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I already have giant steps / huge strides

in the context of

'Having previously taken tentative, half-hearted baby-steps Sophia began taking -------- towards attaining her life's ambitions'.

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  • "biting off more than you can chew" – Mitch Aug 21 '19 at 20:52
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Giant strides

See Cambridge Dictionary online for examples of usage in this context, generally by British parliamentarians, e.g.

”Is this not a giant stride towards a nationwide capital-owning democracy?”

This to me is the most natural opposite to “baby steps”. “Strides” seems to me more idiomatic than the “leaps” suggested in another answer. Certainly a comparison of the terms using the Google ngram viewershows “giant strides” to have a longer history of usage, and even today is much more common.

A stride is a large step, whereas a leap entails taking both feet off the ground and often has the implication of jumping over something. The idiom here is leaps and bounds. To use this I would recast the sentence a little:

“Sophia began moving towards attaining her life’s ambitions in leaps and bounds”.

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  • An even better collocation is great strides – Hellion Aug 21 '19 at 19:00
  • @Hellion — For me “great” grates rather. (Unless it’s Alexander). – David Aug 21 '19 at 19:14
  • Love 'leaps and bounds' - exactly the phrase I was looking for. thanks – user311438 Aug 22 '19 at 5:54
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Having previously taken tentative, half-hearted baby steps, Sophia began making giant leaps toward attaining her life's ambitions.

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There are many possible choices depending on what you want to express.

For example, are you interested in expressing that she is now confident?
- firm steps
- confident steps
- assertive actions

Or that she is now unduly incautious?
- overly confident steps
- unguarded steps

Or possibly that she is now making mistakes she previously didn't?
- unchecked steps
- risky steps
- foolhardy steps
- slapdash actions

Or that she is now competent at her actions?
- well placed steps
- efficient steps
- accurate steps

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