Welcome to my first blog post!  Yay! I’m super excited for you to read this post. It is my desire that those that are led here receive something that resonates within.  Ok, let me introduce myself.  I’m Cree Cunningham, MSW.  I am a spiritualist, therapist, mother, sister, army veteran, dope ass friend and soon-to-be magnificent wife (speaking that last one into existence lol). I am not your average clinician.  Although I have been thoroughly trained as a clinical social worker, I primarily work within my spiritual awareness with a little a therapeutic finesse.  I’m a boy mom, traveler, poet and whole lot of magic.  Have a question, just ask.

Now back to why I’m here. I wrote this first blog post about 10 times in my head.  The process of getting started seemed to escape me.  I had the intentions, and the blueprint, but still something wasn’t connecting.  I would rethink my first topic, ponder over whether I should only talk about one subject or if anyone would really read it. I completely ignored the constant dialogue of “Cree, when are you starting the blog?  I can’t wait to read it.”  Despite the external and internal nudging, I kept having a stall in getting started.  Then this week I realized something. Many of my clients come to me with this very issue.  I constantly coach people through breaking the wall between thinking a thing and starting a thing.  So, it’s only fitting that my first blog be about getting started.  Read on and I’ll talk about the process for me along with actionable steps to help you get started with almost anything.  These basic steps translate to almost any project, problem or task. Ready? Perfect, Let’s Go!

Okay, a little more background about me. My sun sign is in Virgo!  I have a million thought processes to each and EVERYTHING! Baby listen, ya girl will think over the thoughts that I first thought about at least 10 times.  I consider every possible outcome, scenario or situation. Now couple that with my keen attention to detail, and vivid imagination. Whew! I can be the poster child for “Team Think Too Much.” Still, I am results driven and always want a positive outcome.  I also want you to have as many positive outcomes as possible.  It is my experience that a combination of planning and fluidity pair for the best results.  Although the former may be opposing notions, stick with me and it will all come together. I promise.

 Let’s talk about Phase 1: PLANNING.  This process starts with setting aside time.  We can’t accomplish anything if we don’t have the time to do so.  Start small with an hour devoted to brainstorming and planning.  This is the time to get all the thoughts on paper (or screen for my new school folks lol) and out of your head.  The best ideas are still swimming in a brilliant mind waiting for an opportunity to live. Here is the place to allow your thoughts to simply flow.  Jot down every idea without much contemplation.  Just get it all out.  Be completely fluid during this time.   For some it may take only one hour, one day.  For others it may take multiple days and multiple hours.  IT’S FINE!!! Your process of brainstorming will likely vary based on the project.  Remember, it’s planning not perfection.  Once you have brainstormed and decided on your topic or project, you then move to phase two.

Now, let’s get into Phase 2: CREATING AN OUTLINE.  I know, I know, outlining is old school! Yep, it is; however, it works!  During this phase, you are able to carefully detail the project.  For writers, that may be outlining chapters.  For crafters, that may be outlining the steps to making the item.  Whatever the task, outline is crucial.  Here you can create a guided timeline for completion.  Here, you will also list what you need to complete the task.  All of the components necessary for your task are included in the outline and carefully organized.  It gives you a compass for the next phase and allows for ease of use in the actual steps of completion.  There are few things more frustrating than starting a project and midway through you discover that you are missing key components.  Take your time during this phase.  Make note of all the key components, tools, details, etc. The outline again is your compass.  Variables may change as you work through the process and that is perfectly ok.  Flow with it.  Always embrace the ebbs and flows and move accordingly. ß That’s a life lesson right there! Lol

Alright, Alright, Alright! We’re at Phase 3: IMPLEMENTATION.  This is where you get all up it in baby!  Work that outline and put in work.  Make sure to enjoy this phase.  Follow your outline to stay on task.  If you have to make adjustments, add them to your outline so that you’ll have good notes, if you have to take a break and come back. During phase 3, try to approach the session rested and motivated.  You want to give yourself the best chance at success. Now I know life happens, so give yourself grace.  If you’re too tired to finish on a particular day, and pushing through will cause more harm than good, rest.  I don’t mean procrastinate and live in the land of the lazy. Nah, not that! Be dedicated and follow through.  You are literally one phase from victory. Go get your W!

BAM and we’re at PHASE 4: COMPLETION! Go ahead and do your victory dance or spit that victory verse.  Celebrate your diligence and accomplishment.  Even if you had obstacles, had to stop and restart or felt slightly depleted during the process, YOU MADE IT!  Take some time here to truly process how you feel.  Take note of the positive and adverse aspects of this task.  Are there tips that you can make for future projects or tasks similar to this? It’s always good to do an after-action report with yourself or your team to review what happened. Don’t forget tho, YOU DID THAT ISH!

Ok guys, I hope this helps! Often times getting started is the most difficult part. Just do it and find your groove. It happens to the best of us.  Thanks for reading and be sure to leave your comments below.  Let me know how it works out for you.  Til the next time . . .  Be light, be love, and be purposeful! Peace and Blessings Family!