Grounded–Thoughts on Big Ideas

IMG_1766As the name of this space may suggest I am a bit of a dreamer. I love to come up with new ideas, theorize and think of the impossible becoming possible. However as a wanderer its easy to get lost in the big idea and lose the details along the way. I will readily admit that a lot of my big ideas got lost because I get so focused on the end result that I forget that all big ideas have to start with the small details.

Luckily I am working my way past that. Nothing gets accomplished if you don’t take the first step. Its great to have the big ideas but they mean nothing if there is no follow through.

So what can you do to keep yourself from getting swallowed by your dreams.

1. Keep yourself grounded.

For me this is really hard. I am impatient. I want the payoff to happen as quickly as possible. My husband on the other hand is far more grounded. He appreciates the big idea but recognizes the small steps it takes to get there. I set big goals for our family and he reminds me to remember the essentials (stability, patience, and planning).

Find someone who can help keep you grounded. Some people call this an accountability partner. I think it should be something more than that. You need someone you can pour your big idea out to and then they will say more than – oh that’s great! You want someone who will ask the hard questions – how will it get done? What steps will you take?

2. Change the goal.

Like most people after the New Year I wanted to focus on getting my body into shape. I could certainly benefit from losing a few pounds (baby weight on top of already being chubby overweight). But I didn’t want to run the risk of getting burnout by watching the scale. So many diets and exercise programs fail because you lose a lot of weight in the beginning but then the pace tapers. Or you get burnt out. So I changed my goal.

Instead of watching my weight I am gauging my fitness feeling. I started with Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. The first day was tough – my legs hurt and don’t get me started on that 2 minute cardio section in the middle. So I made it my goal to get through a full minute of the cardio section without dying. I also paid attention to how my body felt each day. Because it’s everyday it is noticeable when you start to feel stronger and more physically fit.

I can gladly say I can do 1 minute so far, now I’m shooting for 90 seconds.

And instead of getting stuck on watching numbers drop I have palatable results already because I can feel the difference. Losing 1 or 2 pounds isn’t that noticeable when you have a lot to lose, but you can gauge how much stronger you become. This can works for other goals too.

Starting a new business? Instead of focusing on how much money you are or are not making, focus on how many clients you can serve.If you know you want to bring in 10 new clients a month focus on how to get that accomplished.

When you change the defining factor it changes the mindset and can change the stress related to the action.

IMG_03103. Focus on the small steps.

Big goals often have many steps along the way. Break them down. Make each little step your goal. Many people do this when they are trying to get out of debt. The Debt Snowball is successful because you start small and eliminate each debt from smallest to biggest. These little victories keep up your momentum and are encouraging.

The best thing to do is make a plan and then think about the steps along the way. Look at the first step – what precisely needs to be done? Outline that step and start working on it. It sounds like a lot of work and it should be. Despite how quickly we want things done, getting the foundational work out of the way first will ensure success.

Plus it will give you the little victories needed to keep your momentum. Want to sell jewelry online? Fulltime? Challenge yourself to make the inventory first, say 15-20 pieces. Then you can focus on the next task, getting them listed while still building inventory.

4. Change your Why.

This has been the best method for me and I discussed it in my last post. Normally attached to Big Ideas are goals like more money, becoming “someone” or even simply to lose weight. But those aren’t personal enough. Yes everyone needs more money, would like to be well known (or at least remembered for something) and probably most people would say they could lose a little weight, but they don’t go far enough to have real meaning.

Why is that you want to earn more money? Make it as concrete as possible. This could be an object – a new computer, a savings goal or a debt payment but give it actual value. I want to be healthier because my daughter needs me to be has a lot more value than I want to lose weight so I can wear a smaller size.

Big Ideas are great. I love to have them. But when there is no follow through all they are is just thoughts in your head. Its only when we can move past our best laid plans and really focus that the biggest wins can occur.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated and focused? Have you had big plans that didn’t pan out? Or were you able to achieve your end goals? Please share your success and failures (cause it is only through failure that we learn)in the comments.