Getting Started: The Action Challenge

Boho Berry Action Challenge

Just this past Friday, I sent a kind of personal email out to the Tribe (my super-awesome email list). In said email, I spilled my guts a bit and talked about the struggles of getting started and turning dreams into action. Now, I don’t normally post my Tribe emails here on the blog, but today is an exception.

This email was SO powerful to so many, that I couldn’t NOT share it with the rest of you.

Chances are you’re a dreamer like me… You love to think up big plans, write out lofty goals and make lists of projects you’d like to tackle… someday… maybe. Sound familiar? 

I basically just described myself one short year ago.

For years I dreamed and dreamed. I made lists of trips I’d like to take, professions I’d like to pursue, new and exciting business ideas, and more. I created board after board on Pinterest filled with craft projects, home decor ideas, organization hacks, ambitious recipes, and nail art tutorials I’d probably never attempt in real life.

Then one day something changed.

I was browsing through Pinterest that evening searching for more ideas to wrangle when it hit me: I wasn’t actually doing anything.

I was still waiting tables and bartending like I had for the past 15 years. My home was still unorganized. I didn’t have a penny saved for travel, much less anything else. I was out of shape, still smoking 2 packs a day, and walking through life in a lackluster way that made me sick to my stomach every time I actually sat down and thought about it.

It was like a switch flipped somewhere inside of my brain. Enough was enough. I decided right then and there that it was time for a change.

It was time to stop dreaming and start doing.

I made a short list of 3 things I wanted to accomplish in 2015, and broke each one of those down into a very next step. It looked something like this:

  • Quit smoking – Research vaporizers
  • Open an Etsy shop – Buy beads and supplies
  • Get finances under control – Invest in budgeting software

Those big goals seemed scary and daunting. So scary, in fact, that I had been petrified into stillness and inaction. Not knowing where to start had kept me frozen in place, never making progress toward the life that I wanted. 

Breaking those big goals into a simple, straight-forward next step was the key. The key to unlocking action. The key to getting started. The key to gaining the momentum in life that I so desperately craved.

Once I tackled those first steps, I was able to continue taking tiny steps towards my big goals. Little by little, I stacked one tiny step on top of another until I had reached the summit for all three.

Within one year, I accomplished all 3 goals and more. All by taking the next tiny baby step along the way.

HERE’S MY CHALLENGE TO YOU:

  • When you have time, hit reply and tell me: What 3 big dreams/goals have you been procrastinating on? (Try for 3, but if only 1 or 2 come to mind that is fine too.)
  • Along with each goal, write down a super-simple next action step. The simpler the better.
  • Make a commitment to yourself to tackle those first steps this month.

Let’s make 2016 a year of ACTION!

Boho Berry Action Challenge

When I hit that send button, I was kind of terrified. I had just poured my heart and soul out to 11,000+ people. I knew that the message would resonate with at least a few, but I was not prepared for the outpouring of responses I would receive over the next few days.

Emails started pouring into my inbox. So much so that I had to create a whole new folder to store all of the replies in so that I could keep track of them all. Here’s a small sample:

“I struggle constantly with getting myself going on my goals. So I love that you sent this.”

“You truly are inspirational. I love your story and how you faced your fears and picked yourself up.”

“Oh Kara, you said exactly what I needed to hear!!”

“This sounds exactly like me!”

“I could have written the first few paragraphs of your email!”

“All I can say is Wow, if you didn’t just hit my life nail on the head.”

“Thank you so much for this email! I needed it to really open my eyes on some things!”

“Wow!  Hi Kara! Your e-mail this morning was a definite eye opener.”

“Boy did I need this.  It’s funny but I’m shaking just writing these down.”

And one of my favorites:

“I know your mailbox will explode today, but, I need to say some words about this email.

You’re such a light! I’m happy to be a Boho Berry Tribe Member. And I almost cried when I read this, ’cause I’m right in the point of leavin’ fears behind, tryin’ to listen more to my inner me and starting to chase some dreams and desires. I feel that I’m not totally aware that what I’m doing will get me to the big picture, but I’m still doing it anyway, like you said , ’cause I feel I’m doing right.

It’s good to know that someone, somewhere, is giving me strength, in someway. Thank you for sharing this.”


Action ChallengeI literally had tears in my eyes reading through some of the responses, and I was deeply touched by the 300+ of you who shared your goals and next action steps with me.

I even had one Tribe member send me a picture of her goals in her Bullet Journal!

I can’t even begin to tell you what a pleasure it was to read through hundreds of goals over the weekend. I feel so honored that so many of the Boho Berry Tribe felt compelled to not only respond, but to accept the challenge head on with action steps and all!

So now I want to issue the same challenge to all of you!

