No matter what your goal, it can feel even more daunting if there isn’t a clearly defined path to get there.
The words, “But, I don’t know where to start!” have thwarted many career and personal objectives alike. If that’s what’s stopping you, try these:
- Begin anywhere! We often trick ourselves into believing there needs to be a clear start, middle and end to a project or goal. While the end might be crystal clear, the first step is often blurry at best. But there isn’t any hard and fast rule that precludes us from starting in the middle. Take a step – any step – and you may be surprised how the rest of the plan unfolds naturally. Clarity comes through action, so don’t wait for a clear path – just dive in!
- Reframe your goal into a LOSS. Humans have a natural aversion to loss, which is much stronger than our attraction to gain. It may sound counter intuitive, but from an evolutionary perspective, it makes complete sense. Avoiding “loss” meant survival, which was the primary objective in the caveman days. So if your aim is to lose 20 lbs in the next 3 months, for each day you don’t take a step toward your goal (e.g., workout or choose better meal options), institute a “loss” that is painful enough to keep you motivated to move forward (e.g., you have to donate $20 to a charity or skip your favorite weekly sitcom). The bitterness of loss is much stronger than the sweetness of gain.
- Engage your latent strength. A saying I love is “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.” When you think about your goal and feel confused about how to approach it, think about this: If you learned that a beloved family member had a fatal virus, but that the cure existed somewhere in the world, there is no doubt that although you had no idea where to begin searching, you would find a way to get the antidote. If you think about your goal in these terms, you’ll quickly realize you have the resourcefulness, savvy and intelligence to get started, even if it feels incredibly ambiguous at the moment.
There are REAL obstacles to reaching your goals, but there are also many fabricated challenges. Don’t let the decoys be what stops you.