Determine Your Starting Point

asphalt road

As we continue our series on Successfully Enacting Change, this week we look at how to Determine Your Starting point. Last week, we talked about helping you Define Your Goal, and if you missed that I recommend going back and reading it before jumping into this step.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

We’ve heard that our entire life, but the true wisdom lies in knowing not only where you’re going on that journey but where it begins. While this may sound simplistic, think about it. Where are you really in your career, relationships or life? Whatever you desire to change, you must first acknowledge where you’re starting from. And it may not be as easy as you think.

Be honest.

This is not like the weight you give the people at the DMV to put on your driver’s license. You have to be able to look in the mirror and honestly access where you currently reside. It may not be where you like and it may be difficult to admit, but this is a critical step on your path to change.

As painful as it may be this is the real you; no masks, no facades, no fake personas. This is the you the world might not know. Forget that garbage. Who cares? Again, until you can honestly and sincerely determine your starting point, there’s no use in even beginning your journey.

You can’t get anywhere if you don’t know where you are. If you are used to using a GPS system, it order for it to give you accurate directions what does it need first? Your current location! Sure, you can lie and tell it you’re somewhere else and the directions you get won’t be accurate—or in the best case scenario they’ll take you longer to reach your goal (destination) that if you’d entered your actual starting point.

When compared, defining your goal was actually the easy part. It’s not hard to decide where we’d like to be or what we’d like to accomplish, but at times it can be a bit tougher to admit to ourselves and the world where and who we truly are.

But, until you do there’s no way to set a course for change—no way to reach that ultimate destination.

Take some time. Find a quiet spot and grab a notebook or note pad. Write down everything that comes to mind when you ask yourself where you are.

I’ll use the weight example again because it’s one most people can relate to. If you go to a personal trainer and tell him you want to get to 150lbs, the program he or she gives you will be drastically different if you start at 175 or 210. The same holds true here.

Do you want to admit you are at 210? NO! Absolutely not, but it’s critical to have accurate information to begin your journey. Over the next several weeks as we continue this series you’ll be glad you took this first step.

Prepare yourself for exciting, powerful change. It’s coming your way.