THE BOHO BERRY ACTION CHALLENGE

Let me know in the comments below what 3 goals you’ve been procrastinating on. Write down 3 immediate (super-simple) action steps for each one, and make a commitment to yourself to get them done THIS MONTH.

>> Psst! If you’re a bullet journalist, tag me on Instagram in your photos and use the hashtag #bbActionChallenge. I’d love to see your lists and plans!

I’m joining in on the fun too, of course! Here are my goals & action steps:

  1. Goal: Hop on Periscope (@bohoberry) more often
    Action Step: Put some makeup on and hit that “broadcast” button TODAY
  2. Goal: Complete another Whole30
    Action Step: Clear the fridge/pantry of non-compliant foods
  3. Goal: Be more active
    Action Step: Take the dog for a long walk daily

Boho Berry Action Challenge


Are you ready to take some baby steps and get the ball rolling on your big goals and dreams this month? Let’s do this!

Kara Benz
Kara Benz is the artist and author behind Boho Berry, where she inspires her readers to lead a more centered, fulfilled, and inspired life. Kara also runs a successful sticker shop on Etsy – Boho Berry Paperie.

JOIN THE BOHO BERRY TRIBE

  • Access to the Tribe Resource Library, chock full of FREE printables. New printables added every two weeks!
  • Admission into the Tribe Facebook Group, where we support and encourage each other daily.
  • An invite to my monthly Live Q&A exclusive to Tribe Members!
  • A 10% off coupon for Boho Berry Paperie for each month that you remain a Tribe Member.

You will also receive the Boho Berry Newsletter every Friday -- chock full of motivation, inspiration, updates and more!

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  • Ana

    I just found your blog last week and subscribed to the list on Friday afternoon, which must have been after you sent out the email, because I haven’t received it. I’m so glad that you posted it here as well, because it really is very powerful. It’s a topic that has been on my mind a lot as well, since I read and research a lot about the things that I love, but I’m very slow when it comes to taking action. It’s ironic too since, as a health coach, I help people reach their health goals and together we break down those big goals so they can focus on the next step, but I’m not doing it enough for myself – which includes getting my business off the ground so I can spend more time doing this thing that I love. That is actually how I discovered your blog, as I was reading into bullet journaling as a way to help me organize the million things that I have to do for my bigger goals, and needless to say, I’m so happy I did.

    To sum all this up, my next action step in going after my big goal of growing my business is getting organized using the bullet journalling principles I’ve been reading about over the last week.

    Have a great day!

    • Hi Ana! First of all, I’m SO happy to have you as a part of the Tribe! I love that you’re actively working towards your goals, and I can say from experience that the Bullet Journal will definitely help you on that front. I’m totally rooting for you! :)

      • Ana

        Thank you! I started using it this week, and now 3 days in, I am starting to see a bit of a difference already. Excited for what’s ahead! :)

  • How serendipitous that I had this very same thought as I was getting ready this morning! For the past few years, I had been wanting to do more with my blogging…perhaps start a YouTube channel…but frozen in fear of not knowing how such things would be received (I definitely don’t have much confidence in what I have to offer to these spheres of influence). This morning, I had the “just DO IT, already!!” talk with myself. This post only bolsters my resolve to do so.

    Thanks for being willing to do what I can’t seem to bring myself to do. You motivate me to believe I can do big things. Will post up something in IG later today! :-D

    • I had that “just do it” talk with myself many times. I can’t wait to see how you put your plans into action, Lydia An! Remember to make those baby steps SO simple that you can’t NOT do them, and you’ll be on your way in no time :)

  • Alison Porter

    Like many others, I believe you must be reading my mind somehow! I have been thinking lately about how I spend my time and my overall lack of productivity. Your sentence “I wasn’t actually doing anything.” is exactly where I am right now. As a nursing school student, I live in survival mode from one day to the next, but I feel like my life is very passive right now. I’m just reacting to all the things I have to do to get by. I’m not actually taking any initiative to take control and create the life I want. So I love this post. LOVE. I’ve been thinking about the things I need to do and the ones I need to stop doing to have the life I lead.
    Goal 1: Eat healthier – cut out fast food
    Goal 2: Be active – 30 min a day of activity, no matter how simple
    Goal 3: Be intentional about career – research BSN/MSN programs

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Alison! I definitely understand being in that state of motionlessness. Those baby steps will start the momentum towards your bigger goals for sure :)

  • Bethany Roseman

    I started The Miracle Morning today! Did all my Visualizing and Scribing in my bullet journal (user since March 2015). Looking forward to seeing my life turn around!

    • I love it, Bethany! Miracle Morning has been such a life changer for me. I hope it will be the same for you :)

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  • Claudette Wooddell

    Thanks for the comment! I am getting busy on my list at lunch today too! :) Needed a push, or kick or something! lol Hugs!

