The Hardest Step to Making Life-Changing Habits
The most difficult part of developing a new habit, like exercising, playing the guitar, or writing each day is getting started. Playing the guitar for 30 minutes each day isn’t difficult, once you actually sit down on the piano bench. Getting started is the tough part.
The habit to focus on first is the habit of getting started!
Maybe this is the year you’re determined to get that beach body, yet you’re struggling to get yourself to the gym on a regular basis. Why don’t you feel like going for a jog or picking up your guitar every day?
Why is it challenging to get started?
Isaac Newton solved the problem with his laws of motion. An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion. An object at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it. It takes a lot more energy to get something moving…
You might already feel very comfortable sitting on the couch. It will take much effort to get off your butt and go for a run, especially if it’s raining. Maybe you have to take your guitar out of the case, tune it, and then clear off a place to sit down and play.
If you think about it, both of those reasons are actually different viewpoints of the same issue.
The solution to make getting started easier:
- Choose an activity that you enjoy. Try to find an activity that will fit your requirements that you also enjoy. If you love basketball, but dislike running, choose basketball for getting into better shape.
- If you love it, you’ll be more likely to get started.
- Attempt to come up with an activity you can do at home. If you have to get in the car before you actually start the activity, it’s going to be more challenging to start. This is one of the biggest barriers to doing anything.
- Start easy. If you want to start yoga, begin with a class for beginners. The advanced class is probably a mistake. Another idea is to limit the amount of time you spend. Practice the guitar for 10 minutes each day this week. You can add time slowly.
- It’s easier to get started if you know it’s only going to take a few minutes.
- Focus on just the first step. Whether it’s putting on your running shoes or writing one sentence in your word processor. Do the first step before you can talk yourself out of it.
- Once you’ve tackled that first step, momentum can get you through.
- Plan ahead and so no preparation is needed. If your plan is to go running after dinner, have all your running clothes laid out in the morning. Have your guitar tuned, in its stand, and ready to go. The lower the barrier to getting started when the time comes, the easier it will be to get started.
- What can you do to make getting started as easy as possible?
- Get an Accountability Buddy. If you make plans with another person, you will unlikely back out. Most of us find it painful to let someone else down. This is especially helpful if you have to do the activity at another location. It can really help you to get out the door.
So, the trick is to making starting as easy as possible. Tell yourself that getting started is all that matters. You’ll frequently find that it’s easy to continue, if you can simply get started. Try the above tips and see if you can get 30 days under your belt and develop that new habit.
Start small, but get started!
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