direction you want. Take charge and do the best you can in order to move there. And be a player and decision-maker in your own life, instead of being buffeted about by it.
Action builds confidence. Non-action feeds doubt. So go on – take that first step. So many of my clients who were nervous about creating change in their life get underway, and come back buoyant, as they experience that they can do the stuff they want. And even when what they do doesn’t turn out as they hoped it would, they feel more confident because they actually tried.
Action and progress are highly motivating to a lot of us. Clearly, we don’t want blind hyper-activity for action’s sake. But the right action for you, taken for the right reasons, as you will now be able to take if you’ve used my 6 Steps to A Life You Love, will have an energising and motivating effect. Take advantage of that!
Once you’re on a roll, the next step, and the next one, will come easier. It’s all a matter of getting started to kick this mechanism into gear. I have worked with many nervous clients who committed themselves to take one small, easy action at first (nothing wrong with that!), only to then come back to me saying, glowingly, that it got them going, and they ended up happily doing lots more than they had thought possible!
So tell me:
What’s your best first step?
I’d love to hear about your journey, so thanks for sharing this in the comments box below!
My next post in this series of posts, 6 Steps to a Life You Love – My Ultimate How To Guide to Changing Your Life, is Step 6: Keep g(r)owing –> coming soon!
Want to review the previous step? Hop back to Step 4: Create a Rough Roadmap
Prefer to remind yourself of all 6 steps in sequence? Check out 6 Steps to a Life You Love: My Ultimate How To Guide to Changing Your Life
If you find it difficult to find your first step, you’re not alone! Why not take away that stress, and get some experienced help?
They are designed to give you space, structure and inspiration, as well as guide you in planning your move into your future. If you’re not up for a longer coaching programme, even a single session, or two over a month, can help you find your starting point, and get underway!
As one of my clients said:
“Sometimes it takes another person, someone who is unbiased,
to help us see what’s right in front of us!” 🙂