A client of mine recently said this in a meeting, explaining her momma used to always tell her, “Start as you mean to continue.” I think this could be interpreted several ways, but I take it to mean that one should give 100% effort from the get-go on any given task. Or to take it from another direction, if your heart isn’t into it when you start, it’ll be tough to get more excited (and put in more effort) later.

I love the phrase because it sets a simple directive: Do your best from the beginning, and keep doing your best throughout.

When it comes to data management, whether it’s system selection, system implementation, or day-to-day management of the data, always start as you mean to continue. Understand that things will never be perfect (you’re seeking success, not perfection) and plans will always change. But if you start as you mean to continue, you’ll still wind up in a much better place.