What does it mean to 'follow' Jesus? In essence it means to follow Jesus through death and to the divine, resurrected life eternal.
But what does 'following' mean?
The explanation of what it means is covered in the Fourth Gospel, particularly in the section on the Good Shepherd. Because (naturally enough) this 'process' has to be 'explained' in a symbolic/ metaphorical kind of way.
In brief 'following' is done by Loving Jesus; other words having faith, trusting, knowing that he is Good, wanting-this for your-self.
The kind of thing is much like the young child's love, faith trust in his mother and father (in an ideal family) - the knowledge that Jesus has our best interests at heart, the confidence that whatever he does is for our ultimate benefit (whatever the short-term, surface appearance of things may be).
The point is that following Jesus is a personal relationship - not a prescription, not a set of abstractions. It cannot be listed as 'what to do' any more that you can make a comprehensive checklist of 'being married' or 'being a son'. The primary reality is the quality of the relationship - which is loving, and the nature of 'love' intended is of the same quality as the ideal of within-family love.
The journey from mortal to immortal life is one that can only be done with a Guide - no map, no set of instructions, will suffice - only a Guide, in whom we have absolute confidence - and for this journey there is only One Guide who Knows the Way.
So the path from this mortal life to eternal, resurrected, divine life is one that we can only follow by following Jesus, we cannot find our own way, we must have him (and nobody else) as our Guide - he goes ahead, he shows the way; and because we Love him we have the confidence and trust to walk behind (in his footsteps) until we arrive.