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Getting Started is the Toughest Part of the Job

One of the most challenging things about starting on a new project, goal or task usually isn't the planning, the thinking about it and the mapping it out. It is the doing! Actually taking the first step is often the most difficult part of any new endeavor.

I was reading a project manager's manual and found it interesting that listed, as one of the reasons projects fail, is lack of implementation. In others words - not starting the project was a major cause of its failure. Such is with life; we can have the best intentions and plans, but if we never start, nothing will happen.

I have noticed that, when I start a new project, procrastination sets in. I remember when I was writing my dissertation, my house was never cleaner. In fact, one day I was outside scrubbing down my kitchen garbage can with a toothbrush. My husband wanted to know what on earth I was doing. "I am avoiding working on my paper," I said. Getting started just seems to be the most challenging aspect of anything new.

My guess is one of the biggest reasons that starting is so challenging is the fear of the unknown. All the doubts and uncertainty can be overwhelming. Also, fear of not doing it right, or even not knowing what to do. The cure for all of these fears is action. Action is the enemy of fear. The best thing to do when fear sets in is to take action, and the secret is - any action will do. Just get moving and fear will move aside so that the beginning can start.

If getting started has you stunned with fear, take a deep breath and take one small action. Do something, anything. It doesn't matter what you do as long as you take action. Getting started is challenging, but once you do, you will build momentum that will keep you going.

Another trick that might help you is to get an accountability partner. Someone you will report to from time to time on your progress. It sounds silly, but you are more likely to start and stick with what you promise someone else, rather than just promising yourself. It is so easy to break a promise you make to you, but not as easy to do so when you have committed to a friend, a mentor or a coach. I have clients that hire me just for the accountability aspect, and it works!

Coach Rachelle Disbennett-Lee, PhD, is a Certified Master Coach specializing in working with business owners and professionals in being more profitable and productive while staying sane and balanced. Coach Lee is the publisher of the award winning e-zine, 365 Days of Coaching. Her first book, 365 Days of Coaching - Because Life Happens Every Day (Universal Publisher, 2004) was named a finalist for Best Book 2004 by and has a five star rating on

Visit Coach Lee at her websites and

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