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What Starts You Up?


Since I’ve Burned The Ships and am Playing to Win, now it’s time to get this thing started!!

And, to set the mood, today’s post has a theme song (I highly recommend spinning this tune while you continue reading.):

Lots of people have asked me how I get started or what starts me up or how I find a place to begin.  I so wish I had a magic somethin somethin that I could share for how I start, but I don’t.  What I do have are some tools that I use when I know I want to get something underway, but can’t quite figure out how.

I didn’t think up any of these, by the way. I read them, borrowed them and adapted them mostly from Julia Cameron, author of the Artist’s Way, and Anne LaMott, author of Bird by Bird – oh and of course my mentor, Martha Beck.

After I list the tools I use, I am REALLY hoping you will add to the list by sharing yours. This way there will be lots of ideas and something for everyone. 🙂

Here we go:

1) I walk/exercise without listening to my ipod. This keeps me from tuning out or what is going on around me and I can pay attention. I notice things, people, color, texture – all kinds of things that engage my brain – that are numbed out if tunes are cranking in my ears.

2) I write something everyday. Sometimes it’s publishable, sometimes it’s not. Finding my true voice is a lot like peeling an onion and the only way I know to pull back the layers is to put my voice on paper everyday.

3) I try things. When I get an idea for something, I try it out in some small way. Maybe I ask some trusted colleagues about it, or I tweet about it or I write a blog post about it. Taking a small action on it keeps it from remaining in my head as “just another good idea”.

4) I ask myself this question (a LOT): “What is the smallest step I can take on this – so small that I know I can complete it without fail?”

5) I just start. I know that sounds simple, but I’m really good at getting ready to start, reading more about starting, gathering my “stuff”, etc. For me, these are just delay tactics to keep me from starting.

And at the end of the day, here’s the one thing I always try to remember: I don’t have to be certain to begin; I just have to begin.

So now it’s your turn (my favorite part!). How do you get yourself started?

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