Getting Started Is The Toughest Part Of The Job
One of the most challenging things about starting on a new project, a goal or a task usually isn’t the planning, the thinking about it and the mapping it out. It is the doing. Actually taking the first step is usually the most difficult part of any new endeavor.
I was reading a project managers manual and found it interesting that listed, as one of the reasons projects fail, is lack of implementation. In others words, not starting the project was a major cause of its failure. Such is with life; we can have the best intentions and plans, but if we never start, nothing will happen.
I have noticed that, when I start a new project, procrastination sets in. I remember when I was writing my dissertation my house was never cleaner. In fact, one day I was outside scrubbing down my kitchen garbage can with a toothbrush. My husband wanted to know what on earth I was doing. “I am avoiding working on my paper,” I said. Getting started just seems to be the most challenging aspect of anything new.
My guess is one of the biggest reasons that starting is so challenging is the fear of the unknown. All the doubts and uncertainty can be overwhelming. Also fear of not doing it right, or even not knowing what to do. The cure for all of these fears is action. Action is the enemy of fear. The best thing to do when fear sets in is to take action, and the secret is any action will do. Just get moving and fear will move aside and the beginning will start.
If getting started has you stunned with fear, take a deep breath and take one small action. Do something, anything. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you take action. Getting started is challenging, but once you do you will build momentum that will keep you going.
Another trick that might help you is to get an accountability partner. Someone you will report to from time to time on your progress. It sounds silly, but you are more likely to start and stick with what you promise someone else than just promising yourself. It is so easy to break a promise you make to you, but not as easy to do so when you have committed to a friend, a mentor or a coach. I have clients that hire me just for the accountability aspect, and it works.
Are you ready to get started?
This week make a commitment to get started on a goal, a task or a project you have been putting off. For additional support, enlist the help of a friend. Don’t keep putting off what you want. Take the first step and the next one will be easier.
Daily Success Formula
Getting Started + Taking Action = The hardest part completed
“Sometimes, people use age as a convenient excuse. ‘I’m too old too start something new’, or, ‘I couldn’t learn that at my age.’ Other people, though, go on to achieve their greatest accomplishments in life in later years.” Catherine Pulsifer
“Continuous effort — not strength or intelligence — is the key to unlocking our potential.” Liane Cardes
“Start where you are.” Edgar Cayce
If You Work the System, the System will Work
I am amazed at all the systems out there that will help us lose weight, get a better life, find a better relationship, or make lots of money. It seems that there is a new system being created everyday. It makes me wonder if the old system did not work or if it wasn’t worked.
Experience has taught me that if a system is based on a strong foundation and is worked consistently, it will work. All it takes is action. The problem is most people want the system to solve the problem and create the results. Alone the system cannot do anything. The system is simply the tool. The tool is no good without consistent action.
It seems many people are looking for the magic answer. The system that is going to cure whatever it is that ails them. No system is going to fix anything. The system is simply the tool we can use to create the change that we want. Alone the system is of no use. Backed with consistent action, it is powerful.
Most of us know what to do. We have tried enough systems for losing weight, making money and a myriad of other things to know what works. It is not the system that is the problem. It is the lack of consistent action. We cannot expect the system to do anything. We are the ones that power the system. If we put consistent and persistent action behind just about any system, it will work. We simply have to find a system that fits for us and work it.
I have experienced in my life that once the system starts to work I drop the system. I somehow think that I can stop doing what is working and it will continue to work. If you find something that works for you, do not stop doing it because it works. Build it into the structure of your life and make it a habit. Once the system becomes a habit it will support you in creating what it is you want.
Do you have a system that works for you?
Daily Success Formula
Consistent Action + Persistent Action + Working the System = Success
“People are where they are because that is exactly where they really want to be–whether they will admit that or not.” Earl Nightingale
“You can get all A’s and flunk life.” Walker Percy
The Success Is In The Daily Action
When we think about success, we might be tempted to look at the overall result and believe that is where the success lies. The end result is simply the product of daily action. Without doing something every day towards the goal, there wouldn’t be anything to celebrate.
