All the Posts

“Starting” Actually Isn’t the Hard Part

Everyone has probably heard the “courage to start” quote at this point in our lives.

Jon Acuff has a new book out called Finish, and it’s all about how the courage to start isn’t really the game at all… it’s about how we must not only start—but also keep going and then FINISH what we set out to do.

(Sounds a little like “just keep moving forward” to me, am I right? 😉 )

But anyway, I had the privilege of hearing Jon speak at a conference this weekend, and I loved so much about what he was saying.

(Sidebar:  Jon looks and dresses a lot like the Expert.  Had to do a double-take a few times!)

Anyone who decides to “start” should be applauded.  No doubt!

There is major courage in starting a fitness or health or education or otherwise journey. Anything that puts us out of our comfort zone in that regard is commendable.

But… one major point that Jon hit home was this:

When we set goals that are SO huge that they become repeatedly unattainable?  That’s destructive. There is NO courage in “just starting” then. Because, when we don’t reach these huge goals, then we make a habit out of failing. And in turn, being a goal-quitter, becomes part of who we are.


Starting isn’t the hard part—it’s finishing. Things no one tells us, right?

By way of example that Jon mentioned:  Betty starts training for running. Instead of signing up for a 5k (or any k), she signs up for a marathon 10 weeks away.  While it’s easy to say, “wow Betty, that’s great,” there’s a huge likelihood of that not working out so well for Betty.  Then she does it again, and again.  “Failing” over and over again. Not making it to the start of the marathon…

When the truth? Betty isn’t a failure.

She just sets the wrong goals to keep her moving in the right direction. If she had just signed up for a 5k, she would have likely been fine. Then a 10k, etc.

Look at me, man… I am all about the big, scary goal.

But in my book (which is now available for FREE, by the way), I also talk about the Tiers of Goals–how structuring smaller, bite-size goals along the way is where you direct your main focus—that building on the small wins causes big gains, momentum and let’s not forget—confidence to really go for those big ones when the timing is right.

I also talk about the joy of finding YOUR Ironman race, and making it work for you—that while everyone else is out there doing these “crazy” things, that you need to make YOUR goals and whatever goals you will start AND finish happen.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Leave a Reply