The million-dollar secret! Are you ready? Sitting down? Take a few deep breaths, please. Okay. The secret to getting started, is...
To get started!
This is one of the most over-complicated, over-discussed topics on the planet. People spend years thinking and planning and talking and rarely doing. 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 is whatever it is that you are delaying in getting started. And whether or not you acknowledge it, it is making you feel bad. Beginning yoga? Starting your small business? Writing a blog? Learning to cook? Traveling to Europe? 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. 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.
4. Give yourself a deadline.
This is crucial. What does success look like for you and your project? Start with the end in mind and give yourself a clear, achievable and realistic deadline to make it happen (e.g., by December 31, 12 p.m. EST, I will have finished my novel).
Break it up into small, bite-size deadlines, too, to make yourself accountable along the way (11 chapters in total, one to be completed per month until end of year).
5. Enjoy the process!
When we are in the process of doing we are at our most calm, engaged and creative. Be present and enjoy the flow of your talents as you express them.
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.
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