The importance of getting started (& 4 ways to actually begin)

‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’

Do you ever browse through those ‘day in the life’ profiles where successful people forever seem to start their day at obscenely early hours?

Although the repetition can be grating, it’s not entirely coincidental. After all, you can’t achieve much in a day if it never gets going.

In the immortal words of Mastermind host Magnus Magnusson: ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’.

Start your day with purpose.

Life isn’t a dress rehearsal

There may be no more important action in life than simply getting started.

Whether your aim is to learn to windsurf, travel to 50 countries, form a metal band, start an online business – or tick off any of the other 97 items on your life goals list – you can’t achieve them until you get started.

Take a risk. Do something new. Begin today.

Have faith & overcome the guilt

Have you ever felt the guilt of procrastination? So have I. It can be excruciating, often exceeding the pain of actually doing.

Waiting for everything to be ‘just right’, which it never will be, can lead to dangerous lines of thought (‘if I can’t be the best then there’s no point in trying)’.

Getting started might be of more importance than being right, while mastering a craft isn’t nearly as important as continually challenging yourself.

Procrastination leads to unfulfilled dreams; so begin.

4 ways to get started

The message is clear, so here are 4 ways to take action:

(i) Goals breakdown – break down your goals into more achievable (and therefore more believable) chunks, such as writing the first chapter of your novel;

(ii) Use a commitment device – team up with a partner to ensure commitment, automate your savings, get a personal coach. Whatever it takes to hold you accountable, do that;

(iii) Don’t be a perfectionist – there are flaws in flawlessness; don’t get so stuck in the details that you forget the goal; and

(iv) Avoid distractors/distractions – I’d never have written a book, founded a business, started investing, or done any of those other 97 things on my life goals list had I listened to my distractors. Oh, and turn that wretched television off!

To conclude, the majestic words of Seth Godin:

‘Merely beginning.

With inadequate preparation, because you’ll never be fully prepared. With imperfect odds, because the odds are never perfect. With the humility of someone who’s not sure, but the excitement of someone who knows that it’s possible.