Step 2 : Written
To become a CCIE you must pass for a written exam before you can schedule a lab. When you pass both written and lab you will get a CCIE number. Start to find the recommended reading list on the Cisco site and start reading. I prefer PDF and maybe you like to have real books. If you want to do the lab, just make sure you got all the books close to you. Everything you read right now can be very useful during the lab preparation.
My first advice will be: Schedule the ccie written exam as soon as possible ! Then you have a date you can countdown to and there will be some pressure to start reading and learning for the exam. Without scheduling date, there will be excuses not to start. You are busy at work. You should participate in some parties. Your children are little and need your attention. Etcetera. If you have a date, you can still be social and sometimes you will have to watch less Netflix and focus on the books.
It is hard to practice on theory. There are some online testing but just start reading. Once you finished all the books and pdfâ€™s. just start again. And again. And again until you understand everything. Do not skip anything. Of course you can pass the first time but do not be surprised if you fail the test. You must have an excellent score. If you fail the test you can do it again in 2 weeks.