When It’s Difficult to Start…
Embrace the Warm-up

Embrace the Warm-up

When It Is Difficult to Get Started

We all have things we need to do and positive things we want to do. It might be a step toward achieving a goal, a passion project, or a difficult work task. Although we tell ourselves we are dedicated to completing the task, for whatever reason, we let it slip away. We psyche ourselves out at the starting line and simply abandon it before we start. Or we begin the task but quickly give up after feeling discouraged. Regardless of how much we love (or hate) to do something, sometimes starting can be the hardest part. When it is difficult to get started, we need to embrace the warm-up.

The Dread Before the Task

Do you know that feeling of dread…when there is a difficult task you must complete, but you want to avoid it as long as possible? You approach the point where you have already procrastinated for too long, and now is the time to start.

As you begin the task, it feels difficult and maybe even impossible. You start to think of excuses of how the task would be better performed later, when you are more rested, when it’s quieter, when the vibe is right, and the list goes on. Sometimes your thoughts get the better of you, and even though you have already completed the herculean task of “starting,” you give up before you get your mind in the right gear.

When We Embrace the Warm-Up

There are other times when we are more patient with ourselves and take a moment to warm up. We are more accepting of the beginning struggle and proceed to push through any barriers. We find self-compassion and are kinder to ourselves.

After we finally get into it, we often realize it wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, we might enjoy it. It was merely just difficult to get started. All we needed was adjustment time and the space to get into our groove. Just as our muscles need a warm-up before a hard workout, sometimes our mind needs a warm-up too.

Give Yourself the Gift of a Warm-up

Instead of quitting before you start, embrace the warm-up. Give yourself time and space to prepare for what you need to get accomplished. Most of us can’t jump right in with a brilliant idea, rather we need time to get our thoughts going.

A Warm-up Is an Introduction






When we start a meeting, we usually don’t dive right in. Particularly when there are new faces or new concepts being introduced, we start with some form of an introduction. It allows everyone to get acclimated and on the same page.

Almost all pieces of writing start off with an introduction of some variety. The writer takes a moment to acquaint us with the topic. With a proper introduction, we are drawn into the story and ready to read on.

An introduction prepares us for the activity so we can participate adequately. Without an introduction, we are often caught off guard. We end up wasting additional energy trying to sort out how we are supposed to participate.

The Warm-up Can Be the Hardest Part…But Then it Gets Easier

When I go for a run, my warm-up jog although slow, often feels like the most difficult mile. My muscles are still in desk mode and need time to warm up and adjust. At that moment, my body feels more ready to rest than to run. But as soon as I complete my warm-up, my body is ready to conquer the day’s workout. It’s a matter of being patient with yourself and realizing that your body can’t function at maximum capacity without a proper warm-up. We can’t expect our bodies to roll out of bed or a desk chair and jump into a sprint. We must prepare ourselves first.

Setting Appropriate Expectations

When we start a task, we can set appropriate expectations to set ourselves up for success.

When I write, the first ten minutes are almost always garbage. And if I prepare myself for that, things go much more smoothly. When you begin a difficult project, give yourself adequate time to warm up to the material rather than immediately get discouraged. It’s okay if you don’t immediately perform at the level you know you are capable of. Persist, and you will find your way.

A Warm-up Can Mean Different Things to Different People

A warm-up for you may be a brain exercise on BrainHQ or Lumosity. Alternatively, it could be a comforting routine to make you feel prepared. Most of us can’t jump out of bed and start conquering our worlds immediately. We need time to wake up. We may need a cup of coffee, time to meditate, or maybe just some sloppy kisses from our furry friend.

It can even mean getting right into the task, but gently setting appropriate expectations. It’s recognizing you might not be on your “A game” right away but being okay with that.

Find out what works best for you. You won’t always need a warm-up for everything, but if you are feeling discouraged at the beginning of a task, embrace the warm-up. Be patient with yourself and give yourself time to dig in. Through persistence and appropriate expectations, before you know it, you will have pushed through the starting line and will be on your way.

Thank You for Reading Embrace the Warm-Up

Thank You for Reading Embrace the Warm-Up. Now I want to hear from you. Do you ever struggle with starting a task? How do you push through to get it completed? What is your warm-up routine?

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2 responses to “When It’s Difficult to Start”

  1. Richard McGrath Avatar
    Richard McGrath

    I like to make lists of things I need to accomplish. My warm up is reviewing and prioritizing the tasks at hand.

  2. Shannon Z Sawyer Avatar
    Shannon Z Sawyer

    I like Rich’s idea! Making a list and prioritizing items is also one of my favorite ways to warm up.

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