So this time it’s for real, right?
That new diet/quitting that job/getting a small business loan/going to art school/breaking up with that hot but useless boyfriend (I’m looking at you, 25-year-old self).
But then something happens and a valid excuse to avoid your new adventure presents itself. And so we don’t do it. That grand, exciting, scary, life-changing thing we were going to do.
Maybe we eat Lean Cuisine at our desks for a few weeks and troll facebook for our next sexual conquest but that’s as far as it gets. How do we make that scary leap from thinking about doing to actually doing?
Now, I cannot claim to be a total expert on this. There are many a thing that I’d like to do/am in the process of doing that may never quite fall under the done heading. Opening an Etsy shop, writing a children’s book and competing in a triathlon to name a few.
However! I do have a decent track record of actually completing a good number of the seemingly ridiculous/improbable things that I set out to do. Here’s what has worked for me:
Write it down, then start mapping your path
We all know that putting pen to paper is one of the best ways to make things happen. But taking it a a bit further helps even more; start compiling the information the will bridge the gap between what’s inside your head and what’s out.
The address of the applications office at the Pratt Institute, sketches of the jewelry you’re going to sell on Etsy, pictures of the jungles in Brazil you plan to hike through. It’ll start to seem more real the more you look into it.
Tell everyone you know about it
So now you’re doing it: the research, the footwork, the wee, exploratory tendrils of progress. And it’s awesome! And you can’t wait to tell everybody about it! And you should. Anybody worth knowing will be excited for you and feed your enthusiasm.
Also: you’ll be a lot less likely to back out of your plan because everyone you know will be asking you about it. How ridiculous will you feel when your BFF inquires about your progress on NaNoWriMo and you get all “Welllll, I got really busy at work and….”? Shame can be a great motivator, yo.
Spend money on it
I don’t know about you, but I am exponentially more likely to complete my goal once I’ve spent money on it. Because then it’s for real, for real.
So buy the giant hiking backpack, the expensive paint brushes, a few pieces for your new work wardrobe. You’ll see them every day and think about the fantastic new life that you’re going to have and make even more steps towards getting there.
Make it irreversible
Go big or go home, right? When you’re really serious about something and you know, in your heart of hearts, that it’s the right choice, don’t allow yourself the luxury of a backup plan.
Buy a one-way, non-refundable ticket, slide your letter of resignation under your boss’s locked door, drop that love letter into one of those impenetrable blue mailboxes. You’ve put yourself at the mercy of fate and you are going to have so much fun!
I’ve really found that one act of doing begets another. Once you’ve published your novella, you know that you are totally capable of moving to Hong Kong on your own. And after you’ve negotiated a lease in Cantonese, you can’t be deterred from starting an import business.
Hiking in Nepal, learning to speak Hindi, touring Paris in four-inch heels – all these things are totally doable, you go-getter, you!
What do you do to help bridge the gap between the exciting plans inside your head and your day-to-day life?