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In this lesson, we look at how to train the start of doing an important task, which is the most important part. If you don’t start, you don’t do the task!

The starting habit is a micro habit within the set of Unprocrastination habits we’re learning to create:

If you have an important task you want to work on, it’s about simply getting started. Just write the first words of your book chapter.

Once you get started, it’s a lot easier.

When I started the running habit, for example, I would focus on just lacing up my shoes and getting out the door. I didn’t worry about the rest of the run, just the start.  That was the 80/20 of my running habit — I would focus all of my energy on just getting started. And this got me to keep the running habit going, even when I didn’t feel like it.

I do the same thing with working out with weights — I just need to put the first weight onto the barbell. I’ve trained myself to focus on the first movement.

So what you should do this week (and for the rest of this course) is really put your focus on the smallest first step of your important habit.

Put one stroke on your drawing pad. Write a few words. Play one note on your guitar.

Just dive in — get moving without any hesitation, without doing a bunch of little things first. Often we put off the start by allowing ourselves to check one thing “real quick”. Be like a Zen priest in a monastery, who go straight to the meditation hall once the bell sounds. No hesitation, just head off to meditate when the bell sounds. Be like that!


Practice the start this week as described in the lesson. Discuss it on Slack.