Take The First Step

I see and hear people on almost a daily basis talk about or post on social media about changes they want to make in their life. I can relate to this, because I have done the same more times than I could ever count. They’re suddenly a changed person and they are changing their lifestyle. It’s all focused on some kind of desired end result. There’s never any mention of the process that will lead to the result, it’s just, “This is what I’m going to do. I’m a changed person.”

What I have learned over the past few years and what I hope others will learn is that you don’t change your whole life suddenly. You make small changes over time that add up to overall lifestyle changes. The things you do consistently on a daily basis over a lengthy period of time become your lifestyle. If you suddenly wake up one morning and decide to be a completely different person, then that will probably last a day, or maybe a few days.

I have known this for years, but have struggled with reminding myself of this. I started a few weeks ago to remind myself of how to properly get back on track, and I hope this helps others as well… don’t focus on the end result, focus on the first step. The hardest part of any routine is getting started. You won’t become a new person overnight. If you set a goal for yourself and take one step in the right direction, then take the next step and the next step, you will be much better off. Don’t try to do 100 things at once. Don’t skip steps. Set a goal for yourself, decide on the path that is best for you to achieve that goal, and focus on one step of the journey at a time.

For several reasons, I stopped playing golf when I started teaching the game. I needed a break, but that break kept dragging on. I eventually started to realize that, in order to become a better teacher, I need to start playing again. Not only that, to get myself in better shape, physically and mentally, I needed to start playing again. I finally took the first step toward what I needed to do. The result led me to the next step. I have continued to expand from there.

No matter what your goals are in life, or what you want to accomplish, you can’t get on the right track if you don’t take that first step. Set goals for yourself. I have written in the past about celebrating minor victories. You need to set smaller goals for yourself along the way to achieving your ultimate goals. Achieving these smaller goals will let you know that you are heading in the right direction. Celebrating these smaller goals will allow you to briefly enjoy a small taste of the satisfaction you will feel from accomplishing your ultimate goals.

Don’t get ahead of yourself. Don’t overwhelm yourself. You can accomplish anything you want in life, but you need to remember to take things one step at a time. The greatest accomplishments in the history of our world were achieved by going through a process. Every process begins with a single step in the right direction. Simplify your life. Make a plan for yourself, trust in the process, and take the first step.

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