Post 2 of 21 Daily blog challenge: Overcoming Inertia

October 8, 2013

An object in motion tends to stay in motion.


With every goal we pursue, there are two hard parts: (1) getting started and (2) keeping the momentum once you’ve got it. Today I want to focus on the getting started part.

Getting started requires a lot of energy to overcome the inertia of our actions.

Sitting down on day 2 to write this post required a lot of my energy. Now that I’m here and writing, it’s moving along. I’m reminding myself of the goal right now – the goal is to build the habit of writing and to take away my excuses of not having time to make this blog a higher priority. The goal isn’t an epic post. Good, bad, ugly, it is no matter. Today I merely have to overcome Inertia and write.

It wasn’t easy. I had a lot of Resistance to sitting down to write. But I’ve put myself out there – am I seriously going to bail on day 2 after I just wrote about starting where you are? Nope. I’m going to do it. So I took a page from The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and reminded myself that sitting down to write was the hardest part. I trusted that once I got going, things would work themselves out.

“There’s a secret that real writers know that wanna be writers don’t and the secret is this: It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write. What keeps us from sitting down is Resistance.”

This is the truth for any endeavor.

So how do we get over this and get started?

  • 1. Accept that this will be the hard part. Period.
    2. Negotiate with yourself. “I’ll do it for 20 minutes.” 20 minutes is manageable, doable, and generally once you get going, you’ll find yourself working longer than 20 minutes.
    3. Break it down into a bite-size piece. In the battle to get started, all you have to do to win, is take some small action, something tiny that gets the ball rolling. If the goal is run a 5k, you start with something small, like alternating jogging and walking in 60 second intervals. If it’s writing, negotiate a page or a paragraph at a time if you have to.
    4. Reward yourself. Put a little bribe on the other side of the task at hand: watching a TV show, have a little scoop of ice cream, etc.
    5. Stop psyching yourself out by over-analyzing. As Nike has told us for years, JUST DO IT.
    6. Invoke Bob Ross, “no mistakes, just happy little accidents.” Make it play, make it fun. Take the pressure off.
    7. Let yourself grouse if you must. Let the inner 3 yr old wail, “but I don’t wanna!” and then do it anyway. Sometimes we just need to release the fear and anxiety we’ve built up.

Seven, that’s what I’ve got, seven ways to get yourself over the inertia and started. Maybe I should cut it down to 5 or expand it out to 10, because those numbers sound better. At least that’s what my Type A/perfectionist side is fussing about. Today though, I see through that ruse. Today, I’ll stick with seven because seven is my lucky number.

Day 2 done. 19 more to come.

I’m all ears – tell me how you overcome inertia and get started on your own projects.



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