A lot of us are looking to make a great change in the world. I can appreciate that. It is my own desire to be a best-selling author who positively impacts the lives of millions. In our urgency to create drastic change, we must keep in mind that every journey starts with that first step. We look forward to the end result we are pursuing, but seldom take a hard look at those first steps. Life seldom creates change all at once. The odds I am going to wake up as a best-selling author tomorrow are fairly slim. (Oprah, you know the number. Feel free to call.)
My work as a life coach reminds me often of how to accomplish large goals. In life coaching, we take a look at where someone wants to go first. Let us take the example of wanting to be a best-selling author who positively impacts millions. Good goal. Next, we take a look at where that person is. In this case, a local author working diligently on his fourth book. Then we work backwards to develop a list of smaller goals to bridge the gap from where that person is to where they want to go. When you work backwards like this, you can begin to see the value in the smaller steps you must take.
In the case of me becoming a best-selling author, I need to take some steps to get there. One of the first steps was to write a book. That sounds like an obvious first step. What we need to do is drill down even further. We need to write the first chapter, the first line, the first word. Even before we write anything we need to consolidate our ideas and research and organize them. After we write, we must decide what route to go for publishing. Even after the book is in our hands, we need to discover the best way to get it into everyone else’s hands. If we focused on how to get our book to the masses before we even write it, that would not be very productive.
Whatever goal you are currently chasing, try using the same process we just outlined. Get clear what the goal you are working to accomplish is. Next, discover honestly where you are currently. This is a step many people struggle with. Think of a map. If you have a place you would like to get to, but you do not know where you are, how would you even know what direction to travel in? Next, break down that journey into smaller and smaller steps. The more steps you have, the more likely you are to continue to make progress. Once you begin to make progress, then you gain momentum. That will keep you going. Before long your goal will be in sight. Take that first small step. You never know where it may lead.