Start With Baby Steps

July 22nd, 2009


photographer: Linda Nagel
Photographer: Linda Nagel


“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. “

Lao-tsu, Tao Te Ching

Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)




If you enjoy weaving dreams and setting goals and then find yourself not knowing where to start, join the club. 


Taking the first step towards realizing your goals is not that easy. Knowing where to start can be downright paralyzing.  Especially if your goals are lofty, which I highly recommend.   (Afterall, what fun is there in chasing a dream that is too easily caught?  Sounds like a case of setting low expectations to me.)


Starting with baby steps sounds like good advice unless you’re like me, and you’ve forgotten how to be a baby.  So allow me to provide a few examples.  While the sample goals below are not meant for children, the steps towards making them come true can provide for a lot of childlike amusement.


Let’s say you’ve always dreamed of getting a tattoo but are afraid of taking the leap (there are more than enough folks to talk you out of this “crazy idea”, right?), get a henna tattoo.  Find a little salon that does that cool eyebrow threading thing and inquire whether they can turn you  into an Indian prince or princess with henna designs that will fade in a couple of weeks.  Good way to test it out.  See if you even like it yourself before going for the permanent ink. Watch the tattoo reality shows.  Check out tattoo designs online and research parlors with good reviews.  The next time you see someone with a tattoo, ask them about it and tell them that you are going to get one soon.

 hawaiian flower

Ever wanted to go to Hawaii?  Start dressing in Hawaiian prints and wearing those beautiful flower leis they sell at party supply stores.  Dress as if you’re already an island dweller.  Keep a 12-month Hawaii calendar in your kitchen.  Flip to a different island each month.  Swim with the sea turtles as you pencil in your weekly appointments.  Buy some Kona coffee at the supermarket.  Put pineapple chunks in your salad.  Start living as if you’re in Hawaii and let the universe know that you’re serious about your dream.


Harboring a secret fantasy to be able to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata on a baby grand, but don’t have the piano or the musical training?  Get a cheap electric keyboard or used piano at a garage sale and a piano for beginners instruction book.  Schedule in your private lessons with yourself or, better yet, treat yourself to a professional lesson or two.  Hang out in piano stores and sit at the baby grands, pretending your in the market to buy (which you are, though maybe not just today).  Download classical music on your iPod, close your eyes and move your fingers up and down your air piano while you listen. (Air pianos are just as cool as air guitars.  Don’t let anyone tell you any different.)  Find a cool artsy poster of a piano player and hang it in your room.  Wear some jewelry with piano keys and music notes on them. 

These are just a few ideas.  I’m not saying they should be your dreams or goals.  I’m not saying they’re my dreams or goals.  (Then again, I didn’t say they weren’t.)  It doesn’t matter.  You have your own dreams and deserve to have them come true.  Let me say that again.  No matter how big or small your dreams are, you absolutely deserve to have them come true.  Start living life on the dream path.  Put one foot in front of the other and take that baby step.


So what are your dreams?  What baby steps can you manage to take on the road to fulfillment?  I guarantee that the road definitely gets shorter once you start walking it.


Life is good!  Namaste.  –Lori

9 Responses to “Start With Baby Steps”

  1. First, the quote you share today is my all time favorite! I live by baby steps.

    My problem is that I am not a big picture thinker. I get so overwhelming easily. I am not a planner or a goal setter. I find that when I set goals for myself they are unreachable. Then I am devastated when I don’t get what I wanted.

    Right now I have a dream of being a professional photographer. I have a good camera and set up a photoblog so my work can be viewed. But when it comes to trying to figure out what will become of this…I can’t wrap my head around it.

    So what I have been doing is just “being” in the moment. I am not planning the future of this dream. I just ask the universe to open doors for me when it knows that I am ready to walk through…

  2. What a great post! I want to share this post with my son who recently turned 18 and is struggling with the concept of having to step out of his comfort zone and into the next stage of his life.


  3. @ Michael – Thanks for visiting and sharing your comments. Most of us don’t like leaving our comfort zones no matter what age (18, 28, 38, 58…), but oh, the places we can visit once we do!

    @ Caroline – There’s definitely a time for just being, and sometimes a time for moving. I try to think of setting goals as just my way of telling the universe that I’m ready to start the journey. Being open to arriving at a completely different destination than what I originally plugged into my mental GPS is the next step. And so on…

  4. Lori,

    This was a really good post. I loved your examples about taking small steps to your goal/dreams. The one about Hawaii was great. You made it seem simple, easy to do and creative.

    What do I dream of doing? More creative writing. I think I’ll look back through my journals and pull some writings out from them…who knows maybe even put them up on my blog. It’s a start. Thanks for this post:~)

  5. Sara – You’re very welcome. I’m glad you enjoyed. Can I just share a quick story with you? I just had a wonderful massage today and while my favorite massage therapist was working her magic on me, I told her about my blog and gave her the URL. As I was paying in the office, I noticed that she had an electric keyboard on her desk with a piano music book. I asked her if she was learning piano and she responded with two words…”baby steps”. She hadn’t read my blog yet. Twilight zone or universe pulling like spirits together? I’m still a little freaked out 🙂

  6. I love this post because it’s so very true. You didn’t by any chance read my post a few weeks back “Footsteps in the Dark“? It was about this very thing. And started with the same quote!

    So glad I’ve found your little spot in this blogosphere.

  7. Hi Chania Girl – I did not read your “Footsteps” post, but I’m sure going to read it now. I guess like spirits think alike 🙂

  8. This blog was really refreshing. I loved it! I will be taking your advice for the Hawaii calendar and dressing in the prints. I have to say, good idea about the salad I already add the pineapple but maybe I’ll include coconut and dried cranberries next, yum! Nothing drives my force more each week then going into work and knowing I need to be in Hawaii again- SOON at that. So my goal at this moment is keeping that paycheck coming so I can make that flight again! Not much of a goal as I really need my job for more then just that:>)
    I like the idea of setting goals… I think I forgot how to do that as life sometimes gets to busy for us to think about ourselves. When I was much younger I often made a list of to do’s and wants or must haves in my life, and I would see to it that something would get crossed off each month or by the end of the year. I wonder what caused the slow down with me? Well Lori, you have opened my mind to those thoughts again. Baby Steps…
    Thank you for choosing my photo it’s one of my favorites and it suits this blog perfect. Love you and keep writing! Linda

  9. Thanks for your comment Linda. And special thanks for the lovely photographs you sent me. They’re very inspiring. I plan to use more with your permission.

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