The old joke, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time” is a great example of how to achieve success. Nothing happens overnight. Success is in small consistent daily actions. When I work with clients on creating goals, I have them break down their goals into what they can do this month, this week and today. We create a strategic plan that enables the client to understand what has to happen each day to achieve the goal. Some clients are surprised that they can do something every day towards the goal, but actually it is the only way. When you examine how you have achieved, you will notice that the success came from the little steps you took along the way that added up and made the big difference.
With the New Year here, this is a great time to establish a new goal or recommit to an old one. This time, however, don’t focus so much on the end result, but the steps that need to be taken to achieve the goal. It can be overwhelming to think, “Oh my! I have to lose 75 pounds.” But, if you look at it one day at a time and focus on what you need to do that day, it becomes easier. Attend to the daily actions and the end result will take care of itself.
What are you willing to do today towards you goal?
Create a strategic plan for one goal or change you would like to see happen this year. Map out the daily actions you will need to take. Keep in mind that the success comes in the daily action, so make a commitment to do something every day, and achieving your goal is guaranteed.
Daily Success Formula
Daily Action + Commitment = Success
“The game of life is a game of boomerangs. Our thoughts, deeds and words return to us sooner or later with astounding accuracy.” Florence Scovel Shinn
“The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” Lao Tzu
“The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” William Faulkner
Wish, Dream, Goal, Plan, Take Action
It came to me the other day as I was thinking about the process of making our deepest desires come true. The really big things start out as a wish. The wish turns into a dream, and, if you are serious about the dream, it turns into a goal. Once the goal is set, a plan must be created and action taken if the wish is to come true.
Wishes don’t come true unless they turn into dreams. Dreams are deep desires that compel the dreamer to move forward. The dream, if it is to come to life needs to turn into a goal. Turning the dream into a goal brings the dream into reality and gives the dream a concrete plan of action. The most crucial step in the entire process is to take action. Taking action is the only way you are going to make your wish come true.
The way to make a wish come true is a process. The process is to take action on the plan to make the wish come true. Wishes don’t just “poof” into existence. Wishes take hard work, determination, and a little sweat.
Are you ready to move your wish into reality?
Live the Day
Pick a wish and begin working to make it come true.
Daily Success Formula
Wish + Dream + Goal + Plan + Action = Wish come true
“Happy the man who early learns the wide chasm that lies between his wishes and his powers.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it come true. You may have to work for it, however.” Richard Bach
“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” Anatole France
A friend and colleague of mine has written a great book that is all about mustering up your courage and doing what you really want to. The book is Find Your Courage (McGraw-Hill) and it is packed with great tips, ideas and stories about ways to find your courage and take action in your life. Christen and I interviewed Margie on Live the Day and she is an amazing person.
Margie is re-releasing her book today and is giving lots of great gifts and 100% of the profits to a non-profit organization until January 31st. It is a great deal, just the free gifts alone are worth it, and yes one of them came from me, not to mention you will help a worthy cause. I have included all the info and the link to go grab a copy of the book now.
Learn more at http://www.margiewarrell.com/findyourcouragepromotion.htm
Find Your Courage: 12 Acts for Becoming Fearless in Work and Life will help you to:
IDENTIFY COURAGE BLOCKERS
The fears and doubts that are holding you back and limiting your success – personally and professionally.
TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO TREAT YOU
The eight essentials for courageous conversations that grow your influence and enable you to have the rich, rewarding and trusting relationships you want.
ACHIEVE THE GOALS THAT INSPIRE YOU MOST DEEPLY
Discover the keys to getting and staying on track toward your goals and dreams – no matter how big!
LEARN HOW TO BE A LEADER
Develop your innate leadership potential and learn the secrets to powerful communication, managing commitments and decision making.
ENJOY HEIGHTENED WELLBEING AND GREATER BALANCE
Learn how to ask for you really want and say no to the good to make room for the great.
BUILD YOUR MUSCLES FOR LIFE
Reframe how you are viewing your ‘problems’ to address your challenges with more confidence and less stress.
100% of Profit to Charity
Last, but certainly not least, 100% of the profits raised from book sales between now and January 31st will be given to the not for profit charity www.BrighterAfrica.org. Founded by a friend of Margie’s who found the courage to dare to make a difference in the world poorest nation of Sierra Leone, 100% of the money donated to BrighterAfrica.org is guaranteed to go directly to funding education and health programs for the women and children of Sierra Leone.
