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Why the First Step Is Always the Hardest
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Summary: Want to get yourself into a new habit or accomplish something new? Find out why taking the first step is so hard and how you can overcome this problem.

Have you ever heard the saying “Well begun is half done” from Aristotle? The man knew what he was talking about. Half the challenge in doing anything is getting started doing it. Many of us have hundreds of ideas in our head of things we want to accomplish or incorporate into our lives but, for the most part, we haven’t done any of them.

Let’s take working out as an example: do you ever procrastinate a workout and struggle to get started but once you’re a few minutes in, you feel great and you’re so glad you made it happen? That’s true with most everything that we aim to accomplish – that first step is always the hardest to complete because you have zero momentum. You have to pick up out of nowhere and begin. Oftentimes, you may not even know where to begin so you avoid the task or project altogether.


If you want to find ways to help yourself be better at starting new things, there are a few things you can do to boost your chances. First and foremost, make starting as easy as possible. Does it seem monumental to find a new dentist? Make task number one finding one or two sites that rate local dentists. That’s it; that’s your step one. Seems simple enough, right? Once you do that, you’re more likely to have the momentum going to actually do a search on one or two of the sites or ask a friend for recommendations. It may seem trivial to do something so small as determining where you’ll start searching, but a step is a step and it makes a difference.

For some people, diving right into a new habit can be the best way to go. Maybe you want to cut out dairy so you go cold turkey and that works best for you. If that doesn’t sound like you, however, try easing into things. Perhaps buy almond milk for your coffee and smoothies rather than regular milk as a first step. If you want to start walking or running, try doing a shorter distance or only a few times a week and build up from there. Going all in can make you hate what you’re doing and stop after a short amount of time, so don’t scare yourself away. Start a little smaller.

Lastly, the best thing you can do is start right now. It’s so easy to put off starting to another time. That’s why we often don’t get anywhere with our goals. The best time to start something new isn’t tomorrow, on a Monday, on the first day of a month, or on New Year’s Day, but right now. So get that idea out of your head that you need a special time to start and just do it right this moment.

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Now that you have the tools to get yourself started, write down a couple things you want to do and then take note of small ways you can begin today. Get going!


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