How to get started on that goal you’ve been putting off.
We can drive ourselves crazy planning. We can delay starting a project, diet, business, or lifestyle change because we don’t feel ready or want to “cover all bases” before embarking on such a journey.
Reality Check: These are all excuses.
Now, I know that sounds harsh, and I’m the first to admit that I do the same thing, but sometimes we need someone to shoot us straight. How many times have you been committed to starting a diet, but have decided to “start on Monday,” or even better yet, “start once I’ve eaten all the junk so it doesn’t tempt me.” We are professional procrastinators.
Most often, we are procrastinating because something is incredibly important to us. We get caught up on doing it right… and that yields a seemingly insurmountable amount of pressure.
Breathe. You are human. You’re going to get it wrong sometimes. And that’s okay!
So, what are some things we can do to get us started?
1.) Embrace the fear of starting:
This Psychology Today article puts it best and explains why acknowledging your fear works; “You’re scared because you expect a lot from yourself and you’re afraid you’ll underperform. When you acknowledge that fear, you’re acknowledging that you might not have all that it takes to meet your expectations; you might not have all the tools, information, skills, etc. Admitting that, in turn, reduces your expectation of getting it perfect right off the bat.”
2.) Accepting imperfection:
This piggybacks off the last point. It’s okay not to get it right all the time. This is a journey and a learning experience. There is no failure where there is an opportunity to learn.
3.) Knowing the end goal may change:
When we get new, great ideas, it’s very easy to get overly attached to them and the outcome. Reminding yourself that it’s okay to return to the drawing board and change the direction of the project can also help keep the project moving. Along the path, the path becomes clear—and the twists, turns, and forks in the road may take you to an even more unbelievable destination!
4.) Get accountable:
Put a start date on the calendar. Ready or not, here it comes… I think you’ll surprise yourself with how ready you actually are.
5.) Stop distracting yourself:
Before starting a major project, you may find yourself cleaning the kitchen, setting up a workspace, or clearing your mind on a walk. Although all helpful things, when used as a distraction tactic, will ultimately aid in procrastination.