How to Bring Your Ideas to Life

Just the other week, I was talking to my husband about some of the changes that I have planned for the blog. I mentioned that I had gotten some really valuable feedback from some friends on things that they’d like to see me write about. Some of the topics that they suggested were direction on how to master certain areas of life-- including accomplishing goals, balancing many hats, and even starting businesses. I explained to my husband that I had never thought to address any of these topics, because, in general, they were things that are second nature to me.

In that moment, it made me realize that I needed to take a step back. People send me emails, messages, comments, etc. because they are looking for direction on things that I have mastered. So it would only make sense for me to take those “second nature” things and break them down into actionable steps that they are able to apply to their own life.

In going through this whole revelation, my husband suggested that I talk about going from an idea to action. He knows me all too well….

Getting from idea to action is my sweet spot. In fact, that’s why I help women develop strategies to create the dream life. Going from idea to action is all about strategy. It’s basically a plan of action to get to a specific goal.

Here’s my secret…. My steps to creating a strategy never changes. The goal may be different and the steps to get their may vary, but the process to creating that strategy, or plan doesn’t change. So, here are my 5 steps to go from idea to action.

  • 1. Write it down. 

This is the most basic, yet fundamental step in the process. When you have an idea, you must write it down or else, it’ll get lost in the abyss of the millions of ideas that run through your mind in a day. There’s a quote that goes, “A short pencil is better than a long memory.” As great as you think your memory is, it’s not as good as writing things down. Even though you may not be able to accomplish it that day, week, or even year, write it down for future reference. I seriously have ideas that I know won’t happen this year, but I still have them in plain view so when the time comes I wouldn’t have forgotten about them.

Because our minds go millions of thoughts per day, it’s imperative that you have a way of capturing new ideas as they come. My preferred method is my planner, The Dream Life planner, which has a whole section for notes and ideas. Everyday, I date a section and write down anything that comes to mind. Throughout the week, I’ll cross out those that I have acted on and remind myself of others that I need to put a plan to-- if they need to be done now, that is. I personally don’t use my phone because some ideas require sketches. I’d rather use good ole pencil and paper to make sure it’s written/drawn the way I see it in my mind.

  • 2. Brain dump

I’m not sure where this term came from, but I do it all the time. It’s just writing down everything that comes to mind about the idea or goal that you have. It’s like blurting things out in written form. You want to vet out your idea as much as possible so that you don’t miss anything when it comes to developing a strategy. For instance, if your idea is to write a book, write the general concept down (what it’ll be about) and then start writing out ideas for chapters and even sentences that come to mind. If you want to start a business, do a brain dump of potential products that you want to sell. In the end, it may not all be a part of your final product, but it’ll help you come up with even better ideas.

In my field of engineering, this type of brain dumping is done when thinking of designs or process improvements. Ideally, you have the mindset of no idea is a bad idea-- they’re all potential. It doesn’t mean that everything will be figured out during that one session, but it allows you to explore all options.    

  • 3. Research

Writing your idea and brain dumping are all fun, but now it’s time to do work. The next step that I recommend in going from idea to action is research. Some version of your idea may exist-- like businesses, so make friends with Google to find out more on how to create your own. Find out how things are done and use it to help you create your unique version NOT a copycat. In engineering, we call it reverse engineering. 

I am notorious of looking at a website’s page source to figure out what code was used, what platform it’s being hosted on, and what add-ins are being used. That curiosity and research has enabled me to make adjustment to my own websites, just from learning from things that have already been done. It has also made me privy to what some of the top industry leaders are using to run their businesses or profitable blogs. Research also includes looking at what others in your industry are doing around that area, especially your competition if you’re in business. You can learn a lot from observing what others have done.

Let’s not neglect reading a book or the prestigious school of YouTube. I’ve learned tons from both mediums related to topics that I’m interested in. The truth is that you’ll never know 100% of what needs to be done to bring your idea to life, but research gives you a foundation to start with. The most important benefit of research is determining the cost of actually implementing your idea. I discuss weighing the cost as an important part of reaching your goals in my Ultimate Guide….

  • 4. Divide and conquer

The most important part of bringing an idea to life is action. This is where most people get stuck. They have the idea, they’ve vetted it out, they’ve even done research, but they are completely overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. Here’s where you divide and conquer. By that, I mean that you break your idea into smaller actionable tasks. 

Manifesting your idea is basically a summation of smaller tasks being completed. Based on your research, you should be able to identify the major aspects of what you’re trying to do. For instance, when starting a business some of the fundamental things include determining the business structure, product or service type, and registering with your Secretary of State. If you’re writing a book, the fundamental thing is knowing your subject and writing each chapter. If you’re planning a wedding, you have to set a date and find a venue. There are just basic things that you should start with, but don’t think your research is done. As you begin to put action to your idea, starting with the basics, you’ll learn more of the small details that need to be completed.

  • 5. Track completion

As you act on the things that you’ve learned, you’ll need to keep track of what’s been done and what still needs to be done. This ensures that you don’t miss anything and gives you an idea of how much more you have to go. If you’ve ever worked on a project at work, then you’ll understand this as the concept of project management.

Think of your idea or goal as a project. You have an end goal of creating something by a specific date and in order to get it done, you have smaller tasks that also need due dates. If you want to achieve your goals or bring your idea to life, you have to put it on a timeline. Otherwise, you’ll never be pressed to get it done. I listed some great apps that can help you do this on my 5 Must Have Apps to Help You Reach Your Goals This Year blog post.

So these are my five steps that I use to take my ideas from just being fleeting thoughts to reality. Try them about and let me know what you’re able to accomplish!