There is an overwhelming body of evidence that proves the best way to accomplish something is to start. All too often though it would seem there is a form of self-sabotage that stops us from starting. Whether we know what we need to do, and just don’t do it. Maybe we have a goal or target in mind but just keep moving the proverbial goalpost.
“He who has begun, has half done.”—Horace.
The above saying in some form or another appears in many different languages and cultures. The phrase may be worded differently or vary in some small way, but the basic premise is the same. The greatest challenge in completing any task before you is in starting.
The reason getting started is the most challenging aspect, is often based on not knowing where to start. Though rarely is this the actual problem. We are aware what to do for the first step or to get started. But do not take action because we do not know the second or third step.
In many ways getting started on a task is much the same as driving your car between two locations. You maybe want to travel from home to visit a friend. You know how to start your journey, and you know the final destination. However, some parts in the middle you may be unsure how to handle. Corners you may not remember, road changes you need to divert around. But you are visiting your friend, you may not know every turn along the way, yet you still get in the car and start driving.
Procrastination is one of the biggest roadblocks to getting started and one that can be easy to avoid. The main problem is identifying when you are procrastinating. Sometimes it is very easy to identify, just think about the time you spend on social media, watching TV and playing games. If these things are explicitly part of what you are doing for what your want to achieve, then they are procrastination.
Other times procrastination can be tough to identify because it is in disguise. The most common disguise that procrastination wears is that of taking action. It can be hard to pick up on because we do believe that we are doing something useful that needs doing.
Unfortunately, I have far too many good examples of this from my life. Writing is a task that I need to do so that I have something to share with you. But all too often when I have the title, and I know I need to write the post, I find myself procrastinating. I will be outside gardening, sorting through papers, or reading about some new gadget. All things that I may need to do at some point, but all of which at the time I should be writing is essentially procrastination.
The Ever-Moving Goal Posts
At times we are going to have a task that does have a particular need before we can start. Things like having money to start a business or having a qualification to apply for a certain job. These situations are all around us and often easy to identify.
Apply For a Job
An obvious example might be that you cannot apply for a job as a doctor before undertaking the required education. As such you may find that you need to spend numerous years studying before you can get started applying for doctor jobs.
In the same vein though if you have completed that seven years of education to become a doctor don’t move the goal posts. More to say now you can start applying for jobs as a doctor. It is not always a good spot to say I cannot start applying for jobs now because there is another course I can do. Continually moving the goal post is how people become career students, rather than starting their career.
Starting A Business
The idea of starting a business is one that I had quite early on in life. It is also something that I did not realise until much later on. My ideas started around 12-13 years old, and I wanted a mowing business. I had been mowing the lawn at home for pocket money on occasion, and I thought I could make some money mowing neighbours lawns.
The business did not need much, and I worked out that I needed $100. With this money, I could buy some petrol, print some flyers, and pay dad to use his lawn mower. It took about six months, but I eventually had saved the $100. But by this time I had thought of another plan to buy my lawn mower, so I would need to save $300. So I set about doing this and some 12 months later finally had saved $300.
The problem though was that no matter what I decided I needed to start this business. I kept having another idea along the way and not taking action to launch the business. I kept moving the goal post.
Starting Where You Are
Time and time again we see examples of people that have succeeded. They succeeded not because they had everything they would need. But succeeding because they just got started and figured out what they needed along the way.
Getting started is a whole lot easier than you might think. It starts with taking a good hard look at what it is you are trying to achieve. When you do this realistically and exclude any significant requirement for skills or money, you might just find you have more than you thought.
The next step to getting started is to identify the first step. There is a good chance that you already know what this first step is. The problem is rarely knowing the first step. But failing to take action on the first step because we do not know what the second or third step is.
The Final Step
The final step is to go and take that first step on whatever it is you want to achieve. You might think that this is simple and basic and just a repetition of what you have heard before.
The problem is that repetition is the only way we seem to learn. Not just repeated once or twice, all too often we need constant long-term repetition. Repetition of very basic concepts. Without the repetition we start making excuses, start delaying and start procrastinating.
The time to stop all the delaying tactics and procrastination is over. It is time to go out identify what you want. Find out what the first step is in achieving what you want. Then go out and take action on that first step. Start whatever it is that you want to do.
Just remember an Olympic Swimmer standing on the starting block does not hesitate. When the starter’s gun fires, they dive in and start swimming. Any hesitation at that point will likely result in losing the race.
If you know what that first step is, why not leave it in a comment down below. Let me and the other readers know what you are going to take action on today. You can connect with me on social media, pick your favourite social network below.