You Can’t Finish If You Don’t Start

Do you have a project or goal that you have been putting off?

We all have one.

We tell ourselves that we will start it… when we have time.

But, what’s stopping you? What’s in your way?

Lack of initiative? Lack of resources?

There is one thing that I can state with certainty.

You will never finish the things that you don’t start.

What Are You Waiting For?

This past weekend, I was a speaker at a business conference for women. I presented two seminars, one on time management (of course!) and the other was entitled “How to Kickstart Your Blog.”

At the end of the Q&A for the blogging session, one of the participants asked me for my #1 piece of advice for getting their blog going.

I tried to think of a technical pointer or action. Setting up their site domain, or perhaps, a WordPress tip.

Instead, I simply replied, “Start!”

I wasn’t trying to be flippant. I was serious.

The secret of getting anything begun is to simply start. Don’t put it off.

When it comes to big projects and goals… we wait. We delay things. We come up with all kinds of reasons not to start.

In fact, sometimes we spend more time explaining why we haven’t begun than actually working on the project.

“It’s not a good time.”

“When things settle down.”

“When the time is right.”

“Things are busy right now. I’ll get around to it when things are normal again.”

Sound familiar?

I have news for you. Life isn’t going to slow down. Things are not going to settle down.

You are living your life. Right now.

“There’s no such thing as normal life… there’s just life.”

– Doc Holliday, from the movie Tombstone

So, what have you been waiting to start?

Getting Off the Starting Line

Whether your goal is big or small, the first step you need to take is the one off the starting line.

That is the step that gets you going in the right direction.

Here are a few tips to help you get off the starting line…

  • Jump Start – Sometimes you just have to jump. Jump in the pool. Make a leap of faith. Sometimes that little jump or push is what you need to begin something really great. Don’t be afraid of the jump!
  • Clarify What You Are Starting – Sometimes we fail to start because our project or goal is too vague. “I am going to start working out more!” What does that entail? Are you training for a half marathon? Are you going to lose 10 pounds? What are the specifics? Clarifying your vision can help you get out of the gate.
  • Set a Deadline – Many projects linger because there is no finish line. You keep saying you are going to write that book, but have you set a deadline? Without a finish date, you will be more apt to let it continue to slip.
  • Tell Others, Get Support – Sometimes you need help in getting started. Leverage friends, family, colleagues, and mentors to help motivate and support your project.

One Step Closer to the Finish Line

The secret of getting anything going is to start now. Don’t put it off.

Most people don’t start. They wait and wait. And eventually, opportunity passes by.

The time may not be right. You may not have all the resources that you think you will need.

However, I promise you, that you will not finish everything that you don’t start.

What have you been waiting to start?

Let’s build a little community accountability. I challenge you to leave in the comments below what you have been meaning to start. What is it? And when will you accomplish it?

9 thoughts on “You Can’t Finish If You Don’t Start

  1. Oh, Craig, I so needed this today! I finished some big client deadlines on Friday and now have on my agenda to “get going on my website updates” but yes, too vague. First step will be to do a page-by-page evaluation of the stage site and write down what needs to be done on each page. Then I’ll work those steps into my available time slots this week.

    You are SO right about there never being a “good time” — most affecting sentence: “Life isn’t going to slow down. Things are not going to settle down.”

    Thanks for the kick in the pants!


    1. @Saidandsung Thanks, Carla!

      That is one of my favorites… when people think they will wait until things settle down in life.

      Who says that tomorrow will be less calm than today? 🙂

  2. Love it! When I find I have to many dreams on my list to do I realistically look at them to see what I truly think I am going to accomplish and then prioritize and eliminate some. There are still too many things listed but I do get moving forward on the most important. My blog is my number one ugly proscratination. “Oh, I’ll take care of client files first, oh wait, I need to take care of that vendor, blah, blah, blah”, but you know what? That blog is important too and by golly I am going to have a new post in there in the next 5 days–Hey, that’s a start! “Whatever you are be a good one.”~Abraham Lincoln

    1. @jastewartdvm Love it! Thanks.

      You read my mind on the “too many dreams” to do. In fact, I am working on a course now that advocates narrowing your list of goals when first starting out. Whittling the list down and choosing the one that is most important first. 🙂

  3. I’ve been struggling with this lately. I have a book to finish, a website whose software needs to be upgraded (and MediaWiki is as easy to upgrade as WordPress, so I don’t know why I’m putting it off!), and of course those assorted to do things floating around. There’s never a “good time”. They just need to get done!

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