‘Take that 1st step’, they say. But how do you take a step when you don’t even know what the 1st step should be? How do you find the time and energy to make a change when you feel completely out of time and energy? You complete 1 sentence.
I wrote my sentence 13 years ago…
My oldest daughter was born on July 13th and by the time I arrived home from the hospital, I knew everything in my life was going to change. It was then that I committed. I realized that
1. it would be hypocritical to encourage her to always follow her dreams if I wasn’t.
2. the only way to truly teach her to respect and nourish her body was to show her by example. It wouldn’t be enough to just say the words.
3. I wanted to act like the woman I hoped that she would one day become. Someone who cared, inspired, and supported others.
I was in a career that did not inspire me and that didn’t always bring out the best in me. I was being driven by things that were superficial and that in the end didn’t really matter. I was over-stressed, and my health was suffering. Constant stomach issues, increasing anxiety, sporadic eating patterns, inconsistent workouts…it was not a good path.
So, I jumped – I resigned from the Wall St life and started towards my degree in Nutrition. With a newborn, husband, house…and eventually twin daughters, it was a long journey. But it was worth it! I LOVE WHAT I DO!
If you have a dream – follow it! Take that 1st step. You don’t have to sprint it. But believe me – once you start moving, once you realize what can truly be, YOU WILL BE SO HAPPY YOU STARTED!
Are you thinking that sounds all well-and-good but wondering how? The answer comes from completing 1 sentence over and over again until you say,
“I can do that!” Here it is:
To (insert goal), I have to (insert task).
Let me take you through an example. I was working with a very busy pharmaceutical professional and mother of 2 whose husband also worked long hours. One of her goals started out as: ‘I need to eat less takeout.’ Great, but also very broad. So, we started working through her sentence:
• To eat less takeout, I have to make dinner 5 days a week.
• To make dinner 5 days a week, I have to prep meals.
• To prep meals, I have to have food in the house.
We did this until we came up with: To know what I need to buy (for the following week), I have to plan 3 meals and 2 leftover meals by bedtime Friday and update my shopping app with ingredients needed as I decide on the meal. This gave her a specific doable task that she could work on as time allowed but that also had a definitive deadline. After a few weeks, she had a list of meals to choose from, a plan to schedule prep times each week, and she no longer felt overwhelmed by the prospect of cooking. GOAL ACHIEVED!
Dream big! Envision the FUTURE YOU. Then work backward until you come up with 1 step you can do RIGHT NOW that will help get you there.
13 years ago, my first step was researching nutrition programs while on maternity leave. I focused on each step rather than overwhelm myself with the exciting, yet terrifying idea of an eventual private practice. I got there though! The journey had its bumps and sometimes felt like it was taking longer than it should. The dream continues to evolve and I continue to complete my sentence.
What is your sentence?
Stuck on where to begin? Looking for a little guidance?