The other day I found myself in a stressful situation; I had a particularly long to-do list and most of them were fairly urgent. I found myself stalling out for a moment as I contemplated what order I should do those things in. How should I structure this? What should my plan of attack be?
And I had an “Ah ha!” moment. A clear voice in my head yelled at me: “Pick at random. Do literally anything.”
It was a wise voice.
See, there were several advantages to this particular method. First, planning isn’t doing. I needed to get stuff done, right away. When you’re trying to improve your situation, whether long term or short term, doing literally anything is almost always an improvement over doing nothing. So right away, the task got a little less daunting and I gained a little momentum.
But there was another big advantage. Stress clouds your thought process! When you’re under the gun, you’re not thinking clearly. That’s why “shower thoughts” are a real thing – when you’re relaxed and not actively trying to think about something, great inspiration and creativity can strike you. Sitting down and tackling one of those tasks took a lot of stress away, because I was now actively working on something. As a result, I was easily able to think through how I wanted to plan the rest of my tasks while I was doing the first one, and the rest of the day went by more easily. Mission accomplished.
So, you’ve decided that you want to get healthier. You have ideas about meal planning and calorie counting, balancing nutrients and maybe even consulting a dietitian or nutritionist. You want to join a gym, hire a personal trainer, build a fitness regimen and buy some equipment for that purpose. Hey, that’s all great. But that can all be so daunting that you don’t ever actually do it. The easiest way to get started?
Do literally anything. Walk around the block! Hooray, you did it! You got started! That’s all it took.
This is the greatest advice you’ll ever get, because it’s simultaneously really easy and applicable to every situation. No matter what your current status is, if you want to improve it – do literally anything. You can work out details as you go, you can improve your path as you walk it. Just dive in the deep end and swim around. Trust me, you’ll be fine.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Ziglar