So, you have your Bliss List, your vision board, and your action plan. Now what?
It's time to take action!
One of the most important steps towards achieving your goals, is actually working towards achieving them. Sounds simple enough, but this is where most people tend to get held back, myself included. There's something about the first step that is difficult to take. It's blank canvas syndrome. It's fear of the unknown. Fear of failure, of making a mistake, of losing something - like control or security, or simply looking foolish. But, it shouldn't come as a shock that it's not enough to have lists and plans and a vision of your potential future, you have to actively and regularly work towards realizing all those hopeful goals you've created. Further still, it's not just about starting, it's about being consistent and continuously putting forth the effort. Getting started is one of the hardest part of any plan, though it goes without saying that it is also the most vital to the success of achieving your goals. There's nothing sadder than the unpainted painting.
So, how do I get started?
You already have! By joining me over the course of the past month and creating a mind set for success through participating in the prior six steps, you've already been taking action! So, bravo to you! Even if you haven't been following me 'til now, but have set goals for this year and the future, that's awesome! Here is where things begin to really start to make headway! Let's create lives of beauty and success together!
Taking action is about creating opportunities for generating the changes you wish to see in your life. So take out your action plan and get started! Be patient with yourself and start with the actions that seem the most natural to you. Below I've written out a few First Step ideas you can take in achieving a few of the most common goals people have around this time of year.
♦♦First Steps to Taking Action♦♦
'Doing More of What You LOVE' Oriented Goals
Nothing compares to standing amongst the pillars of the Roman Forum; to walking the halls of the Getty museum on a sunny Southern Californian afternoon; to taking a cooking class with your best friend; or to pushing a wet paint brush onto a clean canvas. Goals oriented around doing more of what you love are some of the most rewarding, because they enhance your overall quality of life. We all have things that we love to do whether it be cooking, painting, traveling, board games, bike riding, playing or listening to music, reading, or hosting guests in our home; and studies have actually shown that our overall healths and well-beings are improved by doing more of what we love. So, it's time to take the first step.
For the Love of Art: If art is what you fancy, how about taking a recreational art class, getting a museum membership, going to gallery openings, buying yourself new art supplies, or setting up your easel with a blank canvas.
For the Love of Food: If food is your friend, how about taking a recreational cooking class, trying out a new restaurant, or buying a new cookbook or trying a new recipe.
For the Love of Travel: If you have the travel bug, how about starting a travel fund (either in the form of a bank account or simply a jar), spending a weekend being a tourist in your hometown and seeing all the sights, or start planning that trip you've always wanted to go on complete with the budget necessary to make it happen.
For the Love of Relaxation: If you need more relaxation in your life, how about buying yourself some lavender scented candles to light an hour before you go to bed (the aroma will help you to drift off to sleep), booking a spa day, waking up an hour or two early to have a leisurely morning before work, trying meditation, signing up for a yoga class, or taking a break from your devices (phones, computer, tv).
Relationships Oriented Goals
If you'd like a more fulfilling social life or romantic relationship for that matter, you have to get out to where you can meet other people. You can't expect to meet your next best friend or new love interest sitting in the comfort of your living room (even though, with the internet anything is possible these days... though eventually you'll still have to leave that couch you love so well). The best way to take action is to put yourself out into the world and create situations that lend to accomplishing your goals... in this case meeting more and more people.
Some ways this can be accomplished?
Join an interest group - a sports team, church group, book club, yoga class, or the like.
Take a course in something of interest where you can meet like-minded people.
Join a dating site, and actually go out on dates.
Sign up for a site like Meetup.com and meet some new people.
Rekindle an old friendship by contacting an old friend you've lost touch.
Strike up a conversation with a co-worker, classmate, or stranger, and get to know them.
Meet friends of friends and be open to the possibility of expanding your circle.
If you already have these relationships and want to enhance them, you might do this by taking the extra effort to show these people just how much you care. Believe it or not, they might be missing your company as well. So, make the effort to be the type of friend or lover you would like to have yourself, and watch as your relationships begin to improve.
Ways this can be accomplished?
Call a friend or relative just for the sake of calling.
Invite a friend or family member out to lunch.
Show up when you've been invited to do something.
Invite them to do things with you as well - show them that you like having them around.
Give your loved ones small tokens of your affection - surprise them with something they like; like coffee, a cupcake, a card or handwritten note, jewelry, a toy, or simply your time.
Take interests in their interests - join in on their hobbies, read their favorite book or watch their favorite show and talk about it with them.
Hug often, be a positive force in their lives, and keep in touch.
Give them space to be themselves without judgement.
Health Oriented Goals
Living a healthier life and weight loss are two of the most common New Years Resolutions people have each year. The trick to meeting these goals isn't just simply trying to make it happen; you have to set yourself up for success. So, if your goal is to be healthier, lose weight, become more active, or break an unhealthy habit (like smoking, staying up late, snacking out of boredom, etc) you have to create an environment that supports that goal. Depending on your needed level of lifestyle changes in order to meet these goals you might consider employing any of the following first steps.
Ways this can be accomplished?
Throwing out any foods or products that don't fit into your new healthy lifestyle (that means snacks and sodas, cigarettes, heavily processed food, and the like).
Fill your fridge and pantry with nutrient rich foods like fresh lean meats and fish, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, 2% milk and daily products, organic products, olive oil, and simply foods that haven't been heavily process or contain GMOs.
Get a Nutritionist or Dietitian - to help you create a diet specialized to you as an individual.
Start a food journal where you record what you eat throughout the day. There are even phone apps that make this ridiculously easy to do. Sometimes it just helps to see what you are actually putting into your body throughout the day.
When it comes to breaking bad habits it's important not only to stop the negative behavior, but to replace it with a positive one. So if you're use to staying up late in front of the tv at night and have trouble getting to sleep; replace this habit with reading a book in your dimly lit bedroom and you'll be more likely to fall asleep. Additionally, make it fun or interesting for yourself. Change doesn't have to be a traumatizing experience. If you want to exercise more, but aren't a fan of gyms, try something fun like rollerblading at the beach, riding bikes, hiking, or dance lessons.
Other first steps towards achieving your health oriented goals.
Drink water! It's recommended that you should drink half your body weight in ounces. So, if you weight 130lbs, you should be drinking 65 ounces of water per day or apx. 8 cups of water.
Take distractions out of the bedroom. If going to sleep at night is a problem for you remove the things you preoccupy yourself with when you're in there (this means tv, electronics, or whatever else).
Buy a new exercise outfit that makes you feel bad-ass and like you can take on the world.
Join a gym or create an exercise schedule.
Join forces with a friend or loved one with a similar goal for healthy living and hold each other accountable.
I hope these few helpful hints get you started or at least spark something inside of you that helps you to take that first step towards achieving your goals and reaching your dreams. If you're having trouble coming up with a first step towards achieving a goal I didn't talk about, feel free to comment below and I'll help you out!