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The Best Place to Start

My to-do list, like yours, always seems just short of a mile long.

And I’m not just talking about my physical to-do list (which always includes cleaning the house, finishing some work for the business of some sort, going grocery shopping, folding laundry, calling someone back, and playing with the kids). I’m also talking about my personal to-do list. The one that includes learning a new skill. Or journaling. Or losing some of my pregnancy weight that’s held on for a few extra years. Or finally cracking out that Rosetta Stone I got as a Christmas gift to brush up on my Spanish. Or to pray more.

While some call me ambitious, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to constantly want to improve myself. But sometimes I can get a little overwhelmed at the tension between where I want to be and how far I have to go.

In fact, sometimes I let my idea of the final result become so daunting that I become paralyzed, unable to move forward because I’m not quite sure where I am (or what to do next). I’ve frequently sighed the exasperated phrase to my husband, “I just don’t know where to start.”

Sound familiar?

But there’s a great place to start–in fact, I might even say that there’s a perfect place to start. And that goes for whether you’re cleaning your house or losing 50 lbs or pursuing your Big Dream.

Start where you’re at.

Yep, it’s that simple. Start exactly where you are at. You do yourself no favors by lamenting that you aren’t further along–in fact, sometimes that can actually push your progress further back because it delays and stagnates your progress. It kind of reminds me of the game Chutes and Ladders (a game which my 4-year-old has recently come to love)–you know, the one where you land on a spot with a chute and you have to slide all the way back down to a space that is 20 spots behind where you were? Our brains can sometimes provide self-made chutes that set us back from doing the very thing we’d been trying to push ourselves toward.

Start without judgement. Start without hard expectation. Start without guilt. Start without turning around to see where you used to be or squinting ahead to see where you might finish. Just start.

The point isn’t to get to your destination the quickest. It never is. The point is to move.

…And you never know where you might end up.

 

What are you going to start today? I’d love to hear in the comment section below.

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