You Never Started…

May 30, 2012

Michael and I sometimes get so excited about our lives and the direction we are now going we can hardly contain ourselves. We have brainstorming sessions were we talk about many, many ideas we want to implement.

photo by RAETHIER


We start saying things like, “Oh, and we need to do this or we should do that or we should start this…”

Sometimes we start our sessions so excited and by the end we feel completely ย discouraged because of time limitations for the amount of things we want to do. This totally defeats the purpose of the brainstorming session!

Anyway, when this happens, one of us steps back, takes a deep breath and reminds the other person that we just need to start with small steps. Action leads to more action and one step towards a goal is one more step than if we hadn’t taken one at all!

Therefore, we focus on making small, constant progress towards our dreams and goals.

I hear some people say they don’t know where to start and therefore they end up never starting at all. They think and talk about dreams/goals but never take action on pursuing them. A plan is never put in place to reach the goal or dream. “But,” they say, “it will happen when the time is right.”

That is like dreaming about eating brownies for desert but never making them, and then beingย disappointed when you dish the vanilla ice cream because there are no brownies to go with it!

Your goals and dreams will never be reached if you don’t implement a plan to reach them. If you don’t start, you can’t finish. Most people get to the end of their lives and realize they never even started.

Ideas don’t need to be implemented overnight. They can be thoughtfully laid out and then followed through step by step. Even the tiniest bit of progress is progress.

If a car moves forward one inch, that is still forward progress, right?

We have found constant incremental progress towards a goal is extremely fulfilling. Progress, action, and forward momentum all inspire more of the same.

So, that is my proverbial, “get off your butt and do something” speech. You will feel amazing just moving forward and acting on something. Oh, and if action leads to more action, who knows where you could end up!

“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration” – Thomas Edison

Question: Do you ever struggle with the question, “Where do I start?” What are you doing to overcome in-action?

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  • Reply Joe Lalonde May 30, 2012 at 6:26 am

    I struggle with that question often. With starting the blog, creating a business, figuring out where to go in life.

    And yet the answer is simple. It’s all about getting up and getting started. Eventually something will happen as long as you or I have started.

    • Reply Michael Good May 30, 2012 at 7:05 am

      Agreed, Joe! Action breeds ideas.

      As you get going, you can see the next step. It’s good to have long-range goals, but the steps to get there will only be revealed one at a time along the way.

  • Reply Alana Mokma May 30, 2012 at 6:50 am

    Josh and I can relate to how these brainstorming sessions end up going as well. In the same session we can get really excited about what the future holds and then become discouraged because we have dreamed too many big dreams.

    Can you provide an example of a dream or goal that you have come up with and then perhaps a few baby steps you are taking to get there? I am curious what this looks like for you and Michael.

    • Reply Claudia Good May 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      Great questions!
      So, let’s take our goal of Michael quitting his job and starting his own business.

      – we first decided that he was going to quit and then gave ourselves a deadline for when he was going to quit. Indecision and inactivity had always our biggest barriers in moving forward – for us they stemmed from fear… Now that I see the momentum that is gained with just moving forward on something I am hungry for more ๐Ÿ™‚

      – we wrote the deadline in big bold letters on our idea board so we saw it every day.

      – we then brainstormed about what he was going to do to get out (how he was going to make money) we only came up with the idea for his present business after we set the goal to quit his job, we found that interesting! It was like we could only think creatively after the decision was made

      – We then broke down the idea – wrote down all that we would need to do to get there and gave each a deadline for when each item needed to be done by

      – Each month we evaluate our finances and see where the plan needs to be adjusted to keep us on track

      – For a while we would post our monthly goals on our idea board… as I write this I realize that it proved extremely productive for us and I’m going to start doing it again ๐Ÿ™‚

      I guess basically we chose to decide, implement a plan of action, break it down and take action.

      I don’t think you can ever dream too many big dreams! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I think it is the fear of the unknown that holds us back and makes us believe they are too big or unattainable! Dream away Josh and Alana!!!

      Really excited to see where you guys head from here and what adventures you pursue!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Donna Yates May 30, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Great reminder! Sometimes the big picture seems like it’s too far away and discouragment sets in. Taking those baby steps helps. I’m still stuggling with patience to wait for some things that have to happen before I can take that giant step forward, i.e. selling of my house!

    • Reply Claudia Good May 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      That would take A LOT of patience!!
      Have you connected with Ryan Ash at all on here? Him and his wife were just going through the same process!

    • Reply Donna Yates May 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm

      No but I will. Thanks.

  • Reply James Dibben May 30, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I need to figure something out.

    My writing has completely stagnated on my blog. The last year has brought so many changes in my life. My current blog branding just doesn’t give me a solid direction for writing.

    It is time to re brand and I’m stumped!

    • Reply Claudia Good May 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm

      Congrats on realizing what isn’t working! That is definitely a good place to be… to look on the bright side ๐Ÿ˜‰

      What was your previous blog about and what are some ideas for a new one?

      • Reply James Dibben May 31, 2012 at 11:58 am

        Claudia, thanks for asking (you may wish you hadn’t, lol)!

        My blog was originally Blue Collar Coaching. Justin helped me get started. I even had a podcast and made it up to 54 episodes and well over 60k downloads.

        I had to move on and went back to college. Now I’m a 3/4 time nursing student.

        My wife and I have been through A LOT.