So please, don’t miss out on this opportunity to invest in your future happiness and success and, as you do, contribute to a brighter future of people far less fortunate than you.
So take action now and find your courage to do the things you have always wanted to do.
It Is Easy to See Stupidity in Other People
Ever notice how easy it is to see stupidity in other people? That’s because we judge other people’s actions, and we justify our own. Instead of judging other people to be stupid, just take their actions as is. It is difficult to know why other people do what they do. There could be a number of reasons for their actions, and being stupid is only one of them.
A great example of this concept can be seen in driving. When someone pulls out in front of you, he or she is stupid. When you pull out in front of someone else, you didn’t see the car, it was in your blind spot, or whatever else you use to justify the action. I have rarely been a passenger in a vehicle when the driver admitted that the right turn made from the left lane was stupid. There always is a good reason why the driver made that move. And I would guess that is true for most people.
The biggest thing I have learned from coaching is how easy it is to see what other people are doing wrong in their lives and what is causing the problem. The reason I can do this is because I have the bigger picture of my client’s life, what I call “the bird’s eye view.” My client is too close to what is going on and has what I call “the grass blade view.” People don’t do stupid things on purpose; they do them because they don’t see the bigger picture. They are too close to the situation to see exactly what is going on.
We have all done stupid things. Instead of constantly judging others, give them the benefit of the doubt and move on. The good news is that most stupid things people do don’t end up causing major harm. Instead of worrying about the stupid things other people are doing, pay attention to what you are doing and do your best not to do too many stupid things yourself.
Are you judging others and justifying your own behavior?
Today, refrain from judging the actions of others as stupid and pay attention to your own actions.
“When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares
that it is his duty.” George Bernard Shaw
“The sense of humor is the oil of life’s engine. Without it, the machinery creaks and groans. No lot is so hard, no aspect of things is so grim, but it relaxes before a hearty laugh.” George S. Merriam
I am usually not up this late but since it is my birthday! Had a wonderful birthday. I received dozen of calls, lots of well wishes on my Facebook page, cards, gifts and surprises. My wonderful husband took me on a shopping spree! That is always fun. We then went to dinner at Chili’s where I had Steak and Portobello Mushroom Fajitas (hold the steak). After dinner we went to Fridays where we shared a Brownie Obsession and I had a fancy coffee drink. I had to stop Jason the bartender from making me a shooter.
The whole day was great. I finished a big project I was working on for a client, coached and launched my two new DAPP Success Camps.
To top it off it snowed which was so beautiful to watch during the day.
I apologize I keep forgetting to take pictures of all my fun events. Well don’t worry I am still celebrating throughout the week and I promise I will remember to pull the camera out and snap a few pictures. Wait until you see the new birthday outfit my husband got me!
Didn’t get the fish yet. We need to find out if fish can live in cold water. We don’t turn our heat up very much during the winter, we both like it kind of chilly. I think that might have been what killed my last fish. I am going to check at the pet store tomorrow.
No Vegan cake yet either. Need to stop by Whole Foods and get a slice.
The celebration continues. Stay tuned.
Here’s to taking action,
Today is my birthday and I don’t mind telling you I am 49! I was born on January 26, 1960 at 5:45am. I was early, which my mom always said it was the only time in my life that I arrived early!
I like birthdays because they are an individual holiday. You get to celebrate you! For ways people celebrate birthdays around the world go to Birthday Traditions!
It depends, this year I am having a very low key birthday but there have been birthdays when I have gone all out. It really doesn’t matter what you do on your birthday as long as you celebrate it. Don’t miss the chance to celebrate your life and who you are.
I also don’t just celebrate one day, I like to say I am having a Birthday Month. I celebrate throughout the month with friends and family. This week I am having lunches and dinners out with friends and family all week and will even be going for a Pedicure with my friend Kathleen. All to celebrate the day I was born! Got to love that.
