Starting something new can definitely be simpler in principle than in practice. The intention to try a new idea or interest can so easily remain as just that – intention, and not manifest into anything further. Without a plan of action, these intentions become buried in the day-to-day tasks that consume our time and attention.
However, you can change this pattern. Having an idea or concept is a great start, but the next step is not success – there are stepping stones in between that lead you there. Essentially, the recipe for achieving anything we set out to can be narrowed down to three simple steps:
- Taking the first step
- Remaining consistent
It may seem to be stating the obvious, but it can be all too easy to fall short on any one of these steps. Once you put it into perspective and take away any complicating factors and expectations that may be hindering your progress, it all of a sudden seems much more manageable to undertake.
In this journal entry, we share our guide to starting something new and setting yourself up for success.
Why it can be difficult to start something new
Fear is our greatest hurdle when it comes to approaching something new. Firstly, fear of failure. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory will most likely feel daunting at first. It’s common to feel afraid of looking silly or incompetent, especially when joining people who are more experienced.
Secondly, fear of the unknown. You will face challenges that you will have to learn to navigate along the way, and some will be easier to overcome than others.
Why it’s important
Growth. Self-improvement. Evolution.
Testing ourselves and stimulating new regions of our mind and our body takes us a step closer to fulfilling our potential. Without this, we remain stagnant and can become trapped in the monotonous cycle of daily life. Starting something new helps boost our self-esteem through a sense of accomplishment, broadens our perspective and opens us up to new opportunities – allowing us to harness the most of what life has to offer.
How to get started
- Accept the journey
You are not going to master your new skill or hobby overnight. Know this, and be okay with that. Know that you are going to feel vulnerable at first and perhaps uncomfortable at times, and recognise that this is all part of the journey towards greatness, and those before you felt the exact same way! Accept the challenges rather than dread them, and ask for help when you need it. Managing your mindset and expectations will help prevent you from being discouraged by failure.
- Break it down
Create a checklist of what you need to do to accomplish your goal. Saying you want to learn how to play the guitar is a good start but without guidance on how to do so, your motivation will dwindle. Perhaps the first steps are to source the instrument, find a teacher, learn the strings. These steps are not difficult to accomplish, but the feeling of accomplishment that you feel once you do will help keep you inspired to keep pushing forward.
- Do something today
Once you’ve written a list, don’t put it off. Pick three things that you can do today and tick them off. The starting point can be the biggest hurdle to overcome but once you do, the rest doesn’t seem so overwhelming.
- Share your new endeavour with others
Sharing your goals with your friends and family helps keep you accountable. It’s normal to feel apprehensive about their expectations or criticism, but more often than not these worries are just your mind playing tricks on you, giving you an excuse to reside in the safety of your comfort zone. You don’t have to wait until you’ve mastered your idea – get chatting now!
- Forgive your mistakes along the way
Starting something new isn’t always smooth sailing, and it’s not meant to be. You will make mistakes, plateau at times, and feel like you’re moving one step backwards instead of forwards. But don’t let this derail your path to success. Forgive yourself, appreciate what you’ve done so far, and push forward.
- Remember why you began
Our mindset is a powerful influencer of success, and you can choose how you frame your perception. It can be easy to slip into the idea that pursuing your new goal is a chore, which will only feed any temptation to procrastinate. Instead, reflect on why you wanted to start in the first place – for enjoyment? To improve your health or broaden your skill set? To help others? Whatever your reason, write it down and absorb it – this will help shift your attitude, and foster your desire to remain consistent.
Starting something new can feel overwhelming, especially when success feels out of sight when starting at square one. However, these simple steps to shift your mindset and make a plan of action may be the difference between making your intentions a reality or having them stay trapped in that little voice inside your head. Don’t start ‘one day’ – start today. Once you do, you will set yourself on a path to achieve a greater sense of fulfilment, satisfaction and purpose.
If you would like further guidance aligning your lifestyle with your goals and instilling positive rituals to achieve success, our retreat experience is designed to help you achieve long-lasting balance to fulfil the best version of you. Click here to learn more about our personalised experience.