“Life is very short and what we have to do must be done in the now.” – Audre Lorde
It is easy to feel thwarted by challenges or even by the sheer scope of our big picture vision that we seek to achieve. The antidote to getting past ‘the daydream’ is to start building an action plan to reach your goals.
Flexing 1st Step Muscles
“You don’t make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas.” – Shirley Chisholm
The destination, final goals, or end game big picture of success may loom large and seem impossible. Deciding on an action plan and the first step allows it to become manageable.
First steps breathe life into ideas – they put wheels in motion, gears into action, and begin the process of active participation in creating the future we desire for ourselves and those we love.
Find Your First Step
“The first step to living the life you want is leaving the life you don’t want. Taking that first step forward is always the hardest. But each step forward, gets easier and easier. And each step forward, gets you closer and closer. Until eventually, what had once been invisible starts to be visible. And what had once felt impossible starts to feel possible.” –Karen Salmansohn
Implementing the first step of any plan is massively important as it leads to the others. One small step can grow into something much bigger. Ideas evolve and what may feel like a small insignificant beginning often gathers steam growing ever larger and oftentimes shifting into unexpected and powerful metamorphoses. Taking the plunge creates a pathway for creativity to manifest.
Case Study on Ice
The world’s very first Icehotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden serves as an excellent example of this principle. Tourists loved the region in the summertime but didn’t stick around for the winter. Yngve Bergqvist wanted to change this.
Seeing the abundant river ice available from the Torne River and inspired by Japanese ice-sculptors. He hosted a small workshop the next winter, inviting artists to learn ice sculpting from Japanese professionals. Little did he know this original idea would snowball into something huge!
The following year he developed the concept further and made an igloo shaped structure to house the ice sculptures as an art gallery of sorts. People were intrigued by the 60sq metre ice structure and began to ask if they could screen films and host events inside.
Bergqvist perfected the ice building technique and was able to expand the size of big igloo allowing for new possibilities for using it as a venue. When he received a request from a group wanting to sleep overnight in the ‘Arctic Hall’, Bergqvist gave his permission. Their enthusiasm after the experience was a catalyst that convinced Bergqvist that the world was ready for a hotel made entirely out of ice.
Since then Bergqvist has patented his ice building technique. Now when each winter sets in, a construction frenzy takes place on the banks of the Torne River as a new Icehotel comes to life.
Bergqvist’s love of art features dramatically as each of the Icehotel’s many rooms are sculpted by international artists who apply for the honour from all over the world. The Icehotel offers a unique experience of the natural environment, immersive art, and hospitality. What began as a small artist workshop has morphed into a unique hotel.
Frans Johansson, the writer of The Medici Effect, a book on innovation says that “Breakthrough ideas are most often ‘intersectional’ and occur when we bring concepts from one field into a new, unfamiliar territory.”
“A dream written down with a date becomes a GOAL.
A goal broken down into steps becomes a PLAN.
A plan backed by ACTION makes your dreams come true.” – Greg S. Reid
Need a Helping Hand?
“When it’s obvious the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius
Do you keep getting stuck when it comes to making your first step happen? Try Woop!
Woop stands for Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, and Plan. Not just a clever acronym (describing Mental Contrasting with Implementation Intentions) it is also a valuable tool for helping us achieve goals. As a scientific theory it has been studied extensively. It provides proven results because it offers practical assistance in building strategies or action plans we can implement.
Woop proposes that what we see as obstacles keeping us from succeeding can actually be seen or re-imagined as positive catalysts that can assist us. Framing our action plans this way can break desired outcomes into accessible decisions and choices in the now.
Simply put. Woop can help you find your first step.
Read about Woop here
Listen & Understand Woop explained by Gabriele Oettingen on the mini-series You 2.0 featured on Hidden Brain podcast: Woop, There It Is