David Strittmatter

How to get started

Dear friend,

Another great week passed and plenty things happened. Last week I traveled to San Francisco and the Bay Area as well as visited some good friends who are currently working there. I really enjoy this privilege and opportunity to travel so much while I have my semester abroad her

e in the US. On the other hand, though, it is also quite exhausting. As I want to keep on track with my grades, do much sport and prepare a new project, I am really busy and even have a constant lack of sleep. After this week and my trip to Vancouver, Canada this week, I will definitely need a break of travelling and, to be really honest, I am glad not to travel and have more time in San Diego , although I love exploring this wonderful continent and have a kind of inner feeling pressuring me to make the most out of this time. Since I cannot enjoy the trips as much as I could if I was not this busy and exhausted, it is more sensible and rational to take a break, too. I am convinced that you should challenge yourself to a certain extent in each area of your life at least once (this is the reason why I have travelled s

o much in the last weeks), but you should always think long-term as well. I am pretty sure that I would never regret taking a break after such an impressive time as the last few weeks, and that is what really matters to me.

But now enough said on this little issue. I hope I could convey a little of what I am worried about (the tension between making the best possible use of time and the need for a break).

How to get started

I am pretty sure that you know this: You have this particular goal, project, habit, endeavor or something similar and you really want it. Your problem, though, is that you are not able to get started. Either you have the feeling that you are not ready, that it is not the right time yet, you need to wait for something or that you are not motivated enough and have not the necessary energy and drive to start.

I know this issue pretty good. In fact, I am confronted with this matter right now. As I want to expand my social channels from images (Instagram) and writing (newsletter) to videos (YouTube),

I have to get started and shoot my first videos, edit them and upload them. At the beginning, you might be very motivated when thinking about this idea and how it felt when you are succeeding. However, when it comes to taking action and execution your motivation can drop veeery quickly.

Shooting videos, for instance, is pretty easy in theory. Practically, standing in front of a camera and talking to a physical object rather than a living being feels pretty weird, having good light and audio quality is pretty hard if you have no clue, and cutting and post-editing is pretty tim

e-consuming as well. For me, it is pretty understandable that many people quit before they even get started. And even if you get started, it takes a lot of discipline to keep going. The better the start and the better the first results are, though, the higher the chances you will succeed.

In this issue, I would like to tell you what helps me to get started successfully and maintain a high level of motivation and discipline. First of all, for me it is very important to have the right mindset. Moreover, telling your friends, family and colleagues of your endeavour as well as writing down your goals in a smart way is key, too. Finally, time-management and creating a habit helps you to ensure to prioritize correctly.

Having the right mindset

In order to get started successfully, an adequate mindset makes a huge difference. Whenever I am in front of a new challenge, I tell myself that I am going to suck in my first tries, my first

tries are going to be shit and at the beginning even the easy things are going to be pretty hard. BUT that is totally okay as if I continue to work consistently and hard on whatever I set out to do, I will improve and succeed eventually, and then even the hard things are going to be easy.

With this mindset, it feels so much easier to get started. It takes all the pressure from you as there is no need to perform at the beginning. My first video does not have to win a price, but rather it is more important that I produce and shoot as many videos as I can in order to improve so that my 100th video is going to be great.

Thinking long-term is key when it comes to high achievement. Me and my generation – the socalled “millennials” – are so used to instant gratification. But when it comes to long-term success and getting something great rolling, we have to be patient and work for a quite amount of time not seeing any return. In the long-term, though, everyone can succeed if they improve consistently and invest the necessary amount of work.

Tell friends, family and colleagues about your endeavour

Secondly, what highly increases the odds that you get started is when you tell the people surrounding you and spend the most time with about your new project/goal/… For me this is quite intuitive why it helps to get started and keep going. Just image you told your colleagues that you will go on a strict diet to lower your body fat and get in shape. The next week you have to choose between eating a salad or your favourite dish burger with fries in the cafeteria. The odds that you will choose the salad over the burger would be much higher in case you told your colleagues about your goal than if you had not.

I want to be as open as possible towards the people surrounding me. I tend to talk casually about all kinds of topics including my goals for my life, current challenges and also my new projects and endeavours. Therefore, most of the people around me know that I am about to start a new YouTube channel and many are interested in what is coming up. The pressure to not deliver is therefore pretty high. Hence, if you want to increase the odds of getting successfully started, I highly recommend you to do this.

Writing down goals in a smart way is key

Another important step for me to make sure that I get started and stay motivated is writing down my goals – either digitally or handwritten – and reminding me to look them up frequently. Every “major” goal I have is written down. Many of them are part of a note app and pop up every few weeks so that I can hold myself accountable for achieving them.

Beside that, it is pretty important to formulate your goals in a “SMART” way what means that you write them down: specific (do not say you want to be rich, say you want to be able to purchase whatever you want to have), measurable (do not say you want to be rich, say you want to have at least one million of wealth in your 30s), attainable (be patient and set yourself attainable goals in the short-term and set almost unattainable goals in the long-term), relevant (are you really want to be rich? Do you think this is in accordance with your values? Why do you want to be rich? Reflect your goals and think about whether they are intrinsically or extrinsically motivated and relevant for you) and time-bound (set yourself a clear deadline until you want to achieve your goal).

There is even empirical evidence that writing down your goals boost the odds of attaining your goals. But if you ask me, it is pretty much intuitive that this increases the probability of success. If you have not tried it out yet, I highly recommend you to try it.

Make it a habit

Finally, what is also a key element to get started and succeed is to plan a fixed time slot in your weekly or even daily schedule in which you do something for your new goal or endeavour. In my case, I always do something for my new project on Wednesday afternoon. This ensures that I will work on my new project on a frequent basis. I block everything else in this time period to

make sure that I have the necessary discipline to work towards my objectives. I am convinced that shooting and uploading videos will become a habit, eventually, but until this happens, many months still have to pass.

All right – these were my recommendations on how to get started. This week’s issue was pretty long. I hope you liked it anyway. Thank you so much for reading all of this issue.

All the best to you and yours,


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