You may have plans and dreams but they sometimes fall short.  Do you want to write a book, lose weight, exercise more, eat better, learn an instrument or pursue your hobby?   It can be difficult to take the first step towards these endeavors.  Here are 10 easy ways to kick start your plans, and reach your goals.

How Do I Begin?

As a business owner and mom, it was difficult to get started on an exercise plan.  I had a ‘Pocketful of Excuses’ that kept me stuck until I found some methods that helped motivate me and keep me going.  Use these tips to get started towards your goals.

1.       Pick ONE thing – Let’s say you want to lose weight.  If you commit to exercising three times a week, drinking more water, cutting out sugar, and counting calories, I guarantee you will fail.  It is important to take it one step at a time.  Realize that it takes 21 days to form a habit.  Do one simple thing and feel success in that.

2.       Start it with a friend – We are social beings.  You will always get to your goals faster if you enlist the help or encouragement of a friend.  Once you determine your goal, find a friend or group that can help you get there.  Start it with your spouse, neighbor or co-worker, join a club or support group, sign up for an on-line community for support. . . the possibilities are endless.

3.       Write it down – You may have heard the Harvard Study about the students who wrote down their goals and earned more money than those who did not.  It is such a simple concept.  Everyone can find a piece of paper and a pencil to get this done.  What is holding you back from writing down your goals?

4.       Plan – When I decided to exercise, I couldn’t just wake up each morning and hope that I had time to get a workout in.  I began to use the calendar.  Along with the children's activities I added ‘1/2 hour walk’.  When I saw this written down as an activity for the next day, I would come up with a plan to get it done..  This is really simple.  You just need to take a few minutes each week to plan the steps you will take for the upcoming week.

5.       Realize you’re worth it – So often we put the needs of others, our work, the daily chores or our pets ahead of our own needs. I believe that you are here for a reason.  Stepping into your worth is the best way to achieve your goals and fully love those around you.  Go ahead and admit that you are valuable and have something to offer the world.

6.       Take the first step – Have you ever dreaded a task and then were fulfilled and happy when it was done?  The first step can be the hardest.  What have you got to lose by avoiding sugar today?  How about spending 10 minutes meditating?  If you just sit down and write that card to your Grandma, will you be glad you did it?  Think about the end result and quit over thinking the first step.  Just do it!

7.       Put the fear aside – One of our biggest motivators is fear.  Do you want fear to determine your life’s journey?  It is important to face what it is you are avoiding by putting off your dreams.  Ask yourself ‘what is the worst that can happen?’  The answers are usually not that bad when you say them out loud.

8.       Dream – What do you dream about becoming or achieving?  Did you have dreams as a child that you think are silly now?  It would be a good idea to revisit them.  Nothing is too big and it is never too late.  Ask yourself how you would spend a perfect day.  I challenge you to write down one big thing you would like to shoot for.  Go on, admit it!

9.       Realize this is a journey – It is easy to become overwhelmed with all that needs to be done to achieve your goal and that can stop you in your tracks.  I like to ask myself the question, 'How do I eat an elephant?  One bite at a time!'

10.   Be inspired by others – We can all be inspired by others.  Listen to their stories, post inspirational sayings on your bathroom mirror, talk to someone who you admire or listen to ‘the experts’.  Once you set a goal in your mind, you will be more aware of others with the same goals.  Use the internet, friends, music, blogs, documentaries, movies, magazines, books or random comments by strangers to inspire you to greatness.

Which of these strategies will you use to get you moving?  I challenge you to pick one of these strategies and do it for 3 weeks because it takes  21 days to form a habit.  After 21 days, you can take the next step.  In a year you will look back  and . . .

be amazed at how far you have come!