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Stuck? Just Start!

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Emotional Health related image Photos: Getty Images

It’s hard to get started, and the pressure you feel is very stressful.

“Getting started” could mean a lot of different things, so let me talk about a few of them. For one thing, getting started in the morning can be pretty difficult for a lot of folks; just getting to that first cup of coffee can be the biggest challenge of the day! Try this: at the end of today, try to save something for tomorrow that you are really looking forward to doing. Then, when your eyes open and that dreadful feeling of “I don’t wanna get up!” starts to flood over you, you might remember the fun thing you saved for yourself and jump out of bed with enthusiasm. (Or not!)

It’s also hard to get started when you have a seemingly overwhelming pile or list of things to do, such as a stack of bills, letters or emails that you have to deal with. Here’s a tip: "trick" yourself by deciding that you will only deal with, say, 10 of them and then give yourself a reward. For example, you’ll just answer 10 emails and then treat yourself to a short European vacation! Hmmmmm, maybe that would be a little extreme… how ‘bout a short walk in the sunshine or listening to your favorite CD track? Here’s what will happen: you’ll do that first 10 and say to yourself, “That wasn’t so bad, I’ll just do another 10 and then have my treat.” Before you know it, the task will be done and you’ll really enjoy that treat that you’ve earned.

Even with this technique, you’ll look at the list of things to do and wonder where to start. Which of the items on my list should I begin with?

The answer may surprise you. Here it is: it doesn’t matter. That’s right! It doesn’t matter where you start. JUST START!!

Just write something down or type something in. It doesn’t matter, JUST DO IT! There is a fundamental principle of the universe that is at work here; it’s much easier to change SOMEthing than to start with a “blank sheet of paper."

You know that no matter what you start with, it’s probably going to change before the project is finished. And just about everything you do at first will give you new ideas about some aspect of what you’re doing.

Add a Comment3 Comments


Ooops - that last comment was from me; it says "Anonymous" because I forgot to log in first!

April 1, 2011 - 3:10pm
EmpowHER Guest

This technique was intended for those with a mental block rather than a physical one. I'm sorry to hear of your condition, I know several people who suffer from fibromyalgia and it doesn't sound like much fun, but here is a suggestion: start very slowly with "baby steps." Rather than jumping up and cleaning the house, for example, decide instead to walk around and make a list of the places that need it the most or are the easiest to do. You can do it slowly if necessary, but it will be progress toward your goal. By the time you've done that you may feel more like actually beginning to do the things on the list.

April 1, 2011 - 2:45pm
EmpowHER Guest

What can you do if your inability to get started stems from having a condition like fibromyalgia? Sometimes fighting through the pain and the "fibrofog" just makes it too hard to get started. Even though once you do it is not that bad getting there seems an impossible mountain to climb.

April 1, 2011 - 2:21pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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