Want to achieve? Get started.

by Shaun Cooper

23 May 2015

How long have you been telling yourself “I should get back into shape”? Maybe you’ve been assuring yourself by stating “I’ll start on Monday”… since Christmas.

There’s that guy, Tom, at your office that wakes up at 4:30am and completes an 80km bike ride before you’ve even thought about getting up to brush your teeth. Or you just finished scrolling through your Instagram feed and saw that yogi you follow holding a #DownwardSpiralPeacock #OneHanded and thought, "I could never do that".

Many of us know or see these people and think that we could never be like them. BUT, all of these people have one thing in common – they STARTED somewhere. From a point of no experience, they took a first step and kept rolling.

Maybe they never intended on being endurance athletes or becoming supple leopards. But by starting out on a path to improve themselves, they began to achieve. Then achieve some more. And now they do what you wish you could.

While there are many paths to success, one element remains constant – you have to start somewhere and very basically, you just have to START. You need to take that first step and begin with some form of action and build from there.

Many of us have the right intentions. But when was the last time you heard of an intention alone bringing about an achievement? It’s action which enables success in anything you set out to do.

As humans, we tend to procrastinate. It’s unfortunate, but true. I came across the following quote and feel it’s fit to share here:

“Procrastination is more than putting off tasks; it’s a fear of action. The solution?

Have faith in yourself, live in the present and set realistic goals you can successfully achieve.”

So, first things first. Recognise and remind yourself that the people who are doing what you wish you could, are simply that – they’re people. Humans like you and I. They set goals, break them down into bite-size chunks that are achievable and take the first step to achieving their initial goals.

After that, they keep moving. And moving. They progress bit by bit, until they achieve their ultimate goal.

An 80km ride may seem more than you could manage in a year let alone a morning. However, I’m quite sure that most of us can manage to ride around the block. Jump on your bike and set yourself the goal of one block. Then a few days later try two. Then three, then four, then five... You get the drift.

You’ll be riding 10 x times more than you were after a couple of weeks. After some time and consistency, you may even blast past Mr. 80km one morning and be sitting down sipping your latté at the corner café by the time old mate Tom unclips and walks over in his out-dated lycra (Get with it Tom!).

If a yoga class is too difficult to schedule in, start stretching at home. Start with 5 minutes in the morning (it’s only 0.3% of your day and you can do it in your PJ’s!). After a couple of weeks you might end up loving how it feels and regain the flexibility you lost since you were a toddler.

You may just decide you want to make your way to that yoga class after a couple of weeks and run into @yogilife32 while you’re buying your fresh set of Lulu Lemons on the weekend before you hit your first class.

Alain Robert, the infamous “French Spiderman”, is a rock climber and urban climber known for scaling the world’s tallest buildings unassisted. When asked how he climbs such tall buildings, he says, “It’s simple. Left hand, left foot. Right hand, right foot. Reach a ledge. Pause. Keep going. “ His goal is to repeat this simple process over and over successfully, until he reaches the top.

With this simple plan, he climbs the world’s tallest buildings and managed to scale the world’s tallest building this year without a safety harness and nothing more than some sticky tape and chalk.

While this is an extreme and somewhat peculiar example, it demonstrates how setting small goals and executing them consistently can result in great success. And importantly, we need to remember that it all begins with a simple start. In this case, the upward reach of a hand.

Stop procrastinating, set some simple goals and GET STARTED. You’ll be glad you did and you never know where you’ll end up. Hopefully, it’s right where you want to be.


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