And what gift did I want for my birthday? A fish! My fish died a couple months ago and I really miss him. I told my husband all I wanted for my birthday is a piece of Vegan Chocolate cake and a fish! Hopefully I will have pictures to share of the new fish soon.
Birthdays are important and need to be celebrated. How will you celebrate your birthday?
Here’s to taking action,
No One Thing Is To Blame
When we look at the cause of something gone wrong, it usually become apparent that there is not one thing to blame, but a chain of events. A great example is if we are overweight. It isn’t the donut we ate this morning that caused the excess baggage, but the donuts and other consumed items that contributed to the extra pounds. Our life is a combination of events and happenings. Instead of looking for the one thing to blame, look for the chain of events that is causing the problem.
To try to blame one thing, or even one person, we will miss the cause and the chance to prevent problems from reoccurring. Instead of looking at just the end result, take a systems approach and look at all the contributing factors. Everything affects everything, so notice what is happening in your life and when you first noticed the problem. Taking the weight example, perhaps you were going along fine and something stressful or challenging happened. Exercise became too difficult to fit into your schedule, next the eating habits slid, then you ran out of your vitamins and didn’t purchase more and the next thing you knew you had gained twenty pounds and were not feeling as energetic as you once had. You can see that it was multiple events and not just one action that caused the slide. By understanding what contributed to the slip, we can better understand what needs to be corrected in order to make the changes we desire. We can also see that in challenging situations we have a tendency to let go of healthy habits, and this is good to know. This way we can prepare for challenging situations and guard against letting a slip become a rapid fall.
I once had a friend, who never ran up debt, tell me it was never one purchase that got people into trouble. It was a combination of purchases that crept onto their credit cards that created the large debt. Often people don’t even realize how deep in debt they are until they are in over their heads. This is because it doesn’t happen overnight, it happens over time. No one purchase is to blame; it is a string of purchases. This is true with almost every problem we have. It didn’t just happen; there were a series of events that led to the problem.
The good news is that at anytime we can stop the next event from happening and take new actions. We can turn the situation around, but we first must stop the process that has begun. The chain of events will continue to happen until we stop it and take back control.
Are you ready to change your life one action at a time?
No one thing is going to change your life. It takes a series of events and actions that will create a problem or create something great in your life. Since we have the freedom of choice, you can choose at anytime to begin to change your life one action at a time. Today, decide to do one thing differently than you did yesterday. For example, if you usually have a donut for breakfast, have a healthier breakfast. If you want to save money, but can’t seem to, just put one dollar into your piggy bank. Change happens one action at a time. If you put one dollar a day away for a year you would have $365.00 by the end of the year. Every action adds up.
Daily Success Formula
Time + Action = Results
“Fate knows where you are going, but it is up to you to drive there.” Michelle Keesling
“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
“A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do, nothing else.” Mahatma Gandhi
I recently had a subscriber to the blog, which I really didn’t realize how many of you there were so thank you, unsubscribe because he said, “The updates were too frequent.” As you might have noticed I have been updating almost every day since the first of the year. This was intentional on my part. I wanted to keep the momentum going at least for the first month because I know this can be a very challenging time. We are still in the “quit zone” where those that made New Years Resolutions and Goals are tempted to give up or even forget what they decided they would do. By posting every day I am hoping I will give you some incentive and encouragement to keep on going.
I know every day is pretty frequent, but I didn’t design the process I just figured out a way to leverage it. And that is by taking daily action. I promise you if there is a secret to success that is it. Just do something every day towards your goal and you are pretty much guaranteed to achieving it.
You ask anyone that is a success and they will tell you that they started early and they did it often. You can’t expect to become a success at something you just do on occasion or just when you feel like it. Frequency is key.
I have recently been introduced to the concept that it takes about 10,000 times to achieve mastery at anything. Okay so who doesn’t think 10,000 times is a lot? That sounds overwhelming to me, however it sounds less intimidating if you break that down into daily action. I have a hard time wrapping my head around doing anything 10,000 times, but doing one thing a day doesn’t sound so bad. I can do that.
Please don’t give up because life is too frequent or daily action is well, so daily. Just keep doing what you know works and do it every day. By the end of the year you will be 365 steps closer to your goal.
Here’s to taking action,