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Just start it!

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Ben Brewer/Coeur d'Alene Press/AP

(Read caption) In this Aug. 4, Carolyn Brayko of Spokane, Wash., takes her first steps climbing up a steep rock face at Q'emiln Park near the Spokane River Dam in Post Falls, Idaho. Take two hours today to get a start on your big project.

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If we don’t start, it’s certain we can’t arrive.
- Zig Ziglar

One of the biggest themes of The Simple Dollar is goals. I find goal-setting – figuring out a specific goal, writing it down, coming up with a specific plan to get there, and following that plan – to be incredibly empowering. Diving head-first into such planning has quite literally changed my life, as it made The Simple Dollar and my subsequent writing opportunities possible. It made paying off all of our credit card debts, car loans, and student loans possible, leaving us with just a mortgage. Goal-setting gave me a framework for writing two books in the past three years, and it’s giving me a framework for learning how to play the piano and countless other personal objectives.

If you roll back the clock five years, I was buried in debt. I had vague dreams of being a writer. The Simple Dollar hadn’t even popped into my mind yet.

What took me from there to here? I attribute it to goals, of course, but there’s something much more specific than that at the core here.

The start.

The Simple Dollar was born because I sat down one evening and decided to stop dreaming about it and start doing it. I threw together a rough site design on Blogspot and wrote my first article within a couple of hours.

I started paying off debts because I sat down one evening and decided I needed to get my financial life under control. I studied all of my debts, came up with a plan for tackling them, and started cleaning out my closets within the first few hours.

When I look around my life, there are so many other things I would love to accomplish. I have several big household projects that are just sitting on the back burner. I’ve got ideas for two future books and at least two blogs I’d love to start. I’d like to run a 5K next fall.

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Big goals, big dreams. None of them will happen until I sit down and make the decision to get started with them. I can dream all I want, but until I get started, nothing will happen.

Which brings us back to you.

Almost all of us have a dream or two floating out there. A big home project we’d like to pull off. A career change. A lifestyle change. A diet change. A change in our social circle. A new skill we’d like to learn.

It is so easy to dream about these things. But it’s not the dreaming that changes a life – it’s the doing and the accomplishing.

Today is the day to get started on one of those big goals.

Here’s my challenge to you. Tonight, go home and spend two hours on the big thing you’re dreaming most about in your life. Sit down, figure out a plan for how to get from where you’re at to where you want to be. Write out that whole plan. Then take the first big step towards getting there, whatever that might be.

You’ll feel so good about things that you’ll barely be able to wait until your next opportunity to take a whack at it. Soon, you’ll find yourself moving towards a goal that you thought was out of reach – and growing as a person at the same time.

That’s a big win, no matter how you slice it.

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The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.


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