Have you ever tried to start something new? Whether it’s a new diet or exercise program, a home improvement project, or gettinga handle on your finances, starting something new can seem like a daunting task. There are many reasons why we put off starting something new.
We want to wait until the perfect time to start, when there aren’t so many other things going on in our lives, when things are more settled or when we are more organized and ready. Or maybe we put off getting started because we don’t know where to start.
In his book, Good to Great, author Jim Collins says, “Good is the enemy of great.” He means that when things are “good enough,” people tend to become complacent and lack of motivation to improve. “Good enough”can keep us from striving toward something greater. However, the idea of “great” can be the enemy of getting started. When faced with a difficult task, we tend to not start at all. If we fear that the results won’t be “great,” that we can’t do it perfectly, we can talk ourselves out of doing the task altogether.
How can we move past our fears of not being “great” and just start? The first thing to do is realize that there will never be a “perfect” time to start. We will always have more to do than can get done. There will always be distractions and obstacles to work around. If we wait for a perfect time to start, we will never, ever start! Right now may not be the best time to start, but it’s better than never starting at all.
Zechariah 4:10 says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin” (NJT). Zechariah was given a message from Gd to the Israelites who had returned to Jerusalem after their exile in Babylon. Their first task was to rebuild the temple, but over a decade had passed since their return, and the project was only half completed. Zechariah’s message encouraged the Jews to complete the temple. He reminded them of the importance of the temple because God’s glory would dwell there. They were not just building a temple; hey were building towards their future.
The Lord recognized that rebuilding the temple seemed like a large task to human eyes, but He assured the prophet that i was no by might or force, but by His Spirit that the task would be accomplished. He promised that nothing, not even a mountain, would stand in their way, and that they would be able to finish what they started (see Zechariah 4:6-9).
So, start small. If your goal is to build up your savings, start by putting even a small amount into your savings account whenever you can. Eventually, the small amount will begin to add up. If your goal is to pay off all debt, start by concentrating on the smallest debt first. Once that debt is paid, apply that money to the next debt. Since you have more money to apply to this next debt, it will help pay it off quicker.
When that debt is paid, move on to the next debit, continuing to apply the money from the old debts to the next one. This is called the Debt Snowball Method, because in the same way that a snowball rolling down hill gets bigger and rolls faster, the money available to pay off your debt begins to accumulate as each debt is paid.
Don’t let the idea of “great” keeps you from getting started. You don’t have to wait until the start of the new year, the beginning of the month, or even the first of the week. Right now is the time to budget, get out of debt, save for the future, and give more generously. Don’t wait! Start today!
By Hope Welborn