Starting: Removing Barriers

One of the difficult things about starting is removing things that might be in your way. I'll give an example from my own experience.

I'm terrible at meditation, yet acknowledge the good it would provide me. I've tried to get started in various ways. I've tried a number of different techniques, postures, locations, time increments, apps. In order to establish any kind of regular meditation habit, I had to strip it down to the most minimalistic version possible. I do use an app, and it has guided breathing exercises where you can set any amount of timer on. I set a 5-minute guided breathing exercise, I don't worry about my location or posture and just breathe along to the app. That's what has finally got me doing semi-consistent meditation. It might not be someone else's definition of meditation, but it's what's working for me now.

The same goes for something more complex. Most of us know to break down big projects into their smallest component parts. But sometimes even when tackling a small part, there can still be barriers. What I try to do when I can't seem to get started, even on the smallest thing, is try different techniques. If I need to get stuff out of my head but just can't seem to put a single word down on a blank page, I might try Whimsical or Miro, or just a piece of paper. Removing the linear constraint sometimes allows the material to come forth.

Sometimes we're stuck on a small bit that just isn't as interesting to us as the larger project is on the whole. Sometimes it's ok to procrastinate on that part and work on another part. Or research something orthogonal to that part. 

Sometimes it's ok to just journal about how difficult starting that bit is.