I’ve always said that work is a lot like going to the gym. As a leader you’ve got to keep your staff motivated, make sure they’re showing up physically and mentally, and help them transform into “rock star employees.”

Well, that got me thinking a little bit more about the gym–specifically, getting to the gym. Summer’s upon us and I know a lot of folks are wishing they’d stuck to that resolution they made in January to work out five times a week so they could show off their hard-earned results at the beach.

At the start of the year, you might have been ready to take on the world, and you probably made a whole list of personal and business goals to finish by the end of the quarter. But, then procrastination took over and your plans got put off another month–or worse, indefinitely. You got stuck on the most difficult part: the start.

I take my health very seriously, so I feel your pain. Getting to the gym regularly is a conscious goal for me, but like you, some days life gets in the way of my best laid plans. On other days, I get to the gym, and once I’m there, I have incredibly successful workouts. I use my time wisely, exert just the energy I need to maximize my time, and I get the results that I want. Of course, that’s only when I manage to make it through the front door.

Here are four ways to move past the toughest part of any goal: the start.

You be the driver.

Put yourself in charge of your own calendar and don’t let your schedule drive you. Block out your time on your calendar and protect it. You’ll be accountable to anyone who looks at your calendar, especially if the goal you’re working towards is work related.

Make your goal priority one.

Mornings can often become a rush and blur. To bring things into focus, choose no more than three (one would be best) goals to accomplish at the very start of your day. Stay focused on one priority at a time and work on it until you’re finished. If you don’t, that top priority might move into last place. Through it all, keep a laser focus on what’s most important to you.

Keep interruptions to a minimum.

You know your top priority. You’ve got your schedule for the morning. Now, turn off your cell phone, step away from your email, and close the door. Constant or even intermittent distractions can get you off track and sabotage your tasks and goals. Always protect your time and space.

Do it. Start. Make it simple.

Your first step is the toughest to make, and it can be easy to let your goals intimidate you, but keep at it–even if your goal feels too big. In fact, start with the big things. We often think we should knock out several small tasks so we can get to our big priority, but that’s not usually the way it works. Start on the big things and you might be surprised how far you get.

There’s never a “perfect time” to start doing something–especially when it comes to working towards our biggest goals and dreams. Just get started. Once you do, you’ll find you have the momentum to cross all sorts of big-ticket items off your list, and start thinking even bigger.


This article originally appeared in all Business.