The secret to getting ahead is getting started.
– Mark Twain
Getting started on a new project is tough. If you’re trying to transform an entire organization it can be even tougher. Changing yourself is often the toughest – especially if it involves losing weight or modifying a habit. So what do you do?
You just start. Now. You’ve already clarified why and how, now you just need to do it.
We like to wait for arbitrary times or dates, such as starting new resolutions at the start of a new year. When we do that we give ourselves an excuse to continue the supposedly unacceptable behavior or situation until then. If it’s truly unacceptable, how can it be ok to wait? We also like to form teams and scrub details to make sure everything is in place. It already is – you have the plan. Your team, and presumably you, is ready – and you are their leader. What are you really waiting for? How does that look to your team? Is it authentic? Is it respectful?
Last year when I bumped into Paul Akers and learned about how he lost over fifty pounds, I was motivated. If he can, I can, especially since I only needed to lose half that. Instead of letting it slide for three months until the end of the year, allowing myself to indulge in more pizza and junk food, I started at that very moment – I remember it clearly.
Five minutes after reading his first email telling me about what he had done, I was walking to a Starbucks to get my usual vanilla latte. I stopped myself and got a regular coffee instead. That was the beginning, and ten weeks later I was already fifteen pounds lighter. Coincidentally that last date was the arbitrary first of the year, when I would have typically started a new goal. If I was still motivated to do it by that point – or even remembered.