Get good at getting started


The other week my kids had Saturday Morning Chores and I went to check on how one of my kids was doing with cleaning their room. 

messy kid bedroom of minimalist family home

I didn’t find a kid cleaning their room. 

Instead, they were laying across their bed, amongst the laundry and the mess in their room, and had socks on their hands, as puppets, lost in a little imaginary conversation. 

This kid knows the expectation is to clean their room on Saturday mornings but there they are lost in distraction and fun. 

I stood at my kid’s door and just laughed ‘How’s the cleaning going? Need me to make you a list of what to do?’



This isn’t a new thing for them, they know the routine, they know the expectations. And still, there is resistance. 

And I don’t blame them or get on them for it. 

Because I get the same way. I know there are dishes and laundry and dirty floors – I know the drill! And still, I find myself scrolling Instagram or organizing my sock drawer, or sitting down to play the piano. 

I have resistance too.

I need to make myself lists of things to get started too. 

And it makes me think that resistance isn’t something we overpower with willpower, but something we can acknowledge, get curious about and manage. 



One of the most helpful ways I manage the resistance is to observe all the reasons my brain gives me NOT to do the thing and have a conversation with my brain on these thoughts (I gave an example of how I manage this mental resistance in this episode on decluttering).

Another great hack I have for resistance, and one I shared with my kid two-hands deep in a sock puppet drama, is to just get started. 


When we can just get started we are putting ourselves into motion, and we’ve all learned:

Objects in motion stay in motion. 

I’m sure you have experienced this in your own life, you start with one task and then realize that you just kept working away at other things and accomplished as you went along. 

It may not happen often, but when you roll with the momentum and keep yourself in motion then you can get a surprising amount done. 

(and disclaimer, this is NOT a messsage for you over-workers, over-achievers, this is a message for you fellow stragglers and avoiders who procrastinate their tasks)


We know if we can just get started that we can likely get a lot done in our day. 

And it is the resistance (distraction, doubts, excuses, avoidance) that keeps us from just starting. 

When we start to nestle in with our resistance, when we let it call the shots, then we don’t even get started. 

We need to override our resistance and the best way to do that is by taking action. 



Just get started, just stand up and do one simple thing.

Don’t overcomplicate it here!

Put away one shirt in the closet, put away one dish, walk over to the cleaning cupboard, and put the broom in your hand. 


Often we need the energy to just get started and we can let the momentum carry us through getting the rest. Of course, some of us will also find the struggle with the follow-through to the end, but let’s focus on one thing at a time. 

Let’s focus on getting good at GETTING STARTED!



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A post shared by Shawna Scafe (@simpleonpurpose.ca)


Using Mel Robbin’s 5-Second Rule

A fantastic strategy for this is Mel Robbin’s 5-second rule. It is one I share with my clients who struggle with getting started. 

This is counting down from 5 and then springing up to DO THE THING. 

The 5-second rule helps you mentally prep without giving you enough time to start nurturing all your doubts and excuses. 

5,4,3,2,1 and GO. 


And if you are looking for more advice and encouragement on changing your habits (in sustainable and simple ways) then check out the podcast playlist on HABIT CHANGE


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