photo-1461896836934-ffe607ba8211Most of us know what we need to do.

Eat better.

Exercise regularly.

Reduce stress.

Cultivate relationships.

Get more sleep.

Save for retirement.

Etc, etc, etc.

Knowledge isn’t the problem. It’s actually doing it that never seems to happen. The biggest thing holding people back in any area of their life they want to improve is not getting started.

Something funny happens when you take that first step towards a goal. The next step looks much closer and easier to take. You start to build momentum. Before long, working towards your goal is just part of your normal life and eventually you reach it.

I’m sure nothing I’ve written so far is a surprise either, so why don’t we actually start?

My favorite place to put the blame is on our nature. That way, I never have to take responsibility for it. All of us have a tendency to look at all the work that’s required to reach our goal and turn it into this insurmountable obstacle. It’s in our nature to look at the big picture and try and wrap our minds about everything that’s required. That’s an excellent quality and has led to the modern lifestyle we all have, but it allows us to be overwhelmed when we are working on our personal goals.

When we focus on everything that needs to get done, we get overwhelmed and never take that first step.

We know we don’t have time or energy to get everything done, so we tell ourselves it’s no use starting.

The fix for this problem is very simple, but rarely easy.

All you need to do is focus on the ONEĀ thing you need to do next. Don’t worry about anything beyond that ONE thing. Maybe it’s making a phone call, packing your gym bag, or making a shopping list for the next meal. Find one thing you can do in 10 minutes or less and do it. Now you’ve started. Now you’re building momentum. DON’T STOP.

Focusing on all of our goals at once is another reason we never get started. We tell ourselves it’s no use unless we can eat the perfect diet, AND workout 6 days per week, AND spend time with our family, AND… This is just a lie too. Perfection in all areas has never been required for progress in any area. Focus on ONE goal. The most important one to you right now. Start on that and only that. In time, your current goal is be part of your normal life and you’ll have extra energy to work on something else. You can get them all done. Just not all at once.

I’m always amazed at how fast and how dramatically people can change their lives. In just a few months all of us can completely transform ourselves into something better. Whether it’s finally getting into shape or becoming the employee we wish we were, the only thing standing in our way is our own actions. Getting started on those actions is the hardest and most important step. After that, it’s smooth sailing.

I know you have some goal or action you’ve been putting off for way too long. Start on it today. Find that first step and take action. Don’t worry about any of the other goals you have. Just focus on starting on that single thing.