We’ve all been there. We feel lazy, tired, like we have no motivation. We want to lose the weight, we want to start the business venture, we want to do the house project we have been avoiding. Yet, here we are, stuck in the rut and unable to get moving.

It happens to everyone. For some people the rut lasts a few days while for others it can last years. So how do we get out of the rut and off our butt?

We need to jolt the system! We need to make changes and do things differently. Taking the same actions but expecting different results is insanity. You might as well bang your head against a brick wall and wait for it to crack.

“Change is scary because we view it as this big, humongous shift. Instead of viewing it this way, we need to begin breaking it down a bit.”

Most everyone fears change. But why? I believe we fear change because of the way we perceive it. We tend to view change as this major shift, like we have to completely flip our lives in one shot and transform overnight.

For example, when we want to lose weight we think about the entire 20 lbs and how daunting the next 90 days will be with all of that working out and eating differently. We become overwhelmed, not knowing where to begin, and so we never try. Or when thinking of starting the business venture we think about all of the money we can potentially lose, all of the hours we have to put in, and how if we screw up we won’t be able to pay for our kids’ college 15 years from now. Ahhhh!!!!!

Change is scary because we view it as this big, humongous shift. Instead of viewing it this way, we need to begin breaking it down a bit. Thinking big is great, but at some point we have to distill our dreams and goals down to smaller tasks so that we can push aside that overwhelming feeling and start taking action!

Here are 3 tips to help you get off your butt and begin chasing your goals and dreams:

1. Change Something, Change Anything: We need to prepare ourselves for the larger changes by starting with small changes. We need to shock the system, if you will. A good way to do this is to change something in your daily life for just one day. It can be anything, even something really small and seemingly meaningless.

This change has nothing to do with your ultimate goal. It is simply a change for change’s sake. For example, if you take path A to work every day take the more scenic path B tomorrow. If you eat cereal for breakfast every day change it up and eat a piece of fruit tomorrow. Or maybe you always listen to music on the way to work so listen to a podcast tomorrow instead. Hell, put your pants on before your socks if it changes things up.

It doesn’t matter what it is, just make a change! This will begin to get you comfortable with change and begin changing your mindset.

2. Write Down Your Goal: The value and impact of writing your goal down on paper cannot be overstated. By writing it down it becomes real, it becomes tangible. This small action takes the idea from your head and puts it out in the world.

Now it’s real, it’s no longer just a dream in your head. And because it’s real you can start moving toward it. This is a very liberating feeling. Even though it’s a small act It makes you feel as if you are taking action and not just sitting around with your “shoulda, woulda, coulda”.

Like a dart player, you need something to aim at. This simple written goal is your bullseye.  Your goal is now a target to aim for and you can begin developing specific plans that will allow you to hit your target.

Write it down and make it real.

3. Take One Small Step Towards Your Ultimate Goal: You eat an elephant the same way you eat a hamburger, one bite at a time. It’s the same with goals, one step at a time.

 Everyone that ever achieved a goal or dream did so by taking a first step, no matter how small. Apple may be a $700+ billion dollar company today but it only got there because Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak took a first step. They knew they wanted to build something great but they didn’t go to sleep one night and wake up the next morning with a personal computer under the tree from the computer ferry. They started small, simply discussing their idea. That’s it, it was a discussion. And from there they started building. They took small step after small step until they sold their first computer. And then they sold more computers, taking incremental small steps along the way until they sold a lot of computers. Eventually all of those small steps added up and revolutionized the computer industry. But none of that would have been possible if they didn’t take that first small step.

You need to take the first small step. Don’t try to eat the elephant in one sitting, just get started by taking one small bite. Take your ultimate goal, whether it be losing weight or starting a business venture or whatever else, and work backwards to break it down to small steps. And then from there break it down even further.

“Tomorrow is tomorrow, your focus is on today.”

Let’s look at weight loss as an example. You know you want to lose 20 lbs. How do you do that? Well, it will take diet and exercise. OK, that’s pretty broad. What kind of exercise? What kind of dieting? Let’s break down the exercise portion. Cardio and weights are good places to start. How much cardio should you do? 4 days a week will make an impact. OK, 4 days can be pretty daunting if you aren’t currently working out. Let’s take one day at a time and just focus on the first day. How far do you run on that one day? 3 miles is what you ultimately want to achieve but you aren’t currently a runner. So, let’s start with a simple run of 1 mile which should take you 10 minutes or less. That’s it, that’s all you need to do – just run for 10 minutes. Even if you have to walk for half of it, you just need to reach 1 mile. Don’t worry about the 20 lbs, don’t worry about the diet, don’t worry about the 4 days per week, and don’t worry about the eventual goal of 3 miles. All I want you to do today is run 1 mile.

Tomorrow is tomorrow, your focus is on today. All we are thinking about for right now is step 1, that one mile. By running that one mile you are lapping everyone at home sitting on the couch.

Take that one step. And then tomorrow you take another. And after that another until you take enough steps to achieve you goal. But that first step, no matter how small, is the most important

Do that and you are on your way to achieving your goals. Just take the first, small step.