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The Hardest Part of Anything is Getting Started

Deep down inside, I have a procrastination side to me. One that absolutely will find a dozen reasons why I can wait before beginning a project. Most times we procrastinate because the task seems overwhelming...and sometimes it is. But delaying doesn't make it easier.

I like the photo below because it began with a blank slate and a piece of chalk. Then one line led to another and yet another. There were parts we will never see, because they were erased to make room for better ideas. But eventually, it grew and molded to the model it is today. And it all started with a line.

How many times do we consider projects we would like to take on and goals we would like to accomplish, only to find that we don't get them done because for one reason or another we don't start. Yet, the magical thing about beginning a project is once we do, it very often becomes easier and eventually finds a momentum of its own.

This year our employees did a SWOT analysis. Everyone contributed what they perceived as our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. From there we formulated strategies to build on those. We now monitor them monthly and from what was once a blank piece of paper and idea, we now have a company roadmap for improvement.

Find some things you have wanted to do for some time - take a course, clean a closet, learn to golf, write a book, get a degree, read a book, run a marathon--whatever it might be and write down the first step you need to do to accomplish it. Forget about the enormity - just consider the very first thing you need to do--and do it. You will be amazed how the other pieces will fall into place.

Here are two recent procrastinations of mine. I've had Steven King's THE STAND on my shelf to read for some time. At 1153 pages, it's a daunting task. But two weeks ago, I opened to the first page and read it. One page was all I needed to start. I didn't need to read all 1153 pages in a day, or a week, or a month. I just needed to start--and today I'm 25% through this epic tale.

My second procrastination has been to learn Spanish. For years I have been very frustrated about not being able to communicate in another language. And while writing this post, I stopped, signed up for lessons and took my first one. It's a big language that will take a long time to conquer, but I'm committed to 15 minutes a day, and while six months from now, I won't be fluent, I'll be a lot better than I was yesterday.

I hope today will be the day you start a project that's been long on your list of things to do. Take that first step and watch how one single act will lead you into accomplishing something you have always dreamed of.

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