I was having lunch with some friends the other day. And because the restaurant was full and very loud, it was hard to talk to everyone as a group. So instead we ended up chatting in groups of two for a while.

As I chatted with my neighbor, she revealed that she has had this idea for years, and someday soon she would love to build a business around it. She sees it becoming a book and a coaching practice to help other women in situations like hers.

When she spoke of her idea, the passion came flooding out. She had many ideas, and had given this some serious thought.

So I asked her why she’s held this idea close to her heart for so long, and hasn’t moved forward with it. And her response was pretty typical.

“I just don’t know what to do next. Between work, my family and all of my activities, I just don’t have the time to explore where to begin. So instead I keep this idea close to my heart, knowing someday when I have more time I’ll do more with it.”

The problem with this line of thinking is that day will never come.

Every single portion of your life is filled with a to-do list, and that will never change.

So the only way to start in on a new project – a new idea – is to make it a priority and add that to your to-do list.

So I asked my friend a question.

“Instead of keeping your idea close to your heart, what could you do today that would bring you one step closer to making this dream a reality?”

And we brainstormed for a couple of minutes.

  • She could buy a journal and start mapping out her book.
  • She could purchase a book on creating your first book, and learn the easiest way to write it.
  • She could head down to the adult education center at the local community college and find a class on writing a book.
  • She could start coming up with a business plan and determining what her business would do.

And of course many other things, but this was a good starting point.

The only way to make something a reality is to make it a priority. By picking one tiny thing that can move you forward, the other pieces will begin to fall into place.

So my friend agreed to take the first step. Right after lunch she headed out to buy herself a journal, with the goal of writing 500 words in it every day.

Will she make her goals? Only time will tell. But taking that first little step is a step in the right direction.