I have little things that need doing- the drawer that needs cleaning, the laundry that needs putting away, clutter that needs to go somewhere, and I resist. It’s the end of a long day and I’m tired. I imagine a day where I will finally get these tasks done, both the weekly tasks and the lingering ones. But not today.
I have big tasks too- things that I either want or need to do. Writing projects ( a book maybe?) or a Marie Kondo kind of overall of some areas of the house. Oh, and I am currently walking past the flower beds and trying not to notice the weeds and grass creeping in.
As I run errands and think about all of these things, I feel a resistance in my heart and I ask myself why it is sometimes so hard just to get started? I’ve run that question through my mind for a few weeks now and here are some thoughts that came to me- some reasons why I resist getting started. Perhaps that are reasons for you too?
There are big things, small things, easy things and hard things. There are just SO MANY things that it’s overwhelming just to decide what to do next in the small amount of time you have. At the end of a long day, when there is just a few hours left until you fall asleep, or on the weekend when you have a larger block of time, what do you do? I think it’s important to simply notice that there are too many things and maybe just admitting that, and that we can’t do it all, can free us to at least do something.
Not knowing the steps
Sometimes there is something we need to start and it’s a project just out of our reach. We can do it, but we might need to learn something first, do a bit of research, or get some advice. Sometimes we are paralyzed from beginning something simply because we haven’t admitted to ourselves that we don’t really know what we are doing. We don’t know the steps yet, so we don’t know what to do.
Confusion on the focus or end goal
You can’t get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going. I can say I’d like to write a book, but I’ll have a hard time if I don’t know what the book is about. Fiction or non-fiction? What is it about? A project that is vague is hard to start. Maybe the idea needs a little bit more time to fully form into a vision before taking the first steps. Clarity for the end goal can make the beginning steps easier to see.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to, not only know all of the steps needed, but I’d also like a guarantee that it will work. I want to know that my efforts are going to be worth my time. I want to control the outcomes. Since this isn’t possible, this is an area I need to work on. I have to recognize that trying things, even if they don’t quite work out the way I thought or hoped, is still valuable.
Half of the battle of starting again is understanding what is holding us back. When we can recognize that, we can start to ask ourselves what is holding us back. It will be different for everyone. Stop listening to your inner critic and start asking yourself some questions. When you start to break it down, the answers of what to do next will fall into place.
Overwhelmed? Make a list and just do one small thing at a time.
Don’t know the next steps? Do some research and write out a plan.
Confusion on the goal? Create mind map of all the different ways it could go. Invest in your vision.
Controlling? Sometimes recognizing that this is a tendency can help free us from it. And prayer. And practice.
And then….do the next right thing.