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"Just Do It": Good Advice or Wishful Thinking?

Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” - Walter Anderson

“It doesn't matter where you start. Only that you begin.” - Robin Sharma

“Stop worrying about how long it will take and get started. Time will pass either way.”

- James Clear

No one ever got ready by waiting. You only get ready by starting.” - John C. Maxwell

There are a lot of great quotes about getting started, and they can certainly be motivating and inspirational. So why is it so hard to actually get started?

What keeps us from taking the leap and moving forward? Why don’t we “just do it”?

Sorry Nike, but I don't love your motto.

Ultimately, “just do it” or “get started” or “just begin” or “take action” or however you want to phrase it, as inspiring as it might be, is also quite vague and unclear.

Just do what? Get started on what? What exactly is the action you’re supposed to take?

When you’re feeling overwhelmed or afraid, “just do it” just doesn’t do it. Stress and overwhelm kicks your brain’s protective mechanisms into gear and tries to move you away from that uncomfortable feeling. So you clean the kitchen or browse the internet or do less important tasks instead, promising yourself you’ll “just do it” ...tomorrow.

In order to get started or begin or take action, you have to have a really specific and clear action to take. Instead of focusing on the big (overwhelming) picture, break it down into one manageable step you can take right now. If the action you come up with still feels too hard, make it smaller and easier. Keep going until you find the teeny tiny step that you can (and will) “just do.”

For example:

Is your office a complete mess? Start with one pile of papers. Or one drawer. Or 5

minutes. Or 1 minute.

Have a huge project to get started on? Make a list of the documents or resources you’ll


Need to make a doctor’s appointment you’re dreading? Look up the doctor’s number and

put it into your phone.

Trying to eat healthier food? Write down two vegetables on your grocery list. Take a piece

of fruit and put it out where you’ll see it.

Want to get back into an exercise routine? Do 10 squats right now. Go for a 5-minute

walk. Stand up and stretch and take a deep breath.

It’s super challenging to get started on something that feels daunting, or where you have no clear direction or place to begin. Narrowing it down to only the very next step you need to take – and then maybe making that task even smaller and easier – allows you to actually do the action and get started.

Getting started is the hardest part, but once you clarify what the next very tiny step is, it’s much easier to put it into action and get moving. And once you get moving, keep finding the next tiny step to take and your momentum will grow.

It's great to be inspired to get started, take action, and begin. But it's even more important to get super clear about the first (or next) tiny step you can actually do right now. Then: just do it.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” - Lao Tzu

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.” - Ruth Bader Ginsberg

If getting started on your health and wellness goals feels overwhelming or you’re unsure where to start, coaching can help! I’m here to help you find clarity, determine the next action step, and begin moving in the right direction. Send me a message or schedule your free consultation call today.

...for your free 30-minute consultation call, or visit to get started!

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