How many things do you have on your to-do list or in your mind that you want to accomplish? Does the thought of these things make you happy or depressed?
If having unrealized dreams is causing you pain, then it’s time to find a way to take action and learn the how to accomplish anything.
Most of us have things we’d like to do, whether it’s something to do with our health, a project, or even a trip we want to take.
Yet it seems like the very things we want the most—are for some reason so hard to do. And we put them off–sometimes forever.
Why is this??? I have written so many blog posts on how to get unstuck and how to get things that matter done. Yet, at times, I find myself wondering why I couldn’t get something important to me done.
The Conversation that Changed My Life
Recently, I was having a glass of wine with a friend. To be honest, I can’t even remember the entire conversation. However, I wrote down this piece of it because it resonated so strongly with me.
The hardest thing is always getting started.
Like a bolt of lighting, I felt struck by the trueness to that statement. It really is hard to:
- Type the first word of a story or post
- Take the first steps of a walk
- Do the first exercise
- Say the first thing
- Pack the first item
- Make the first phone call
- Begin using a new technology
- Start your taxes or other record keeping
The first steps of all these things are relatively easy, or should be easy to do. However, when we put them off, they take on super powers that block us from accomplishing things.
Our Inner Battle
By not getting started on something we want to do, we set up an energetic battle in our mind.
I really should be doing this
I really don’t want to do this
But I should do this
Why can’t I even get started?
And so on…
We block most of our accomplishments because we never do the first little action that puts us in motion.
We think we are being blocked by something that is bigger than ourselves. However, if you look closely at the situation, there really is always a relatively small action you can take—it’s called getting started.
Recently I noticed that my to-do list kept growing. Because of this, I felt stuck about getting any of my list done. There was very little getting accomplished in my life.
Then I realized there was ONE thing I was putting off. One thing that I just couldn’t get started.
Once I noticed that there was a primary project that I just wasn’t getting started—I decided, I needed to at least start. ASAP!
So, I rolled up my sleeves and took that first tiny step to get that thing done. I needed to make a video and I had been putting it off for a week! I did it. It wasn’t a big deal at all. I even redid it just to make it a little better.
Within an hour of finishing that video, I had 90 % of my to-do list done.
Getting started on something works like a magic wand.
By starting that one thing, I not only got it accomplished but I was able to easily complete a whole bunch of other things that needed to be done as well.
That thing I was avoiding getting started was acting like a block to EVERYTHING I needed to do.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started something I was dreading or putting off and found it to be way easier than I thought it would be. It never fails to amaze me that I can create so much inner turmoil over something that really shouldn’t be a big deal.
From my experience of working with thousands of people over the years that it is really common to put things off by simply not starting them.
How do you get around this? Here are my favorite ways to do this.
Ways to Get Started
- Set a timer for 10–15 minutes and just get started. Do it again the next day, and so on until you get that thing done.
- Write it down. I keep a notebook and every few days, I write down the things I want to accomplish. I know that if I write it down, I WILL get to it and get it started.
- If a task has multiple parts, pick the easiest part of it to do first. Then the next easiest and so on.
- This isn’t really a new bullet point—I just want to reemphasize how effective #1 is. When all else fails, set the timer and do SOMETHING. Then do that each and every day until you are getting this thing done. This works!
Often, I am finding that often the simplest solutions are also the most effective. You truly don’t need complicated systems to get IMPORTANT things done. However, you do need to be committed to getting things done. But if you have that mindset, you can accomplish anything.
Whatever it is that you need to do today–Get started!
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I'm a former counselor, career services leader, and college advisor. Now I coach and write at My Think Big Life promoting health and personal growth.