If you made some small, super achievable resolutions in January, good for you! Hopefully, you are sticking with them and seeing results.
But if you, like many of us, put a lot of big ideas on the table for 2019, you may be wondering how you’ll eat your way through everything you put on your plate.
Maybe the feeling of overwhelm is preventing you from even knowing where to even start.
Think Big. Start Small.
This is my philosophy about any change you want to make in your life. First give yourself permission to think as big and crazy as you want, and then start with one small step towards that goal.
As many of you know, one of my goals for 2019 (which incidentally was also a goal for 2017 and 2018 – nobody’s perfect) is to write a book. But this is a really daunting task. And I’ll be honest, if I just had to sit down at a computer and type out a book, it would never ever ever never happen. Ever.
But good news! Lots of people want to write books, and most of them need some kind of help. So I found a lot of great ideas on how to break down the process. As a result, last year the goal shifted from writing a book to finishing a rock solid book proposal. This required significant thinking and planning of what will go into a book, but with fewer words and more structure. Then we broke it down even further. I wrote some of the sections, and my co-author Liza did others before we came back together to compare notes and combine forces.
The result is that after a year of mini goals, each with their own timeline and responsible person, we are now ready to sit down and write the damn thing! And the book will be much better because we took these foundational bite-size steps first.
Cut It Up
There are lots of ways to break down goals or change into small pieces. However, here are a few things I think are crucial to breaking things down.
- Identify achievable mini goals. And I really mean mini! Did you know that most authors send query letters to more than 100 publishing agents? It’s true. And do you know what my goal for this week was? One! That’s right, one. And guess what? I did it, and I feel great about it. One is better than none.
- Create accountability. In a work setting, you can assign someone responsibility for ensuring timelines are set and met. This doesn’t mean they do all the work, just that they are in charge of keeping it on track. In your home life, this is another place accountability partners (which can even be your spouse) can help you keep going. Liza and I create regular accountability structures as part of our process, including deadlines, check-ins, and more.
- Celebrate success. It’s easy to get discouraged if you don’t cheer yourself on until your whole plate is empty. So, feel free to give yourself, and others, a nice pat on the back every few bites to stay motivated. For instance, we traveled to New York City this fall for a writing workshop. While we worked hard all day, we celebrated in the evening with amazing food and even treated ourselves to tickets to the Broadway show Waitress. A lot of work went into getting our proposal ready for that weekend, so we were ready to have a little fun.
Make Your Own Eating Plan
Go ahead and break your goals and resolutions down in any way that makes sense to you! There really is no right or wrong way here.
However, I know from experience that making things manageable, combined with support and accountability, can help you successfully tackle what is on your plate in 2019.
So sharpen your knives and get to it!
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