Welcome to Mid-February. 2023.
The new year is long gone, and this is usually right about the time when we get wrapped up in things, and the fresh start momentum starts to fall flatter than a pancake with no fluff.
But… it doesn't have to.
I like to think of every day as a fresh start. While the new year is a great time to prioritize what's important, in terms of actually taking action, the best time to start (or restart) is always— Now.
The ability to reset can be a superpower. You can define your own "new year," not dependent on the rest of the world, and start again with a fresh double scoop of momentum any time you want.
As I mentioned in the first post of this year, stepping out of the calendar entirely is the ultimate beginner's mind experiment.
Think about something you really really wanted to start (or learn) one year ago… but didn't.
Now think about a timeline where you did start it.
How far would you be if you had slowly started to move in that direction? Even if you made incremental progress or put in a few hours every week just to learn the fundamentals.
I would say pretty far.
For example, I’ve wanted to get into writing for a long time now, but there was always a reason to put it off. I had been doing so for the last few years now, and the regret slowly built up. But then, last year, I decided to just follow the impulse on a crisp sunny day and go for it. Since then, I've only been improving and getting better. It took a lot of my time at first and kind of derailed my other projects (I might just have gotten wrapped up in things myself), but now it's deeply integrated into my process, and I'm grateful I made a start (I just had to balance things out a bit to match my own schedule and start again).
I now have almost 50 articles on Startup Flyby. Some are a hit, and some are a miss. But it’s all part of the process, and I am slowly getting much better at writing and one year ahead in the journey compared to not having started at all. The only place to go from here is now up. Had I not started a year ago, I would still just be dreaming about writing “someday” and this newsletter wouldn’t exist.
The same resistance showed up for starting the book club (which launched last week), writing fiction, building an app, learning tennis, getting into entrepreneurship in the first place, and several other things I’ve always wanted to do but found an excuse not to. I’m starting to catch onto these excuses now and see the patterns.
The only way to improve or know if you truly enjoy something is to first take action. The only way to finish a race is to make a run for it. Only once you've taken flight can you see more clearly whether something aligns with your vision and priorities. Otherwise, you would still be at the starting line.
Now here's the trick— Forget about the past or not having started. You can simply reset at any point.
You have the next whole year to go for it (and more).
Whatever it is that you wanted to do.
Even if you just made incremental progress or put an hour a day in that direction.
The effort will compound.
And before you know it,
You'll be setting your own rules and changing the game.
So start now.
And if you did start and fell off track,
And start again.
Both starting points are effectively the same. It doesn't matter where you've been. It's where you are going that counts.
A lot of this might come down to the fear of failure or not wanting to look bad in front of others. There's a trick to this too. Just zoom out. On a high enough level, when you reach the stars, the earth is just a tiny dot in the universe. All the reasons we might have to not pursue our dreams can look quite silly. The issues tend to become more prominent when we are too wrapped up in ourselves and zoomed in.
Zooming out always breaks this pattern. Just look at the image below. That's us. The further you go, the smaller things seem. It really makes no sense not to go for what you want.
This is useful to remember when you realize it's Mid-February already, and you might not have achieved what you set out to at the start of the year.
Well, now you know the trick— Simply zoom out and start again.
Zoom back in, and go for it!
Softly spinning in motion, just like the earth, the sun, the stars, and the whole universe.
Never to stop
And if you were already spinning, then keep going.
You've got this.
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If you enjoyed this post, then check out Deja-Vu, A short story about looking up.