  • Em

    I can’t think of anything better than putting this in the first page of my new bullet journal! Thanks! :)

  • Veronica Ardary

    I found your site a little while ago, but really just started to read all of your posts about setting goals and achieving your dreams. I just recently subscribed as a tribe member, and I’m so glad that you decided to post this on your site, too. I’ve had those exact same thoughts while browsing Pinterest. I pin and pin and pin, but rarely ever do I actually do or try something that I’ve pinned. I’m so good at dreaming and list making, but rarely do I ever actually follow through. I’m determined that the rest of this year (and all the rest to follow) will be different and I will actually get things done. Thank you for posting this and showing me (us) that it is in us procrastinators can change!! My goals are 1. To eat healthier- make a meal plan for the week. 2. Get active- do some form of exercise/activity for at least 30 minutes a day. 3. Figure out next step in job/career- research different jobs/careers I’m interested in. Sorry that my comment is so long, but I feel that I have found a kindred spirit after reading your posts (especially this one!!) and I’m feeling inspired!!

    • Jenn Rose

      This blog post and comment are exactly what I needed. I too have just stumbled upon bohoberry and this post is so moving. Thank you too Veronica, I am also working on the being active and figuring out career moves-it’s very stressful!! I did start bullet journaling this week, which is all because of bohoberry – THANK YOU!

      Any way here are my lofty goals:
      1. Belly Dance professionally. – comit to practice 3 times a week (more if I have a day off)
      2. Start teaching 3 classes a week. – start researching/planning class plans
      3. Start eating healthier – Research the whole 30 and get the husband on board for support!

      • Veronica Ardary

        Yes, it is indeed very stressful. I just got my notebook/journal in the mail so I can start Bullet Journaling, too. Hoping that will keep me motivated and on track with my goals!!

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  • Wrenaissance Art

    Discovered your excellent blog while cruising through “recommended reads” on Bloglovin’.
    I am definitely someone who gets bogged down in “analysis paralysis” for just about every big decision!
    One big goal for 2016 is resolving/healing some chronic pain issues: April actions: research, find and set up an appointment with a new PCP; doing 24 sessions of my home physio exercises; lights out by 10 pm at least 3x/week.
    One questions I’ve got about the Bullet Journal concept: My problem is that my daily list always has a bunch of items that *each* require several hours to complete–I can never get everything done? Any tips for editing and prioritizing the To Do list?

  • Love love love this post!! Thank you so much Kara <3
    I am still looking for that switch to get things done, but i feel as if I am getting there. And I hope your post is giving the push I need. So here we go:

    1) Growing my blog – create a weekly "work" plan
    2) Savings – Set up the excel file that my brother gave me (fill in dates, recites etc.)
    3) Health and fitness – run 10km tomorrow (Sunday)

    Action plan is all set! Let's go :) Thank you Kara <3 P.s. Will share this on my Facebook and snapchat now :)
    xx Ronja
    http://www.sothisiswhat.com
    { CREATE THE LIFE YOU LOVE }

    • This is fantastic, Ronja! I just caught your share on snapchat and I was SO excited to see that you’re taking actions toward your goals with us this month… Woohoo!!!

  • Oh the irony! I have always thought about how there’s great advice out there, but the problem for most people is actually taken action. I totally know the feeling and often kick myself for getting stuck in analysis and stalling! Thanks for this challenge! My goals: 1) bullet journal org ->notebook,pen, do it 2)organize studio -> trash/donate stuff to make space 3) Eat healthier ->daily water log

  • Cat Carter

    I began taking my life back from years of basically surviving a marriage to a Cerebral Covert Histrionic Narcissist…..I can tell you a book you’d totally enjoy: Make Your Creative Dreams Real by SARK.

    • Cat Carter

      Mine are Going back to College to finally get that damned degree, getting back into the healthy shape I was in before the Narc came along, and Living my Life with the Courageous Open attitudes I had been in before the bullying/gaslighting/etc began…..one a good start!! Can I ask fave for us Tribers…in free downloads could you do a set of Day Arrows like the Wednesday one in the pic above? Arrows are my totem right now along with my motto of Follow My Own Arrow….(I still find it ironic he and I met cus we’re both archers…before he proceeded to take the fun out of things.) If not, that’s okay….I just don’t draw as well as you!!! :)

  • permeister

    It’s really funny when someone lays out what you should be doing right in front you that you actually have a ‘AHA’ moment. Here are my three goals with action steps.

    Get my Blog going – I have a great idea and need to stop making the excuse I don’t have time (throw up a theme on my main site and start posting

    Start Podcasting – I want to start a podcast that works with my blog – write an outline for 3-4 episodes, record them and put up on SoundCloud just to start.

    Get more active – Get back to my walks at lunch and start my DDP Yoga.

    Seems simple enough and the mantra – Make It Happen.

