Just Get Started

I went to Waterford High School, where I think I was lucky to have a number of really good teachers.  One of my favorites was my junior year English teacher, Gail Dimaggio.  She set up classes like Socratic seminars and asked us to think about what we were reading.  It’s hard to teach someone to think, but that typically seemed to be her goal.  One of her regular reminders was to “just get started.” 

She told us that starting is always the hardest part, but once you start to write a paper the doing gets easier.  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were wrong.  It’s not the waiting that’s the hardest part.  It’s the starting.  Mrs. Dimaggio was right.  There are so many “chores” in life that we don’t feel like doing.  But the majority of the time it’s getting started that is hard. In most cases, once we get into a project, the time goes by quickly and sometimes whatever you started actually turns out to be fun, interesting, or entertaining.  The anticipation of the nuisance tends to be worse than the task. 

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Having fun moving only takes five minutes...but you can always add more!

Having fun moving only takes five minutes…but you can always add more!

Whether we are talking about an English paper or an exercise routine getting started is the worst.  For a workout you have to get out of bed, get in appropriate attire, get to the class or put a video on.  But once you get moving it’s never that bad.  If you need to start small, commit to five minutes of movement today.  Maybe that’s a walk, a run, some stretches, Pilates, yoga, or a hodge-podge of moves you want to put together.  I suspect at the end of five minutes you probably won’t mind adding another five and perhaps another after that.  Just get started.  Remind yourself that whatever you are doing will be better after the first 20-seconds.  Find what makes movement enjoyable to you.  Move with a friend, to music, or while watching television.

If you need some help, here is a video for a ten minute gentle workout:  


It’s a great place to start if you are just getting back into movement or on the days where you really don’t feel like moving and have to force yourself. 

And, while you are motivating yourself to move by reminding yourself that the starting is the hardest part, is there something else you’ve been wanting to do that it’s time to start?  I know some people think New Year’s resolutions are trite, but I tend to find that one time a year it’s actually nice to take a moment to take stock and make sure you’re on the path you’d like to travel at this point in your life. 

Maybe you’ve always wanted to run a marathon, write a book, learn to sail or fly, take a cooking or dance class, or swim in Jell—O.  Your goal can be mighty or tiny.  One of the tasks on my list is to milk a cow.  I’ve always wanted to, but never have.  I like it because it seems like a fairly easy task to accomplish.   I’d love to hear of the goals—physical or otherwise—that you’d enjoy reaching this year. 


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About the Author:

Maggie Downie
Thank you for giving your time to stop and read my blog. I hope it encourages you to keep moving. Move and the body will be happier. And when you're moving you can hike, run, swim in Jell-O, race over non-Newtonian fluids, travel the world or build igloos--if that's your thing. If not, you can watch me do it. This is just a spot to try and feel good about life.


  1. Esteban January 11, 2017 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Great read! I agree.. hardest part is just getting motivated to start. But once up and running, things just tend to flow naturally!

  2. Krisitne January 11, 2017 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Maggie!! You are SPOT on!! And I am impressed that you want to milk a cow!! I have no doubt you will accomplish this…..me?!..hmmmm I gotta think about this one!! Thanks for your insightfulness …I so enjoy your blog!

  3. Deborah Bax January 12, 2017 at 6:08 am - Reply

    Like the Nike theme: Just Do It – easier said than done. By the end of 2017 (or before) I’d like to be able to do sit ups from lying on my back. Thanks for the tips, Maggie. I’m working on it.

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