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How to get started

Taking the first step is the most important step towards any goal, but often it can also be the hardest. There are many things that can help you take that first step. In this post I'm listing some of those that I have found helpful achieving my goals.

Have a clear goal

When you know what you are trying to archive it's much easier to stay focused. Having clear vision on what the end result will be gives you better sense of purpose to get started.

Make a commitment

When you have made commitment towards the goal you feel obligated to start working. This can be for example financial investment or a promise that you will get it done. Not living up to your investment can be a bigger source of anxiety than starting to work.

For example getting this blog launched I got the domain name and server ready. Not writing anything here would have meant that I keep losing money for nothing.

Get over perfection paralysis

Often it might feel like you are not ready for the task. You feel you are not able to finish the task so that it would be perfect and without flaws. You don't have to get it perfect the first time. Focusing on getting something done and improving it later is a much better approach.

To get this blog released I just picked up a nice looking theme on top of pretty stock drupal installation. It's not perfect, but it gets the job done and it's easy to improve later along the way.

Have some fun

Some tasks might feel like just plain boring. Adding some fun to the task that makes you look forward to get started might be a good idea. This might feel counterintuitive having more to do, but if it gets you started it's worth it.

It would have been easy to put my blog on some readymade blogging platform. But I like fiddling with the technical things and wanted to go have it all managed by myself. The joy of getting to tune every little thing was the thing to keep me exited.

Force yourself

Deadlines are probably the most important things in the world to getting things done. If you don't have externally set deadline just give yourself one. You just have to be your own supervisor on this one. Don't let yourself too easy!

Reward success

Give yourself small rewards when you complete a task. Some tasks can be rewarding by themselves, but the rest might need some extra incentives. It's easier to start working on something when you know you'll get rewarded at the end.

Use available tools

You don't have to always start from the scratch. For many things there are ready made tools that you can use to make the task a lot easier. This could also help you around the perfectionism by providing the verification.

Make preparations

When you have done your background work it's a lot easier to just jump in. Make sure you have everything you need to complete the task at hand when starting. If you are not prepared can lead to interruptions and risks postponing the task once again.

Start small

You are not going to take over the world overnight. Focus on the goals that are actually achievable and work up towards bigger goals one step at the time. If the task feels too overwhelming step back and re-evaluate the goal.

Take smaller steps

Having your tasks divided to a smaller steps makes it a lot easier to pick up a task. That way you don't feel intimidated by the scope of the task and work needed. You should be sure you are able to complete the task at once and not worry to find time and energy to return to the task later. Having small bite-sized tasks gives you the sense of achieving. Completing many small tasks makes it a lot easier to work toward bigger goals.

Don't leave tasks unfinished

Always try to finish task at hand. Unfinished tasks just keep accumulating to your mind not giving you a rest. Soon you are not able to start or continue on any task as you have a feeling of must do them all.

It's dangerous to go alone

You can always involve others in your tasks. If you get stuck or don't know something there is always somebody you could ask for help. Also don't neglect the importance of feedback. It is the best way to improve!

I hope this will be as helpful to you completing your tasks as it has been for me. I just got a huge checkmark to my todo list completing this task of writing the first post of my blog!