    Thanks Kara.

    -Jason

    • Thanks for sharing your goals Jason! Your next steps are on point! Now take some action :)

      • permeister

        Thanks Kara!

  • I must say I loved reading that newsletter and love that you posted it here to read it again !

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  • Chrissie Cohen

    Kara,
    You certainly seem like a mind reader. Thank you for being vulnerable & giving many of us the “kick-in-the-pants” needed to do the same. I love your blog, both the written & the artistic. I began my first Bullet Journal in March 2016 & love it! Finally, I have a place to organize, create lists, goal plan, and track behaviors AND I get to do it in my own creative way. My creativity now has a place to express itself; this has been huge for me.

    My Goals:
    1. Open an Etsy shop. Step: Do RESEARCH. What could I sell? Jewelry, sewing, crafting, a combination? I have too many interests.
    2. Manage the household clutter. Step: Finish reading KonMari & develop a plan.
    3. Greater focus on improving my health. Steps: Increase physical activity & get more sleep.

    Thank you so much!

  • Bohemian Moon

    Hi Kara, is it ok if I write down a post on my blog about my goals, to develop a bit around it, and talking about your challenge as source of inspiration and model that I followed? thank you <3

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  • katrien

    hi Kara i’m a new Belgium tribe member. my big 2 goals of 2016 are:
    become more adventures
    – make my trip to Japan in March next year, start looking up what i need to do to get there.
    fysical excercise
    – go more to the gym then 2 times a week, say no to candy

  • That is so awesome! Thanks for sharing :)

  • Anneloes

    What a great idea! I love making these goals. Thank you for bring up the idea!

    My goals:
    1. Finally (after almost a year) tidy up the attic
    Clear the moving boxes in the attic
    2. Run once a week (I’ve always tried two to three times a week, but then I always quit because it’s too much)
    Plan a running trip every week in my agenda
    3. Thinking about myself more (and my energy)
    Look through my agenda and see what appointments I have energy for and cancel the other appointments

    • Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been truly loving reading through everyone’s goals this month. Truly inspiring :)

  • Violaine

    Hi Kara !
    Funny to see that we share 2 important goals. Here are mine :
    1/ Get my savings back. I already created my budget software but what I need is to spend less –> spend 200€ per month for myself (leisure), no more
    2/ Open an Etsy shop (it might help for my 1st goal) –> take weekly time for crafts
    3/ Write a book for my 4-year old son –> draft a small story in a few lines

    • Thanks so much for sharing your goals, Violaine! I love your action steps :)

  • Elisa Maria

    Hi Kara, lucky girl am I that I found your YouTube channel. I so enjoy your creativity and often watch your videos, hit replay and hop onto your blog while it plays in the background. I’ve learned so much and ready to take the challenge! Its easy to start, hard to keep going, but Im gonna give it my best shot, thanks to you, thanks for the inspiration. I’ve signed up for the newsletter and joined the TRIBE! Oh My! you are wonderful, so amazing, big love! <3

  • Sara

    1. Become a full time yoga teacher – Begin teaching a morning class at the donation studio, before my current ‘survival job’. 2. Lose some weight – Invest in proper running shoes. 3. Build a tiny house – Finish reading the tiny house book Matt bought me.

    Thanks Kara <3

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  • Ali Johnson

    1. exercise more – walk dog every day and run at least once a week

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  • Darlene McConnachie

    Goal 1 Start using my bullet journal on a daily basis. Pick a journal and get started. Goal 2 To create a blog. Register my domain name, find a host and learn WordPress. Goal 3 Get my studio organized. Clear out all the projects that I am no longer working on.

  • estefany Maldonado

    1) get the internship I had always wanted- research effective ways to make yourself more marketable for the employer
    2)graduate from the uni in May- meet with academic advisor to make that happen.
    3) start loosing the baby weight that you gained from pregnancy- research possible excersizes to do and also invest in running shoes.

  • Tara Straubinger

    1. Finish my professional dossier to move to a level 2 license- This month finish part two of the dossier
    2. Become a Google for Education Certified Innovator- Look into what I need to do to get a level I certification
    3. Exercise more often- Take a walk on Saturday and Sunday

    Thank you Kara! I have been feeling super ovewhelmed lately and I do tend to shut down when I am feeling that way. Maybe this will help me to feel like I am making some progress.

  • Donna

    1. Relocate our life to the town we have considered.
    2. Study & complete 2 qualifications next year
    3. Manage my time.

  • Alexis Lamb

    1. Stop biting my nails!! (such a bad habit that I’ve had for years) – Can’t think of anything to help me quit :(
    2. Eat healthier – start eating some protein bars and shakes in the morning
    3. Write a novel!! – I am participating in NaNoWriMo this month and so far everything is going as planned!