In any project, getting started can be difficult. Sometimes we postpone getting started because we are not sure what that first step needs to be. We wait for that inspiration about HOW we are going to start our project. Some of us procrastinate. Some wait for divine inspiration.
The key to any successful endeavor, though, is getting started. Without that start, you aren’t going anywhere! If you often get stuck, or have trouble getting started, this article may provide some needed tips for you.
One way to begin is to “start with the end in mind,” as Stephen Covey proposed. Begin with a clear vision of your outcome. For example, if you are writing or preparing a presentation, think about what you want your audience to know. Figure this part out first.
Capture the vision portion of your project. Knowing what your outcome is may help you take that first step to move toward that outcome or goal.
Sometimes, even after you have laid out all the steps to achieve your vision, you still feel paralyzed. You might still be trying to figure out how to take that first step. Sometimes people get hung trying to determine which steps should go first. Because they are struggling with this, they may not take any action.
When this happens, I believe it is important to start SOMEWHERE. If you are feeling stuck about where to start, go ahead, start with any small step. Sometimes doing a project is like cleaning a house–it doesn’t matter what room you start in, as long as you work through all of them.
When I am doing a project and can’t exactly figure out what I need to do first, I jump in and do SOMETHING. This helps me get rid of the inertia that will otherwise keep me stuck.
I find that many people get stuck at the first step. Sometimes they vacillate back and forth between two approaches, unable to make a decision about how to proceed. My advice? Flip a coin. Jump in and do one or the other. Just make a decision and move forward. You’ll know soon enough if it is not the “right” decision. But more often than not, both approaches will get you there.
When you are not moving at all because you are feeling stuck, the important thing is just to MOVE. This is a lesson I’ve learned from a horse. One of my horses, Preacher, does not like to be led. He plants his feet and refuses to go forward. He becomes 1000 pounds of immovable force.
I used to struggle with him. Now, however, I just go with it. I have discovered that I can usually move him in a different direction–to the side, backwards, at an angle–anything to be moving rather than planted. This gets us going. Once you are moving, you can always change direction and go in the direction you want to go; the important thing is to be moving.
Why? Because an object in motion stays in motion. Once you are moving, there’s a better chance that you will move forward toward your goal. You will build momentum toward your outcome. Moving will become easier than staying still. Once you have started, you will modify your course if necessary, but you will be moving.
This is true whether you are moving a horse, cleaning your house, writing a book or creating a new program. The key is in taking some action right at the beginning. No matter what your project, getting started is the key!
(c) 2009 Linda Pucci, Ph.D.
Linda Pucci, Ph.D. is a psychologist, life coach, trainer and owner of Inner Resource Center, LLC. She has 30 years of experience helping people overcome obstacles, change their lives, and reach goals they had not thought possible using her solution focused approach. She specializes in helping people get unstuck from negative emotions and limiting beliefs that sabotage their happiness. Get additional free tips and challenges for getting unstuck from her Inner Resources report. Or contact her for a free 20 minute consultation at http://www.InnerResourceCenter.com.