So often, starting can feel like the hardest part of a new project. Newton’s law of inertia states that a body at rest will remain so unless acted upon by an outside force, and I daresay that we can sometimes be like those bodies at rest. We wait for an outside force, like the beginning of a year, for example, to give us the push we need to get going. 


There’s nothing stopping us from making resolutions on January 17th, or April 22nd, or November 3rd, but we tend to make them on January 1st because it feels like an appropriate time to reset. How often do we tell ourselves “oh I’ll come back from my break at 3:30” because 3:24 isn’t as satisfying a time to start back at. We are constantly waiting for the “right time” to start anew or to take a step. But there is no one “right time.”

We don’t need a new year to start over. We don’t even need a new week or a new day. All we need is a new moment. Any moment can be the moment that you decide to realign your Path with your Transcendent There. Any moment can be the moment that you set new SMART goals or take the first step towards your There. 

Finding Motivation

Knowing that we often need external motivation in order to get started, you can come up with tools that work for you to help trick your brain into resetting to start anew. For me, this might be switching up my workspace and moving to a different room. I also like to listen to music while I work, so changing my playlist or even turning it off for a minute can help my brain recognize that we’re doing something new now. Getting a snack or a drink can also help fuel your body and give it new stimulus. It can be hard to reset internally if we’re not resetting externally, so changing external settings could be just the trick to change your internal settings as well. 

Habit Stacking

In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear talks about the practice of “habit stacking.” This is a hack to use to attach a new habit that you want to do to something that you are already doing. For example, let’s say you already set up your coffee maker every night so that it’s ready to go in the morning. If one of your goals is to eat a more balanced breakfast, you can add prepping overnight oats to that routine so that they’re ready for you when you wake up. 

He also says that it’s important to make a specific plan for when and how you will accomplish your goals. For example, let’s say that you want to have a tidier room. That’s a good goal, but there’s no metric to let you know you’ve achieved it. To work on developing it into a habit, you could say that when you get home from work and take off your shoes, you will unpack your bag and hang it on a hook by the door, instead of dropping it on the ground like you usually do. This attaches a new habit, hanging up your bag, to something you already do, take off your shoes, to help you achieve your goal. 

Looking to Your There

Finally, you need to know why you are making a goal in order to feel motivated to go after it. This is where your Transcendent There comes in. There will inevitably come a day when you don’t feel like prepping breakfast and aren’t sure anymore why you decided you had to unpack your bag when you get home from work. Answering the Five Whys and connecting these small habits to your Transcendent There can provide the context needed to give your brain the external push that it needs to take the next step. 

Gracie McBride is the Content and Systems Coordinator at The Crossroad