#BlogElul 23: Begin

Beginnings are hard in large part because we fear the effort might never end – that we’ll be committed to this thing in perpetuity, and we’re all already tired enough without taking on one more damn thing.

To counter this, I’m a big fan of the Cult of Done. You can read their manifesto here (although the poster is a lot more fun). It’s a wonderful and fun and self-depreciatingly ironic spin on a solid concept: It is much more difficult to begin when you haven’t defined a clear vision of the end.

Moreover, that vision has to be reasonable, measurable, and most of all achievable.

In this month of Elul, as we evaluate our past choices and make our plans for the impact we hope to have on the world in the coming year, we’re asked to start making changes in ourselves. To begin the process of transformation. Many of us quail at the idea of making a permanent, meaningful, deliberate change in ourselves. We fear the commitment it requires. We worry we’re not up to the task.

I offer the advice (to you, but more so to myself) to start small. Identify achievable milestones. Don’t measure yourself against anyone else’s yardstick. Plan to actively celebrate every step along the way. Build those celebrations into your journey. They help you recognize “done” when you experience it.

And begin.

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