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Decades Start with a First Step

Dec 23, 2019

I am a big fan of recapping time to see patterns; remembering how much happened, and to reflect on the phases we go through and evolve from.  We’re often reminded of amazing things that happened and that so much more was accomplished, happened, overcome, lost or created than we originally thought.

What can happen in a decade? For me, my professional roles have been varied - business owner, consultant, in non-profit, small company, big corporation, start-up. Goals have been exceeded and some goals missed. Throughout, I’ve been leading, coaching, growing, and discovering.

We have all done more than we think we have in the last year and decade. The benefit of reflecting is slowing down to see how far we’ve come, what we want to keep doing and what needs to stop to get to where we want to go.

As I think back on the decade, there are some lessons that emerge:

  • Stop pushing, let it go – the right answer will be revealed

  • Time is finite, use it wisely

  • There are such things as 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th chances

  • Meditation works – 5 minutes of quietening the mind can change the outcome of a whole day

  • People tell you who they are – listen

  • If you’re not where you belong, keep moving…

  • Amazing things will happen that you can’t imagine by standing still- take the leap, stop overthinking, take action

We have a clean slate of both a year and a new decade and what we are about to embark on will intrigue us in hindsight, and also bring the excitement of possibility.

Here’s the thing: it all starts with a first step.

A year, a decade – the moments you’re most proud of all have one thing in common. They were all made possible by a first step, a consistent action that you built on. The key is turning that possibility into reality and it requires action. Action starts with a first step and we often try to make that first step so big, it stops us in our tracks.

An example: I was recently coaching a client who has wanted to grow their business for over a year, yet was resisting moving forward. As they explained their goals, we talked about a possible first step that could get them to their goals. We kept breaking it down until they proclaimed, "I can see myself doing that." I could see it on my client’s face - a shift had happened because we had gotten to a first step - not the whole solution but a specific step that would get them on their way. It took about two minutes.

As you carve out time to determine what you want to make happen in the next year or decade, consider these starting steps:

  1. Write down something you’ve been wanting to happen in your life, your business, your career. Notice where you feel resistance. Does it feel daunting? Not sure “how” you will make it happen? It most likely is a goal rather than an action step. If that sounds right, make a list of action steps that could get you to the goal until you find an action step you’re willing to take. Then do it. If it doesn’t feel simple, keep writing until there is one action that you see as “I’m willing to do that”.

  2. If you want to learn more steps and hear how others have made big things happen by starting with one small step, check out The One Thing by Gary Keller in either book or podcast. You’ll find many examples of how individuals and businesses have had greater success in getting to simple action. Remember simple doesn’t mean easy.

  3. Take five minutes and write down what you’ve been grateful for over the last year or decade. Research shows stating gratitude opens the mind to new possibilities and it provides a calming effect to the body. Basically, you can’t go wrong by being grateful.

I’m excited for the 2020s – I hope for more building, creating, connecting, inspiring and being.

What has you most excited and what will you be willing to do now to make your next decade memorable?

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