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5 Steps to kick-start your start

By • Feb 28th, 2008 • Category: Uncategorized

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When you see the word ‘START” on a sign somewhere or printed boldly in a magazine, most likely, you ask, “Start what?” Or, when you see it on a board game or computer game, you do what it says, “Start.” Yet when it comes to your life, your ambitions, your dreams, you falter.

Like you, I don’t always act on my thoughts immediately. I mull over the same idea for weeks, months and even years. Over-thinking an idea or a goal I want to accomplish, is my modus operandi. The only defense I can make is that once I’ve explored an idea to near death, I start with the first step and work my way down my to-do list. 

Lately, the question, “How do I start?” has been popping up in my mailbox. So, using the word START, as an acronym, I devised this simple 5-step guide to kick your start into high gear.

 

1. State your goal.

Schedule a brainstorming session with yourself. First write out in detail the idea or goal you are considering. For example, if you want to change careers. Write the new job title, the company you would like to work with, a description of the responsibilities you will have in such a post, and so on. 

If you are considering going into business for yourself, do the same. Choose a business name, list the products and services you will offer, include the location from which you will conduct your business, business hours etc.

You could get lost in the fog of endless possibilities that don’t blend with your personality, qualifications or the deep longing in your heart. It is imperative to know your destination.

2. Track the facts. 

Create a visual paper scale by listing the pros and cons – one column or page for each, depending on the length of your list.

Don’t dismiss any good and positive points, such as no more having to work with loud, discourteous co-workers, time to have breakfast with my children before they leave for school, money to help my parents fix their home, and so on.  Neither bypass the smallest, obvious or perceived negative outcome or effect.  Even if the thing you want to do will necessitate your working or studying more or later initially, put it in.

Once the list is complete, go back and explore the pros and cons further to get an accurate and realistic view of how you perceive they will affect you and your loved ones. 

Then comes the part where you must devise strategies to address the issues on your list. Ask yourself, “Am I emotionally, physically and financially ready and able to handle these positive changes?” And with respect to the cons, ask, “How can I minimize these negative aspects? Do I have the skills and resources to turn them around, cope with them or move on despite them?” 

Obviously such a process may take several sessions. Give it the time it deserves. It’s not a matter of getting it right or perfect, but of getting it done so that you know what you’re about, when you do start.

3. Assemble the game plan.  

Unless your have a plan of action you can easily find yourself drifting aimlessly and wondering what you’re doing with your life.  To keep moving along at a steady pace, gathering the information and skills you need, you must draft a game plan.

Start with the steps you already know. Talk with people who can give more insight and crucial information to include in your plan. For example, where you need to go and who you need to call for information. Check with the bank to find out if you qualify for a loan, where you can purchase supplies, rent tools, etc.

Also, indicate a proposed deadline to complete each task on your list. If along the way, you discover additional steps that are crucial to the outcome you want, include them in your plan. 

4. Recruit your team.

It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and even fearful when you see the list of things you have to do. And, though tempted to quit, don’t. Power up your resolve and fan your passion with books, people and any other form of support that can help you stay focused.

The team of people and other resources you recruit will bolster your determination and buffer you on those days when the work, the distance and the weariness threatens to topple you. Your team will keep you strong, and sane. Even if you have just one person to turn to in those times, consider yourself more fortunate than many. 

5. Tumble your engine. 

Confucius said, “The longest journey begins with the first step. Look at your game plan. Choose the action you will take today. Turn the key, tumble your engine, shift the gear to drive, step on the gas, ease out of the driveway and unto the roadway.

Your goal may be far off but prayer will buoy you up, faith in God will sustain you, your map will provide direction and your team will cheer you on. With support like that you can look forward to arriving at your destination. 

Identify the first step you need to take. START!

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