Here I’ve been ranting and raving about baby steps, about how they have been tremendously helpful on my journey, I never realized that the concept may not necessarily be obvious to all my readers. So today I take a step back to explain what I mean by baby steps in order to allow you to start working on your plan, if you haven’t started writing it yet.
Baby steps are small actions you choose to take to advance towards your goal.
So here’s how it works, I’ll use an example from a comment I received a few days back… my reader said she wants to travel the world. Let’s see how that could work out. (remember this is just an example, your idea of a plan may be very different depending on your life situation, your needs and desires…)
Travelling the world is a wonderful project. You will learn so much from experiencing different cultures, seeing varied architecture, hearing about the history of each country or city, interacting with locals and tasting their delicious foods. Travelling is an experience commonly associated with wealth, not only as it often requires funds but also as it is a luxury that enriches one’s life.
I have to say though that an individual may find ways to live such experiences without having the money at hand. Sometimes it’s just a matter of getting creative to make it happen; that’s one of the special attributes of wealthy people. I can feel very wealthy without actually having much in the bank… Now let’s get back to our goal.
The objective is to travel the world. This, as I mentioned, will either require funding or getting very creative. Either way the project invites us to learn on the journey of making the dream a reality. We will analyze the present situation A and the destination B. The plan of action will take me from point A to point B.
Point A may be that I have 0$ in the bank, that I have a 9 to 5 job that pays for my rent and food. I seldom have anything left for other expenses. (this may sound a bit radical, but it’s just a simplified example)
Point B is my dream. I have to define it. In this case it may be that I want to make at least one stop on each continent and be gone for twelve to eighteen months. I give myself a year to prepare for the trip.
My plan of action will have all the milestones to complete in order to make it from A to B. For example:
- Find a second job and hold it temporarily for a year to have enough money to at least partially support myself during my one year away.
- Monetize blogging to satisfy my financial needs while away and to use as a journal for later publication of my story.
- Make the final preparations for departure, plan logistics and make necessary reservations.
Now let’s look at the baby steps required to complete milestone #1:
1a. Look for evening and weekend jobs on online search sites
1b. Hand deliver 3 CVs a day
1c. Sublet my apartment to move in with a roommate (or my parents) until I leave
1d. Open a bank account to hold the money from the second job and money I save monthly for travel project only
1e. Start a blog about my dream to travel and my experience in preparing for it. This will bring me to milestone 2.
These are not quite tasks as they can further be broken down in daily action items, but they are simple enough to follow, clear in their purpose and action oriented as opposed to “dreamy”.
Baby steps bring you to the practical level and they are based on the reality of your present situation, they help you advance towards the next milestone. Their simplicity minimizes growing pains as well as the risk of failure. The big dream is suddenly more reachable. Although you may be invited to step out of your comfort zone to some extent, baby steps make this less painful and allow you to try it. The success is very motivating and will have you reaching for the next baby step in no time.
Once the first milestone is complete, off to the second and third. Soon the work is done and the goal is achieved! The wonderful part of this journey is how much learning and growing is involved, how each baby step make you try something new, something you had never done before or even something you may have been afraid of trying previously.
Try tackling one goal at a time in this way and see where it leads. What are your milestones?
Take your first milestone and split it into baby steps. Does your milestone achievement look more feasible now? Can you see yourself getting closer to your final goal this way?
Use your journal for this exercise. It is truly very helpful. Later on, you may be able to do a lot in your head too, but believe me, written plans, lists and notes are always better visual representations of your mind’s thoughts. You’d be surprised.
So try it and see where your plan leads you. Whether it relates to wealth or not, give this technique a chance to see which stars you will be aiming to touch next.