Tag Archive | baby steps

My Checklist

‘Oh that my steps may be steady, keeping the course you have set’ – Psalm 119:5 msg

I have tossed my daily TO DO list and now work on an I WILL list.  Simply thinking about ‘what I should do’ verses ‘what I will do’ is a perspective shift that has helped me to move forward.

Alongside my I WILL list I now have checklists.  Many activities require a number of steps, as if putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  Once I determine what I will do, I look at what must be done to complete that task.

An example would be writing this post. I work it out like thischecklist_md_clr:

  • determine the topic
  • open the software so I may type as phrases or particular words come to mind
  • type, delete, type, repeat
  • proof read for spelling/grammar
  • set categories
  • set tags
  • schedule the post

To you, this may be excessive. Perhaps for you it all comes naturally and impulsively. I used to be able to do that as well. I don’t know if it is aging, time of life, or just a cluttered mind Smile 

By breaking it down, I stay on course, feel a sense of accomplishment and realize that I am closer to my goal with each step.

What works best for you? How do you stay on top of your TO DO lists and accomplishments?

Quit Planning–Start Acting

Every year on January 1 people all over the world make New Year’s Resolutions.  Forbes reports that an average of 8% of people achieve their New Year’s Resolutions. EIGHT percent!!

Psychology Today reports that people who set goals, write them down and ask for accountability succeed nearly 75% of the time.

What is the difference between a New Year’s Resolution and a Goal?  Commitment. Saying “I will” instead of “I want to” is committing to action, not just dreaming and hoping.

We all need to dream. We all need to hope. But it doesn’t stop there. 

I dream often of having the skinny body I did many years ago, even while eating my latest batch of chocolate cookies fresh out of the oven. Dreaming won’t bring the body back – only acting on the commitment to exercise and change my eating habits.  Not just for a day or two, but to a lifetime commitment.

Opening a business where I would coach women who desire to move forward from where they are now to where they and God desire her to be means more than dreaming. I can visualize a schedule filled with clients, speaking engagements and an active blog post. That does not make it come to reality.

Making it a reality is overwhelming. There is such a large chasm between the desire and the picture in my dreams. Do you relate? Is there a chasm in front of you as well?

This past Christmas I purchased a jigsaw puzzle for my family to work on while visiting.  We each have our own way of working on a jigsaw puzzle as far as placing pieces, sorting the unused ones, etc; but there is one thing we all agreed on – set out and position the border pieces first.

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I apply the same to moving forward in my dream. Whether through using a coach of my own to help me go deeper into my desires, by journaling, through a vision board, or any other method that helps me focus, I outline the outer borders. What does I desire in the end? What values will I maintain? What ethical choices will I stand firm on? Where will I say no?

Then it’s time to sort the puzzle pieces and slowly, one by one, put the pieces into place until a full picture is presented. There were many interruptions along the way but we did finally put all the pieces together. That is, all the pieces except the one that was missing from the box.

Puzzle-Complete

Now that I have clarified my dreams and desires I add color as each step brings the dream toward a reality.

ColorMePuzzle

The process is slow moving for me; for others the pieces fall in place quickly.

The important thing is to remember that even a baby step is still a step forward. Stay committed. Keep moving forward.

What do you do to stay focused? How to you return to your efforts after interruptions occur? What happens when you find a piece is missing?

What dream will you commit to making a reality in 2017?

Why I Don’t Do New Year’s Resolutions

   

happy_new_year_balloons_lg_clrAs 2016 approached I started hearing many people talk about their “New Year’s Resolution”.  You probably can quote the most often spoken one “I have to eat all this now, because once January 1 arrives I have to change my diet and start exercising”.

This immediately sends red flags bursting in my head.  Why do you have wait to begin?  Why add 10 more pounds now which will only depress you more in a few days?  How is overeating today going to help you change your eating habits on a specific calendar date?

No, I don’t say these things out loud. But I do ask myself these questions as I look to my own plans for the New year. 

Depending on what report you read, statistics show that 80-95% of New Year’s resolutions fail.

When a resolution is made, it is often a large goal:  lose 50 pounds, exercise daily, quit smoking, etc.  The problem is that while is the goal may be attainable, we often look on it as a one step completion.puzzle_piece_rotate_lg_clr

This one step completion makes me think of a jigsaw puzzle, expecting to open the box and dump the contents onto the table as a complete picture.  It isn’t!  To work this jigsaw puzzle you have to put all the pieces together in the appropriate place – ONE PIECE AT A TIME.  When I work a puzzle I first sort out and find all the outer edges, then find what pieces I can internally that will match, I seek out color and design, and move forward, one puzzle piece after another. 

The same process it takes to complete a jigsaw puzzle is required to complete a new resolution – one piece at a time.  If I desire to lose 50 pounds this year, I need to work on the first 5 pounds, then another, and another. If I desire to run a marathon at the end of the year, I have to get off the couch and start to walk, try a 5k, then start running the 5k, then move on. 

Think back to the days your child was learning to walk. First the baby started to roll over, then tried to crawl and continued until scrambling all around the room. Later the baby tried to pull up on things, then moved along holding onto furniture until finally those first steps away and fall. The baby does not give up, but instead pulls up and tries again until finally walked across the room to you.

We become so hurried and want everything NOW that we forget about those baby steps.  It takes baby steps to makes changes. Celebrate each successful step!  And when you fall, you will fall, get up and try it again.

Start dates and goals are necessary to move forward, but that is not enough. We need accountability and a plan. We need more than a desire, we need commitment.

No, I haven’t made a New Year’s Resolution.  I am making a list of goals and reviewing them for attainability. I am picking the one or two I am willing to commit to and breaking down the goal into small steps which I can achieve and am willing to work on.

What are you committed to in 2016? What plans are you making to accomplish the goal?