Starting something new can be challenging but it doesn’t have to be impossible. Here are some ideas on how you can start something new without pulling all your hair out.
Break it down: Start Simple
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. That proverb from your youth was meant to teach us a valuable lesson about how to attack big problems. Take your monumental task and break it down into manageable bites. When Melissa and I first started paying down our $150,000.00+ debt we would find ourselves fixating on that monumental number. We really didn’t make progress until we stepped back and started looking at is a a pile of smaller bills. Once we arranged our debts from smallest to largest and started paying them off we began to see real progress.
Don’t Start with the Hardest Thing. Get Some Wins Early On!
If you always start with the hardest part first you can find yourself quickly discouraged. Pick the easiest part of the project and do that first. A series of early quick wins can really build the momentum necessary to carry you through the tougher parts of a project. This is why we list our debts smallest to largest. Those quick victories in the beginning helped us to see that this was an obtainable goal.
If what you were trying to do was easy then it would be done already. Wouldn’t it? Sometimes it is necessary to slam your foot against the ground and say in a firm voice, “Today is the day I start ______.” “Just do it” is more than a marketing scheme, it’s a good way to live your life.
Evaluate Your “Why” Statement.
If your “Why” statement is not good enough you will not succeed. If your goal is to lose weight and you are doing it because your wife wants you to, forget it! You will not make the sacrifices necessary to achieve your goal. However, if you just had a triple bypass and this is a life or death matter, your “Why” might be more convincing. Evaluate your “Why” and see if you can make it personal.
Find Someone Accountable.
We all need a little motivation at times. I find my motivation in Melissa, she is full of it. When one of us wants to spend on something frivolous, the other steps in and asks the tough questions. Accountability is a great asset to continue doing something difficult. You can find accountability in many different places. I recently heard a “Debt Free Scream” on the Dave Ramsey Show where the man thanked all the people who had screamed before him. As it turns out those strangers and their stories served to inspire him to keep moving on his journey.
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Lean on Technology
Technology is a way of life in our culture. So use technology to help you start and maintain something new. You don’t have to rush to the store and buy fancy new gizmos and gadgets. A simple utilization of the Internet or your smartphone can do wonders. Melissa and I use a spreadsheet that we devised to track our spending, budget, and project for the future. This little bit of tech hosted on google docs has done wonders at keeping us on track towards our goals. You can get a copy of this spreadsheet by signing up for our email list at the bottom of the page.
What are your tips for starting something new?
What do you do when you find yourself starting something new? Let us know in the comments below. Remember we journey together at OurDebt.net