Get started on your goal now!

Sometimes clients tell me that they’re going to address a goal such as being happy, getting on with a job, or making a change at some time in the future. That time may be “when I get a boyfriend”, or “when I turn 40”, or “when I finish my degree”.

I ask my clients to think about this: There is no reason why they shouldn’t start addressing that goal right now. It’s actually not possible to put our lives on hold until some time in the future – we have no choice but to live our lives every moment of every day. As we breathe and think and feel and go about our business, we are living our lives. Once we start to focus on what we’re doing on a daily (and even momentary) basis, we are freed up from the restrictions of putting things off or waiting until the stars align or everything is in place before we get started on our goals.

Most goals can be broken down into smaller parts called subgoals. Once the goal is broken down into subgoals, we can make a plan for the future that gives us the step by step instructions that lead to goal achievement. Once we have this set of instructions, we find that we can start with something today.

One of my clients said that she wanted to start a small business, but didn’t think that she had the time or the expertise to do it. She thought that she should wait until her two-year old son was at school (to give her the time to run the business) and she thought that she should do a small business course (to give her the expertise to run the business). These two thoughts were based on the assumptions that she needed a particular amount of time and a particular amount of expertise to run a business. What she hadn’t considered was that no business will run successfully without good preparation, and that the preparation time doesn’t require the time commitment that an up-and-running business does. In addition, the preparation time could be done at times that suited her.

Once we talked about it, we could see that she needed only a small amount of time and expertise to get started on some of the subgoals, such as background research. She built up a set of instructions for herself within the framework of her goal, all drawn out on a large piece of paper, and was able to get started on building up her knowledge about what range of services she would provide, how big the market was for those services; who her competition was; whether she could compete with the prices in the market, how she might advertise her services, and so on.

Within a year she had a business plan – a clearly laid out set of instructions about how, and in what timeframes, she would proceed. Her son was enrolled in kindergarten by this time, and with some child-care sharing with friends and her partner, she was able to open her business. She realised that she knew far more than she thought about running a business, having worked in administration for some years. So she didn’t need to do a business course, but she linked in with a small business mentoring scheme for support. Not only did she get started on her goal three years earlier than she thought she could, once she got started, she had far more in the way of time or expertise than she had realised.

So, think about your goals, and start thinking about how you could get started on them today.


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