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An Object In Motion

Have you ever wondered why it's so difficult to begin something new?

Why does the thought of just getting started feel daunting?

I don't know the answer, but I often experience the feeling. Whether it's not wanting to start something as simple as cleaning up the house or going to the gym, or as big as taking on a new project with work or committing to an important personal goal like writing a book or learning a new hobby, taking the first step can feel like the most difficult, energy straining thing.

I wonder if it's the change we fear - knowing we may have to give up something we are familiar with in exchange for something unknown. Perhaps it's wanting to avoid the discomfort that arises when we face challenges. We may want to avoid any difficult labor or work it entails. We might even convince ourselves that our goals are not worth the work and, therefore, to prevent pain or discomfort, we never try at all.

I know that many, but not all, of the things I have accomplished took much effort and commitment. This doesn't mean everything we accomplish must be challenging, grueling, or difficult for it to be worth achieving. Still, the things we want most will sometimes require sacrifices, commitment, and consistency. But despite knowing this, it still leads me to wonder why the first step is the hardest.

What came to mind as I posed this question last night, after forcing myself off the couch and onto a yoga mat to make sure I got my movement in for the day, was this -

Newton's First Law of Motion, also known as the Law of Inertia, states that an object at rest stays at rest until a force sets it into motion.

This law of physics is valid for all objects, but does it also apply to humans?

If so, what kind of force do we require to get us into motion to push us toward our goals?

We sometimes fool ourselves into thinking we need some prominent, significant force or source of energy or inspiration to propel us toward our goals. We must be swept up by the mystical, ever-fleeting energy of motivation to get started. But if we sit around waiting for any fleeting, magical force, it may never come. This is where we must draw upon our inner strength, determination, and courage to stand up and take action. To be our own force that pushes us out of our comfortable resting position.

This brings me to the second part of Newton's First Law of Motion, which is that an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

This means that once we get past the difficult stage of getting started (or being at rest), we should remain in motion. Actions become much easier when we finally rip the bandaid off and get started. Pushing past the dreaded anticipation, moving forward, and taking the first step, no matter how big or small.

So, one of my secrets to getting myself to take the first (often dreaded) step is to trick myself. I tell myself I only have to make the effort for 5-10 minutes. After that, if I want to be done, I can stop. But, like the laws of physics state, an object in motion will remain in motion. Once I get started, the feeling of wanting to quit often dissipates. I will often be inspired and motivated to continue whatever I began because the difficult part (just getting started) is already done. So, why ruin my momentum and stop now?

So, have you been putting off any tasks, actions, goals, or activities? Do you feel these things require significant effort or energy, or perhaps they seem too large and daunting to want to get started? What if you just took the first step, knowing that the universe is right behind you, willing to help keep you moving forward if only you muster up the courage and energy to take the first step?



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