One bite at a time. I know you've heard that joke before, but stay with me--I am going to challenge you to tackle your goals as you might an elephant.
Because here it is, a new year and you have resolved to . . . well, what have you resolved to do? Write something because you've always wanted to try your hand at writing stories? Finish a book you once started? forge ahead with a career you've dreamt about but so far has eluded you? So let's see what needs to be done.
First of all, list five things you will need to do to accomplish over the next twelve months to see your goal(s) come to fruition. Maybe you need more than five, or only three. But list what you would need to do to arrive on December 31st 2014 with everything completed. Daunting, huh? Overwhelming? Yes. Now, let's forget this all, and look at your goals in another way.
Now let's break your wonderful dream into sizable bites. Because you can't eat that elephant all at once--it has to be done one bite at a time. My mother always said to look at a job not as a whole, but what can I do at this very moment. Because even small steps get you closer to the end.
I look at my goals like I look at my kitchen after a big family dinner--the counters are covered with dirty dishes and pots and food that needs to be divied up and put away. There isn't a single clean spot. I can't wave my hand and have it all cleaned up at once--but every time I pick up one dish and rinse it and put it in the dishwasher, every time I put away the mashed potatoes in the fridge, the counter gets cleaner, and I get one step closer to a shiny, clean kitchen. I never walk into my disaster of a kitchen and not smile--I think of Mary Poppins and how "snap" the job is done.
So start each day with a moment's pause, and make a simple plan. What can I bite off today? Where can I find the 15 minutes, the hour, that bit of time I need to get closer to my goal?
My plan for the year--get up with my early riser husband. His alarm goes off at 5.
I know. Yuck. But if I did that, I would have an hour plus each morning to work toward a pie in the sky dream I've had for years. I'd bite off a bit each day before the day begins--so that the day wouldn't escape me without getting one step closer.
What do you dream of doing and how can you bite off a bit each day?
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Elizabeth Boyle is the author of 22 adventurous and fun Regency set historical romances. Her newest release, IF WISHES WERE EARLS, is available now. Read any excerpt at her website.