#32: A September Reminder for Starting

Let's begin again, shall we?

Here are some posts from my old blog that touch on starting (over), apt reminders for starting fresh this September. Take what you need. 🔖

September 23, 2021

Start With What You Have

What is holding you back from doing that ONE thing that you know would change your life?

When I was in college, I wished that:

  • I had an iPhone, so I can shoot videos and share my journey on YouTube
  • I had a mic so I can record songs and podcast episodes
  • I had expensive pens and journals to inspire me to write daily

After graduation, I finally had all those. But did I keep my promise?

No. I only looked for more lack instead of working with what I have. I made excuses instead of making the most of what is already in my arsenal. But a mirrorless camera, or a Shure SM58, or a stack of Bullet Journals won’t get me closer to my goals.

What I need more than expensive equipment are patience, consistency, and resourcefulness.

So when I found the close-knit community of Ship 30 for 30 via Super.so’s Showcase of Ev Chapman’s website, I combed the Internet to know more about this cohort-based course. I found lots of great reviews, but I can’t afford to shell out hundreds of dollars right now.

Then I asked myself: Should I save up first and take the course before I try to write every day? Or is it possible to begin now — right where I am, with what I have?

Do I have to wait for a particular gadget or reach a specific budget? Or is the right mindset enough to make progress?

Whatever it is that you’re putting off, you’re never gonna be completely ready. But dive in anyway. Embrace the growth in the messy adventure you’re about to embark on.

Start where you are — with what you have.‌  

February 2, 2022          ‌

How the Fresh Start Effect Might Be Holding You Back from Working on Your Creative Projects

Are you calendar agnostic?

I’m not. In fact, I plan to “get my life together” every December 31, feel the buzz on January 1, then procrastinate from January 2 until December 30-ish (maybe except on the Day 1s of each month and a couple of Mondays).

Yes, I’m a sucker for the proverbial “clean slates.”‌‌‌‌Does the “fresh start effect” sound familiar?‌‌‌‌We regard new years, new weeks, new months (birthdays and holidays, too) as the fitting time to restart our habits, pursue our goals, or revive creative projects. But why? Dai et al. (2014) suggest, “These landmarks demarcatethe passage of time, creating many new mental accounting periods each year, which relegate past imperfections to a previous period, induce people to take a big-picture view of their lives, and thus motivate aspirational behaviors.

Granted, we can use the fresh start effect to boost our motivation by scheduling critical tasks on said “landmarks.” But what happens when our typical Tuesday arrives and the rush wears off?‌‌‌‌

We only get one Day 1 every 30 days. ‌‌‌‌So here I am, starting and writing again — not on a Monday, not on the 1st day of the month, but on a random Wednesday. Because we shouldn’t pause our progress and stop playing the piano or painting masterpieces or baking red velvet cakes just because we failed yesterday.

March 1 isn’t the next best time to try again. There isn’t one perfect day or moment to start. Just pick up where you left off. No shame, no judgment, no pressure.

Create again.

‌‌November 14, 2022

Should You Start That Passion Project?

Everybody has a newsletter, podcast, or YouTube channel these days.

Why bother? Why add to the clutter?

If you've been itching to start a passion project but you feel...

  • Afraid of what other people might think or say about you
  • Intimidated by those who started way before you and have already done excellent work in the field
  • Inadequate and unqualified
  • Scared to fail and realize it has all been a waste of time

Here's an encouraging excerpt from Elizabeth Gilbert's  Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

“Do whatever brings you to life, then. Follow your own fascinations, obsessions, and compulsions. Trust them. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.”

Here are some reminders to counter your self-doubt:

  1. You can't please everyone, so might as well follow your curiosity and see what happens. Life is an adventure—don't miss out.
  2. A beginner's mind can be your asset. Relax. You don't need to be an expert yet!
  3. Feeling unqualified? Good. You should; it will motivate you to keep learning, experimenting, and improving.
  4. Someone wise once said, "Failure is not the opposite of success. It is part of success."
  5. If you learn and enjoy the experience, the precious time you spent on your passion project will never be pointless.

February 1, 2023‌‌

On Fresh Starts

I woke up today with renewed excitement for cultivating healthier habits, working on creative projects, and developing deeper connections with other people.

I don't know but fresh starts (like the first day of a new month) have a way of reawakening my passion and zest for life.

Friendly reminder, though: You can harness the fresh start effect on any day of any week—because each morning brings a new beginning.

Hope you had a great February 1st! 🫶🏼

May 23, 2023‌

Start Now

Replaying the past in your mind and how you could've changed things won't change things. Daydreaming about the future you could have if you start changing things won't change things. You know what will?

Taking steps now. So, start now. It's all you got anyway.

"Today, not tomorrow, is the day that we can start to be good." — Ryan Holiday, The Daily Stoic

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