As a Life Coach, I help people get where they want to go and do what they’ve always dreamed of doing.

Over and over again I've seen people achieve tremendous goals and create enormous change—the kind of progress that tends to make other people say, "Oh, I could never do that!"

My clients leave the jobs they hate and create satisfying new career paths. They lose the weight they are tired of battling. They make significant emotional or geographic moves. They move forward.

And then my clients tell me how they encounter people who look at them with awe and say, "Oh, I could never do that." My clients just smile--because they know the secret (and I’m not talking about the law of attraction). The secret I’m talking about is this: In order to achieve great things, you don’t have to know exactly how you are going to get there in order to get started. In fact, getting hung up on the specifics can freeze up your progress before you ever even get underway.

“Reasonableness” is not the first step. My advice:banish your practical or skeptical thoughts until you've asked yourself the following four powerful questions:

1.What do you really want?

Remember, this is not the time for practicality or thought censorship. Think big. Be specific. DO NOT edit down your goal to something that seems “attainable.” If what you want is a house on the Mexican Riviera, don’t write down a week in a time share. Let your imagination and your dreams soar. Make a list.

Now pick the most enticing item on your list and ask yourself:

2.What would it take to get where you want to go?

Don’t worry about how you would do these things; just list all the steps you think would be involved. Break the steps down as much as you can. Circle the steps you would need help with or would need additional information or support to complete. If the steps seem overwhelming, break them down into smaller steps.

3.Who could help you?

Again, don’t let “reason” be your guide. You can have Oprah on your list right next to your best friend. Write down every resource you can think of and then brainstorm who could help you connect with that person or someone else like them. Don’t just think about the people you know, think about the step that you would need help with. Ask yourself,”Where would someone go to get help with X?”

4.Looking at your answers, what is the first do-able step you could take in the next week that would get you moving in the direction you want to go?
Hint: the first step is usually smaller than you think it “should” be but it will often end up being far more powerful than you anticipated—as long as you commit to taking another step once you’ve completed it. Your first step might be making a phone call, doing some research, making a connection with someone, or even making another list.

With these four steps, you've gotten the ball rolling. Now your job is to keep it in play. Keep moving forward, identifying the next do-able step and taking action. When you hit a stuck spot (you will—we all do), that’s your cue to break the step down further and/or go back to question 3.

Your Challenge: Ask the questions and take the steps. Let me know what you're working on. I'd love to feature your stories in a future article.

Author's Bio: 

Melissa McCreery, PhD, ACC, is a Psychologist, ICF Certified Life Coach, emotional eating expert, and the founder of, a company dedicated to providing smart resources to busy women struggling with food, weight and overwhelm. Find out more and pick up her free audio series: “5 simple steps to move beyond overwhelm with food and life” at

Copyright 2008 - Melissa McCreery, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article as long as you leave all of the links active, do not edit the article in any way, and provide full author credit.