This might just be one of the most over-discussed, over-thought and over-anticipated struggles on the planet. And I am here to share the million-dollar secret! Are you ready? Sitting down? Take a few deep breaths, please. Okay. The secret to getting started, is…
Let’s not over-complicate, over-discuss this too much. People spend years thinking and planning and talking but rarely doing. In fact, the winners are the people who do. An average idea acted upon is the better than the greatest intention or idea which has not seen the light of day. One of the best books written about resistance (which represents everything that stands between the life you have and the life you want) is Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. In the book he says, “The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.”
Your art can be one of a million things. And whether or not you acknowledge it, if you are not getting it done it is making you feel bad. Beginning yoga? Starting your small business? Writing a blog? Learning to cook? Traveling to Europe? You can begin today.
Procrastination is an epidemic. It stops us from becoming who we are here to be and from living our lives to their fullest potential. Every minute you spend thinking about what it is you would like to create, make and achieve is a minute you are not spending doing it. And Henry Ford said, “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
We either have the lives we want — the body, the career, the friends, the work-life balance, the fun adventures we crave, or we have excuses as to why we do not have these things. And the hard truth about excuses is that they mean nothing.
Here are six tips to taking action and getting started:
1. Make time.
Clear a block of at least two to four hours a week to get your dream started. Like an appointment or important meeting, this time is neither changeable nor negotiable.
2. Accept no excuses.
Every time a negative thought creeps in to tell you achieving your goal it is not possible, or to hinder you from getting started, release it immediately and consciously. Remember — results matter, excuses don’t!
3. Remove distractions.
Keep your phone and iPad at bay. Shut down all social media. Make yourself unavailable for anything or anyone during your creative time. Once you start doing this you will also find the freedom quite addictive.
4. Give yourself a deadline.
This is crucial. What does success look like for you and your project? Give yourself a clear, achievable and realistic deadline to make it happen (within 6 months I will have finished my novel).
Break it up into small, bite-size deadlines, too, to make yourself accountable along the way (12 chapters in total, two to be completed per month for the next 6 months). Personally I don’t like deadlines longer than 6 months because you can’t taste them.
5. Enjoy the process!
When we are in the process of doing we are at our most calm, engaged and creative. Allow yourself to be fully present and enjoy the flow of your talents as you express them.
6. Celebrate! When you have had one month of applied activity towards your goal, treat yourself! A massage, new motivating book or glass of champagne will inspire you to keep going.
What have you been procrastinating over for some time and what are you ready to get started doing today?
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Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on February 8, 2016.