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Devin Arrigo

When You’re Starting From Nothing, Build the Habit First

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Devin Arrigo
Devin Arrigo
Photo by Francesca Zama on Unsplash
Three days ago, I tested positive for COVID-19.

After more than a week of visiting my hometown, I started to feel achy and rundown. The following day I got tested, and 60 minutes later, I got an email with the test results. Quarantine these past few days has given me more free time than in the previous 8 months before. Unfortunately, that time was spent resting instead of writing.

I’ve fallen off the wagon, and I’m struggling to get back.

I’m back to square one.

Ground zero. The starting line. Nada.

Before all of this mess, I was doing really well. I’d written every day for the past 8 months.

My writing was getting sharper. My impact was growing. And people were starting to take notice.

But since traveling and getting hit with COVID, I haven’t written more than an “I’m doing okay” text to my Mom. I need to get started again. I need to write something.

I’m not aiming for normal — I’m aiming for progress.

When you’re starting from nothing, the goal shouldn’t be to get back to where you were.

Instead, start by building momentum so eventually, you can get back to where you once were.

When you fall, you break your habit. You’re forced to start from the beginning. From ground zero. It’s a clean slate.

To build back to where you were, you have to rebuild the habit, brick by brick. Swing after swing. Step after step.

Don’t try to hit a home run on your first at-bat.

This article is mine.

I’m not trying to knock it out of the park. I know that it won’t get more than a couple of views. I’m rusty, and that’s all it deserves.

The intention is to shake off the rust. To get the juices flowing. To do something small with no intention other than doing. Don’t focus on the views. Or the comments. Or the likes.

Focus on doing the thing.

Put blinders on and rebuild your habit.

You can’t snap your fingers and magically wind up where you once were.

Things will not change overnight. To rebuild the habit, you have to start somewhere. The best place to do that is with a low-expectation action. Do the thing but expect nothing in return.

This will get the juices flowing and help you rebuild the habit.