In my line of work, I often consult and coach with people and organizations who feel stuck and unable to move forward. From my experience, here are four simple – yet powerful – decisions that will help you build momentum and get out of the mud.
Decide to start where you are. In reality, there is no other place to start from. I can’t expect my situation to improve if I am only wishing I was in a different situation. You may not want to be where you are. You may have plans to be somewhere else. To get where you want to go, however, requires starting where you are. If you never start, you’ll never make progress.
If you are not in the job you desire, start learning about it in your spare time. Polish up your resume. If additional education is needed, explore your options. Without doing something to create momentum, it’s unrealistic to expect the dream job to drop in your lap.
Decide to start with what you have. Many people fail to take action because they feel like they don’t have enough time or money to do what they want to do – so they end up doing nothing at all.
I’ve had people tell me, “I’ll be generous when I make more money. Right now, I don’t have anything to spare.” That person will never be generous. Generosity doesn’t click on when we hit a certain income level. Generosity is an attitude. It is a decision. If I am selfish with little, I will most likely be selfish with much. An underlying principle of Jesus is this: a person who can be trusted with little, can be trusted with much.
If you use your current time, talents, and treasures wisely, you will be blessed with greater opportunities in the future.
Decide to start making small changes. Living in Colorado, I am surrounded by mountains that tower over 14,000 feet in height. I’ve been to the top of two – Mt. Evans and Pikes Peak. It’s an incredible feeling to stand on the summit and look around. In 2013, I traveled to Nepal with a group that included our oldest daughter. We were there to work alongside an organization that rescues young kids from sex traffickers. As I was packing my suitcase, I grabbed a t-shirt that shows where the 14’ers are in Colorado. Then I realized I was going to the home of Mt. Everest and decided to leave the t-shirt at home.
Every person who has made it to the top of Mt. Everest did so the same way: one step at a time, placing one foot in front of the other … over and over again. Those seemingly small steps eventually lead to the top of the mountain. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the size of your challenge if the mountain in front of you seems insurmountable, remember that you don’t to make it to the summit in a single day – or with a single step.
Small, consistent changes create momentum and lead to greater accomplishments down the road. Don’t try to do everything at once. Start small and trust the process.
Decide to start today. When is the best time to start on the path to recovery? Now! Now is always the best time to make a good decision, to take positive action, and to move in the direction of your dreams. Today is the only day you are guaranteed. Don’t let procrastination or worry stand in the way of your progress.
Worry will sound false alarms and create mental roadblocks that only exist inside your head. Procrastination is a thief, not a friend. Procrastination will steal your best time and energy, time and energy that could have been devoted to improving your situation, looking for a job, or getting together with a friend.
We often want to make the path forward more complex than it needs to be. By making these four simple – yet powerful – decisions, you will be well on your way to getting unstuck and moving forward.