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How to be decisive and get where you want to be

Want to know how to be decisive and finally take the action required to make a CHANGE? In this article, we show the process that helped us travel full-time.

By Grace Koelma | Dare List Mama

Let me tell you a little story:

It's Friday night, and you've collapsed on the couch after a long day. You're exhausted, your house is a mess, your cat has weed behind the couch again, and your husband is asking nagging you to stir dinner while he baths the baby.

You're physically fatigued and sleep-deprived, but (annoyingly) your mind is racing. You can't stop thinking of a conversation you had (or Facebook post you read) about packing it all up, selling your house and travelling the world.​ Apparently, people with kids do it!

You stick your head around the door in the bathroom, while hubby's bathing the baby, ​take a deep breath and re-start that old conversation again. 

"I'm sick of this. Let's do what we've always dreamt about. Let's travel the world and start an online business together. How can we make this happen?"

IF your partner is on the same page, discontent with his work and yearning for something more, something different to suburbia (mowing lawns on the weekend and only seeing his kid for 1 hour a day) then comes the bigger question... WHERE ON EARTH DO YOU BEGIN? ​

You talk about it, go round and round in circles, and then the baby starts squawking and ​the conversation is parked, yet again...

Okay, so if it's not obvious already, that anecdote was a page from our story (minus the cat wee! We aren't cat people but I was trying to relate!) ;)​

Are you desperate? Want something to change more than you want to be comfortable? Good. Here's my advice in three parts that you can action today.

1. Stop overthinking it

I think it comes down to starting by whatever means possible - initially we just did the hard part (the scary 'are we really doing this?' bit) because we simply dared ourselves. But as soon as we made that big decision, our perspective shifted.

We were no longer victims of our situation, we were in control. We were the directors, calling the shots on our life. 

Things improved within a moment, in days or even hours, and it's that early success that can drive you to keep going.

If you're anything like me (a recovering perfectionist!), you'll be tempted to plan and research and take notes and make Pros and Cons lists and DO YOUR HEAD IN. Trust me, if you're spending that much time thinking about an idea, it probably means you need to do it, or at least give it a good crack!

ACTION: stop over-analysing, take a deep breath and make the choice.

2. Mind the 'Desire Gap'

There's this thing that prevents most people wanting to do something from actually following through. I call it the 'Desire Gap'.

Sometimes the gap is found where people know what they want, but they don't know how to get it. 

It can be a lack of time or space to self-reflect, evaluate your needs and desires, and figure out a plan to get there.

Often it's simply distracting ourselves with friends, TV , work and social media (the biggest time sap!) so we don't have to face reality.

Some people I've met simply lack the motivation to follow through on anything. They're bursting with grand plans but no results.

But the weirdest thing about the 'Desire Gap' is that it's an optical illusion.

It looks like a impossible, gaping hole separating you from where you want to be, but in reality it's just the space between where you're sitting on the couch, and walking over to your laptop or mobile (if it's not already in your hand!) and emailing someone. Calling someone.

Taking ONE action that will set a chain of events in motion and help change your situation for good.​

ACTION: If you want to close the 'Desire Gap', try taking these 7 steps to taking the leap - become a digital nomad and travel.

3. Embrace the beauty of early success

I think that what gets you from desire to completion is partly discipline (or, in our case, a dare that sparked our competitive natures!).

But a good part of it is early success, realising that the thing you've challenged yourself to do is actually improving your mindset, work attitude, or perspective on the world and the people in it.

It's realising that giving yourself permission to make the decision is as important as doing the 'thing' itself (be it something like starting your own business, travelling full time, creating a course or publishing an eBook).

If you've just made a big decision, stop and enjoy the thrill of the moment.

After that, you'll face challenges and difficulties on the road to where you want to be, but if you're 100% sure that it's an authentic choice for you, then that feeling will carry you through the hardest times.

I was once too cynical to really try new things. I now know that it was a defence mechanism, a way of letting myself off the hook. I was being mentally lazy, and taking the path of least resistance.

It was fine for a while, but I wasn't being CHALLENGED. I craved more, I wanted to launch out of our safe, suburban, middle-class lifestyle and taste roti cooked by the street vendors in Penang or hike up a waterfall in Indonesia.​ 

I wanted to do it all with my husband and 2-year-old son. And finally, nothing was stopping me.​

​ACTION: Embrace the exhilaration of finally making a decision (that's a big deal!) and ride on that wave, because it will take you where you need to be.

Are you overthinking it? ​Want to be challenged to actually take the leap? Comment below, or even better, sign up to our email list for some serious mot-i-vation!

Grace Koelma

Grace is a writer, designer, digital nomad, mum (otherwise known as toddler chaser), slow traveller, wild things appreciator, culture immerser, coffee opportunist... She frequently uses big words (some of which are definitely made up), likes long walks and even longer books, and her focus on wellness in 2017 means she is learning to obey her FitBit. Except when she's glued to her computer!