When it comes to achieving our goals, a good place to focus is on our thoughts and feelings about that dream or goal. We need to think about things like:

• Why do we want to achieve this goal?
• Have we thought through a plan of action on how we’ll get there?
• And do we believe we can actually accomplish this goal?

These are all great questions that we need to be willing to ask and answer. So, it seems logical that what we think…or don’t…are the biggest obstacles we face in moving forward toward accomplishing a goal or dream. However, that’s not necessarily the whole truth.

I talk a lot about how people think and the role positive thinking plays in our lives. Yet, when it comes to what we most often do to get in our own way, it’s not really our thinking that affects whether or not we achieve a goal. It’s whether or not we take action.

Certainly, our decision to take action or not does come back to what we think – or more accurately - how we talk to ourselves. For example, if we’re talking ourselves out of it; if we’re running ourselves down; if we’re saying to ourselves how our ideas just don’t make any sense or they’re foolish...we’re less likely to take action. On the other hand, if we’re telling ourselves our idea is really great and we’ll just see what’s possible…taking action is easier and more possible. And, once we take that first step, it’s easier to keep taking steps and moving forward. When we’re talking positively to ourselves, we tend to focus on what’s working. And, when something isn’t quite working we can focus on how to change that. We’re more likely to not give up but instead say, “I may not have all the answers right now but I can find a solutions.”

So in one way it does come back to how we think. Like a car needs fuel before it can go anywhere, our thoughts are the fuel we need to take the next step…and the next step. But results come down to action. Even a fueled up car needs to leave the driveway in order to get anywhere. Action is what determines whether or not we accomplish what we set out to do.

And, when it comes to taking those steps, remember…no step you take is too big or too small. Many large goals are started with baby steps. I wrote my first book when my son was in kindergarten, my daughter was in preschool, my husband was starting a new business and I was working a corporate job. Needless to say, I was a just a little busy in my life at that point in time. But, I wanted to write a book, and it meant enough to me to get it done in any way possible. I took all the steps I talk about with others. I constantly envisioned it being done. I surrounded myself with positive, supportive people who told me I could do it. And then, I literally wrote my book in 10-minutes a day - because that’s all the time I had! I took 10-minutes whenever I could: breaks at work, during lunch, waiting for an appointment. I even started carrying around a little notebook in my purse so if I had an idea at a stop sign I could write it down immediately. I wrote an entire book that way. Of course, it took much longer than I thought it would, but I did it.

So it’s not so much about how big or small the step is, it’s whether or not you take them and then continue taking them consistently. And, if you do stop or you do get stuck, that you’re willing to come back and do it again anyway. That you’re willing to look for and find the solution you need will make all the difference in the end.

Let me tell you a little secret about my little 10-minute steps. Along the way I noticed that the more often I took those 10-minutes, the more often I found additional time later. If I spent a week doing the 10-minutes at a time thing and on the weekend my husband decided to take the kids for a walk or something, I would be prepared to make the most out of that unexpected hour. If I hadn’t been doing the 10 minutes at a time consistently however, I would spend most of that hour block of time trying to figure out what I wanted to work on rather than already being prepared. It also became somewhat of a game…well I have these 10 minutes, where can I find the next 10 minutes?

Once I got started, I began to see additional opportunities I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise too. Feeling how much I really wanted to work on my book lead me to sit down and really become aware of my priorities. I realized watching TV in the evening didn’t mean as much as to me as I thought it did – or maybe it just didn’t mean as much to me as writing my book did. Either way, I started cutting back on my TV watching, giving myself even more time to work on my book. Moving through the process I was able to find time that I didn’t know I had and make choices that supported my goal. If I had waited until I ‘had the time’ to write, I would have never gotten there at all. Remember that just getting started anywhere leads to additional opportunities.

So, what’s the bottom line? Set your goal and envision your dream. Think about how and why you want do this. Get positive people to support you. Then, take a step - even the smallest step – to get started. Every time you take a small step you’re encouraging yourself, believing in yourself and making it easier to take the next step…and the one after that. Before you know it you’ll have reached your goal. You might be asking yourself about some good first actions to take. Here are a few examples:

• Want to write a book? Spend 10 minutes jotting down ideas.
• Want to lose 25 pounds? Walk around the block or skip one dessert.
• Want to earn another degree? Get online and explore various schools’ websites for 10 minutes.
• Want to change careers? Take an aptitude or passion test.

But, remember it doesn’t matter WHAT the first step is, it just matters that you TAKE A STEP.

Author's Bio: 

Lori Anne is an inspirational author, as well as a collaborative writer and life coach for the next generation of thought leaders who’re ready to transform even more lives. She’s the author of Who Am I? How to Answer the Single Most Important Question You’ll Ever ask, a self-coaching book, meditation guide and journal. She was the expert behind the Rediscover Yourself MAP™ program with Compass Coaching, and has published numerous articles. Get started with her FREE video series, Top 5 Secrets to Successfully Change Your Life, by visiting her website at www.LoritheChangeAgent.com.