Over the past couple of decades, I’ve written a number of books. When people find out that I am a published author they’ll often ask, “I’d like to write a book. How would you recommend that I do it?” My answer is nearly always the same, the key to writing a book is to get started.
I’ve also studied martial arts and over the last 5 decades or so I’ve earned multiple black belts in a few different arts. Again, when people ask, how can I earn a black belt, my answer is always, get started. You can’t achieve a goal until you take action which means DOING something.
Today we’re going to talk about the importance of getting started and why getting started at one of your projects today can make a huge difference in your life moving forward.
The Importance of Getting Started
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb
Do you have dreams of a project that you really want to do, but you’ve never got around to it? Maybe it’s writing a book. Maybe it’s building a boat. Maybe its going to the gym to become healthier.
Many people have goals like this but then life gets in the way, and they find themselves putting it off again and again. Every time they think about their goal, they find a reason not to get started on it.
If this feels familiar, let me ask you, how might your life be different if you had just taken action? What would your life be like if you had taken that first step, gotten started on that project?
Making plans are great, but even with the best plans, nothing happens until you actually get started!
8 reasons why being able to get started is a critical life skill:
1. Nothing actually happens until you get started.
How many people do you know that have a great plan to accomplish a goal? Of those people, who has accomplished their goals? The ones who actually got started, of course!
All the planning, scheming, and visualizing in the world of your goal won’t move the needle an inch. You can sit in front of the window and visualize money coming in forever, but until you take action, you won’t bring in a penny. At some point, you have to get started to produce results. You will never receive any results until you finally take action and begin.
Even though getting started can be challenging, progress builds momentum and momentum brings motivation. Once you begin, you’ll start to notice that things are happening. As you continue, the magnitude of your results will build on each other and will grow exponentially. But you have to get over the hump and get started to achieve any results.
3. You learn while doing.
Studying is good but actually learning how to do is better. I could read books and study videos about martial arts forever, but I will never learn anything until I actually DO something. This also holds true for writing, internet marketing, sales, playing the piano or anything else you want to accomplish. You’ll only learn and get better by doing it.
4. Too much planning leads to inaction.
While it’s good to have a plan, it’s way too easy to fall into the trap of planning. The deeper you plan, the more detailed and tedious it becomes. You quickly reach a point where you can’t find a definitive answer because things become too vague as you look further and further out. You need to get started and find what works. Then you can adjust your plan as needed.
5. Getting Started smooths the path for the future.
Once getting started becomes a habit you won’t have to think about getting started when you have a new project, you’ll just begin. By beginning the habit of getting started today, your next project will be that much easier to start.
6. You’ll feel a lot better about yourself.
We silently loathe ourselves when we procrastinate for too long. We know deep down inside that we’re simply making an excuse because we’re actually too scared to begin and to risk failure. You’ll fell a lot better about yourself once you get started and making progress.
7. You speed up the time to reach your goals.
While this seems obvious, few people consider it. The only way to accomplish a goal is to get started. If you had started working on your goal a year earlier, you’d be successful a year earlier, too.
8. You change your self-image.
When you begin taking action, you start seeing yourself as action taker This perception of yourself will eventually lead to creating a habit of getting started ASAP.
Get Started Today
Now that you have all these reasons why getting started is so important, you’ll likely want to get started on something. How can you get started today?
The first thing you need to do to get yourself over the hump is to break your project down into small, achievable steps. If those steps look overly complicated, break them down even further until you get to one small action you can take to get started.
Once you have that first small step, do it. Take that one small action.
This is how you make yourself into an action taker.