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What's the next step?

I started my year with several goals, some very concrete and some quite vague that needed more details to be filled in along the way.

When the goals are vague, it is easy to get into an analysis-paralysis and fail to act on it. This has happened to me with a few goals before when I had first started working on my novel and when I had decided to work on a startup idea.

In each case, I went several months without actually doing anything to progress as I kept being sucked into what-if scenarios that resulted in me trying to think through different possible scenarios and how I wanted my approach to evolve.

However, what eventually helped me to get started and make progress was to simply define what my next step should be and then to set about doing it.

For the novel, the next step was to write down descriptions of the protagonists. For the startup idea, the next step was to describe the first hypothesis I wanted to validate.

Identifying the next step made it very easy to act as everything not related to it was stripped out of the equation. I didn't have to bother with the different plot points or all the features the first version of the product should have. I could simply act on completing the next step and then sit down identify the next step after that.

And once things are in motion, it gets progressively easier to identify the next step and continue making progress.

Without action, a goal remains a dream.

And the best way to act without procrastinating is to identify the immediate next step to take.

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