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Today’s message…Start!

Put your sneakers on and go exercise.

Close Facebook and put on a Ted Talk. 

That project you've been dreading at work? Clear half an hour, get a cup of coffee, and open it up. 

Forget about finishing.  Just start.

I know all about procrastination and starting again. I was beating myself up because I kept putting off my workout routine. I had a great one going, then I traveled to Hawaii and California, slowly started getting back on track, and boom…got sick for 3 weeks.  This past Monday morning, I decided to just start. On Monday morning I put on my sneakers, got on my elliptical and 40 minutes and and an episode of Mr. Robot later, I was starting to get back on track. Tuesday morning...same thing.  Tomorrow, I have no idea specifically what I’ll be doing for my workout.  What I do know though is that I’ll put my sneakers on – that will be my start.

My ex-wife has a wooden plaque above her computer that says "You are not behind; jump in where you are." Sage advice from a piece of wood.  It makes no good sense to lament what you SHOULD have done yesterday.  Forget it.  What can you start now?

In his great book, The Now Habit, Dr. Neill Fiore takes on procrastination.  The first chapter in the book is so loving and compassionate.  He understands that procrastinators are not bad... they’re most likely afraid.  Procrastination is protecting you from something, real or imagined (it’s usually some deep seated, irrational childhood fear that a year of therapy can uncover, but let’s not get sidetracked).  For me, procrastination often comes in the form of confusion (from A.D.D.) or overwhelm (looking to complete before I even start).  Therapy or just start?  I like shortcuts.

Lesson 1: Stop berating yourself and take action. 

Berating yourself is useless, takes time and just keeps you from starting.

Action is the miracle drug that cures what ails you (unless its exhaustion...then rest, but that’s another post).  Fearful?  Take action - the rush and relief is amazing.  Ask someone who has jumped out of a plane; it’s the threshold that’s terrifying, the waiting to jump.  Once they jump, it’s the Geico Pig "wee we weeee" all the way down.  Action clears up confusion.  It’s amazing how once I start something, I can work my way though the challenges that seemed insurmountable before I started.

Lesson 2:  Get out of the door and jump out of the damn plane.

As with everything good, starting is a practice.  It’s a habit to be cultivated.  We need to train our brain and our body that the initial resistance to putting on our sneakers, touching the keyboard or picking up the phone, is temporary.  Freedom is on the other side.

I committed to writing one blog post a week.  Today was the day to post and I put it off all day.  Then, I put my fingers on the keyboard, looked at a blank page, and check it out - you’re reading my post! I’ll file that away and remember this little victory.  After all, have you ever heard anyone ever say, "Oh I am so sorry I meditated today?"

Go start something.