        Adoption x2 (one was taken away and then returned)
        Natural birth x2 (4 daughters total)
        Failed business after 7 years
        Lost $300k dream house to short sale
        35k IRS debt
        Total financial collapse

        If you are familiar with “The Five Love Languages” then you will understand when I say my language is “Words of Encouragement”.

        I get my most energy from encouraging others, and when I write motivational stuff my comments go up.

        My current tag line is “Faith, without hard work, is dead” but I feel that does not provide clear enough direction for myself or my readers.

        I’m trying to avoid a whole web address changes. Here are some ideas.

        “Believe Again” “Stories and observations that bring you hope and encouragement”
        “Believe Again” “Telling stories that encourage you to never give up”

        I am also getting ready to start a new series titled “Letters to my daughters” that seems to have some interest.

        Thanks for allowing me to hash this out a little in these comments. It has helped me get some ideas down on ‘paper’.

        • Reply James Dibben May 31, 2012 at 12:52 pm

          “Encouraging you to work hard at your faith”
          “Encouraging you to work hard on your faith”

          • Claudia Good June 2, 2012 at 9:22 am

            Wow. Wow. you two have been through some stressful times together – to say the least! I think you have a host of experience to tap from for a blog thats for sure!
            You have 2 sets of twins??? Or 4 daughters total?

            I really like where you are going with your tagline… and I think it is also commendable that you are going with your gut and still hashing through what it should look like.

            So, have you been looking back over your past blog and figuring out what seemed to get the most response from people? That is a great idea for how to move forward…
            I think there are a whole host of people out there that would feed off of a blog that helps them “Believe Again.” Stories are powerful and you have some powerful stories to tell!

            I always just write down everything that flies through my head and then am able to settle on something once I get all my ideas out! They always need to come out first so that I can think clearly ๐Ÿ™‚

            Let us know what you end up coming up with!!

          • James Dibben June 3, 2012 at 1:32 pm

            No twins but at one time we did have 4 daughters 5 and under. My poor wife! She didn’t sleep for about 3 years.

            I think I figured it out this morning a church.

            “Believe Again”
            “Encouraging men to never give up.”

            I hope to start a small group with the same focus.

          • Claudia Good June 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm

            I am groaning at the thought…

            Sweet!!!!! I love it! I think you hit upon something that is VERY needed and will be a wonderful recourse for many! Really, I am pumped for you because this is a HUGE area where encouragement is sooooo needed! So many men had a dream or a drive but bumps in the road along the way derailed them.

            This is going to be a powerful, powerful message! Who knows what could happen!

            Keep us posted and share what you are doing! Seriously.

          • James Dibben June 5, 2012 at 12:11 pm

            You asked for it!

            http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10693693/ManDurance.jpg (domain already purchased)

            “Encouraging men to run the race set before them”

            The tag line is still subject to change.

          • Michael Good June 5, 2012 at 1:18 pm

            This is sweet James! Great play on words.

          • Claudia Good June 6, 2012 at 9:34 am

            hahaha! That sir is awesome!! Love it.

          • Ryan Ash June 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm

            I like it, James! Seems like you’re fairly new here…James, meet Michael & Claudia…Michael & Claudia…the most awesome blue collar coach…James. ๐Ÿ™‚ There…

          • James Dibben June 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm

            Lol, thanks Ryan! I’m glad I finally figured out where you have been hanging out!

          • Ryan Ash June 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

            Lol! I promise I wasn’t hiding from you. I’ll be more around more soon, Lord willing.

  • Reply Ann Musico May 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    I love this, Claudia – I agree – even taking the tiniest step in the right direction gets momentum going! When I work with clients I call it taking “baby steps” and they are extremely effective and powerful. That’s the only thing that will help me to overcome inaction – taking a step – any step as long as it’s in the right direction – make a phone call – email someone, research an answer to a question – something and it always leads to the next step.

    • Reply Donna Yates May 30, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks Ann. Baby Steps are so important.


    • Reply Claudia Good May 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Totally found this to be true Ann!!!
      Just MOVE… take a step, you’ll figure it out as you go!!

      Awesome advice and my baby just started taking some assisted steps so it is a great visual for me right now ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Michael Wright June 4, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I don’t struggle with where to Start, per se. I can get a book, search the internet, take real action steps and get going – then run into the roadblocks along the way and the idea can fizzle out. Then I Start on another idea. See the trend? I can get totally absorbed into the middle zone of the daily, small unappealing steps that focus is lost. For those things I do stick with, I have to continually remind myself of the WHY. Why am I doing this or that? And the Why has to really resonate for me to continue. Oh – and a coach or accountability partner helps too!

    • Reply Claudia Good June 4, 2012 at 8:50 pm

      I can relate to what you said here Michael. I have the same tendencies probably because we have so many great ideas… there just isn’t the time to start them all ๐Ÿ˜‰ Need to hire someone to take our ideas and run with them!

      Yes, accountability is huge – you are totally right!

  • Reply Ryan Ash June 15, 2012 at 12:17 am

    I almost have the opposite problem. I tend to get a little idea and to just want to jump without getting any more ideas or planning any. Then I just make up a plan as I go along. Obviously not the best approach. I’m working on this, and it’s probably going to take some intervention from some good friends such as you two to keep me directed and to stop a little more to plan in the future. Maybe I can help get you all started, and you can help me plan. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply Claudia Good June 15, 2012 at 11:00 am

      haha… that sounds like a great idea… now, where do we start? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Reply Ryan Ash June 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm

        Let’s talk about it when we’re together. Maybe we can come up with something.

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