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Just start

Just start!
Easy to say but much more complicated to do 😉
Maybe you are familiar with this situation: you are super motivated to start something “new”, and then… you forget about it! Or you find out that the initial motivation has deserted you. You then doubt about the intention you begun with.

After my series of articles focusing on habits, today I would like to look at the first steps we need to make toward changing habits so to take care of ourselves. How to bring ourselves to do the FIRST STEP?     For many people, me included, when the first step wakes difficult sensations like frustration, impression of being unable and incompetent, the temptation to give up become strong. Giving up is not only the result of our resistances to change, but also a way to avoid feeling a “failure” : the difficulties we meet at the beginning become representative of the flop – dissatisfaction, complication, demanding effort and consuming energy. Giving up manifests in a specific way to pay attention: forgetting, getting demotivated or confused. It is a form of self-protection.
However, when you find yourself again and again not starting, giving up entertains dissatisfaction and bad self image.

Notice that it is very common to think that we should be able to start to succeed completely: the 30 minutes daily physical training, the 2h studies, the complete document, the cleaning of the all apartment, etc.
A part of our thinking, when it realises that to “succeed” is not possible – because of time, energy, motivation – it believes that giving up is the best solution. We could say that this part of our brain protects us agains “failures” and perceives that to do something “only” partially as a “failure”. It denies that to start with doing something will help succeed.

How to overcome this pattern?
You need to start with little steps. Sometimes baby’s steps. And enjoy baby results.
This requires a bit of training so to notice the little improvements and benefits.

When you start something “new”, you are exploring its effects on yourself and on your life. Remember that what seams obviously a good activity, may not fit you.

  • You need time to adapt the steps to your life situation: how much time do you need? At what moment of the day is it the best moment to do it?
  • You need to integrate the new informations provided by the first steps: what kind of material is it needed? How much energy do you objectively need?
  • You need to assess the little progresses and gains: what is happening during the activity and after? How do you feel?

All this is an invitation to pay attention to the fact that the process of starting something is not static and predefined. When we change a part of your daily life – even if little – we create a series of small waves that spread into our entire life. Finally, the process may be more important than the final results expected at the starting point.

As always, I will be very happy to support you in your change process.

Picture taken in Ecuador on the way up to Tungurahua volcano.

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