Do you want to start something new? Are you still procrastinating on your New Year’s resolution because you don’t know where to begin? Whether it’s a new fitness routine or a new career, diving into a new project or venture doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s how you can effectively get that special thing going in only two simple steps.
Step 1: Analyze Your Current Situation
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made was starting something without properly analyzing where my current situation. I’ve tried to start an online boutique with no funds to purchase merchandise. I’ve tried to start a new health routine with no healthy food in the fridge and no gym membership. Before diving into something new, get real about where you are right at this moment:
Analyze Your Financial State
Are you trying to do something that requires start-up funds? If so, do you have a way to access the kind of capital you need? Create a plan to find, borrow, raise, or steal (just kidding) those funds so you have ample amount of financial backing for your project that doesn’t take away from the finances you have set aside for other important aspects of your life, such as rent and bills.
Analyze Your Schedule
Don’t spread yourself too thin. What does your current schedule look like right now? Which hours, days, or weeks can you allocate specifically to this new venture? If you’re starting a new podcast, do you have one afternoon a week to set aside for recording and editing? If you’re starting a new fitness routine, can you wake up an hour earlier to get in that new workout? Define your schedule and figure out how you will fit your new ‘thing’ into it.
Analyze Your Mental State
It’s usually not a good idea to start something new when you already have too much on your plate mentally. Ask yourself, “Is this necessary right now?” Sometimes it’s okay to put things on hold until you get yourself together, especially when they’ll require a lot of mental and emotional bandwidth, such as starting a new business, starting a new career, or any other life-changing decision. Before starting something new, make sure you have the mental capacity to do it fully and effectively.
Step 2: Plan Your Course of Action
Your planning process is critical to the success of your new venture. It’s where you define HOW you’re going to make whatever you’re trying to make happen, actually happen. Get out your planner, notebook, iPhone, iPad, laptop, and/or whatever else you need to get all your thoughts and plans out of your head and onto to something tangible:
Do A Brain Dump
Whenever I’m planning something, I like to get every thought and idea out of my brain and onto paper. It clears my head and helps me focus on the important matter at hand — making my official plan of action. Dump all the random ideas floating around your brain. Some may guide your plan, while others just need to be crossed out. Get them all out of your head, and then decipher which ideas are good and which aren’t.
Write Out Your Goals
You can’t create an effective plan without first setting goals. It doesn’t matter if you’re starting a business or starting a new hair routine; you need a specific list of goals to stick by. Your goals are your ultimate reference points to keep you on track throughout your planning and execution phases. While they should be challenging enough to make you work, they should still be realistic.
Determine Your Strategy
What are you going to do to reach your goal? If you’re starting a blog and your goal is to launch in one month, what steps are needed to make that happen? Sketching your design? Writing content? Buying a domain? If you’re planning to start a new diet plan, your strategy might include making a grocery list, going to the grocery store, and meal prepping. These are all steps that make up the overall strategy to reach your goal.
Choose Your Start Date
Don’t get stuck in the planning stage. That’s where most great ideas die. Pick a deadline for your planning phase to end, and set a launch or start date for when you will actually execute that plan. It’s true that life happens, and sometimes your start date may get delayed for unforeseen reasons. However, setting a general start date (or in some cases, an end deadline) will hold you accountable for following through on your plans.
The steps to starting something new are simple: analyze your current situation, create your plan of action, and then execute that plan. Often many of our projects, resolutions, and ventures fail simply because of poor planning or lack of execution. Take advantage of this quarter one energy, and use these simple steps to finally start whatever you’ve been itching to do.