One Step at a Time

One Step at a Time

I am trying something a little different with my goals right now.

It’s so easy to get bogged down in the overall aspect of your goal.  Maybe you want to write a novel or lose weight.  You focus all of your energy on the end result and what you need to do to get there. It can get overwhelming fast.  You wait to start because you are unsure where to begin. Often you throw all you have behind your goal and hit a brick wall when it sucks and you lose motivation. Your goal seems so big you feel like you’ll never reach it.

In general, I like to break my goals down into steps.  I want to accomplish something, so I need to do these ten things to get there.  However, I still spend all of my energy focused on the end result.  It’s easy to become discouraged after a while because my goal starts to feel far away.  The reality of how much work I have to do to get there starts to hit and it’s overwhelming

Lately I am working to accomplish one step that will bring me closer.  Rather than of focusing on my end goal weight, I am thinking about how much better I will feel to see one less pound on the scale.  How accomplished would you feel if you just worked on the next 100 words?  Don’t worry about the 49,900 other words you need to finish your novel right now, just get 100 done.

With progress comes motivation and once you finish that first step, you will see it become easier to get the next completed.  Don’t lose sight of the finish line, but focus on getting over the next hurdle.

Jess Lively reminds us to start where you are and just keep going.  It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a seasoned professional; you won’t get anywhere unless you just get started.  Planning can only take you so far and eventually you’re going to have to put in the work.

Not sure where to start?  Pick one thing off your to do list and do it.  Maybe it is the thing you can knock out right now.  You may have more pressing tasks to do, but finishing one task can help you find the momentum you need to get everything else done.

January Currently



Reading About a Boy.  I really enjoyed the tv show. When I spotted it in the library, I knew I had to check it out.  It’s still super fun, but some points are dramatically different from the show.

Writing not too much.  I’m working on brainstorming some big posts, but I’m waiting for the writing bug to strike.

Listening to The Piano Guys on Google Play.  A Thousand Years will always have my heart.

Making hats.   Slowly but surely I’m working on my second hat.  It’s taken some time for me to feel comfortable with what I have so far.  I’ve probably unraveled two hats so far, but it doesn’t seem worth it to keep pushing on something that I know I won’t be happy with.

Smelling Strawberry shampoo.  I like it.

Wanting to Buy Rory’s Story Cubes!   They’re pretty inexpensive, but how fun do they look??


Loving My new coffee maker.  I’ve been excited for a Nespresso for like two years.  We finally splurged and made the trip to Kansas City to buy one.  I’m in love.


Feeling slowly productive.  I’m not fast, but I feel good about what I’m creating.

Excited for Saturday Dates.  Tony and I are making an active effort to schedule creative dates on Saturday Morning.  We drink coffee and talk about interesting articles we read that week or play Table Topics.

Your turn!  Pick a currently and share it in the comments.

Using Pomodoro to Minimize Distraction

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When I chose present as my word for 2015, I knew it was exactly what I needed.  It’s time for me to stop doing so many things at once and doing a poor job.  Procrastination is a big issue for me.  I need to work on getting things done so I can move on to other things.  I hate having something hanging over my head but I am good at putting it off until the last-minute.

However, I know this won’t be easy.  I am easily distracted.  I think this is why I like setting goals.  They allow me to dream big and bounce from idea to idea.  It’s easy to daydream, but not so easy to make it happen.  This won’t be a fast process.  I’m breaking habits that I’ve had my whole life.

In order to help myself focus, I decided to start small with my Pomodoro timer.  (My favorite is Focus Booster.)  If you’re unfamiliar, the Pomodoro Technique is a way to manage your time.  It has you set a timer for an allotted amount of time and you work until the timer goes off.  Then you take a short break.  Pomodoro is traditionally done in 25 minute intervals with a three to five-minute break.

This is a great system to work on that task you’ve been avoiding.  It feels great to know you only have to work on it for twenty minutes before you can move on.  Otherwise, I sit there staring at it until I find the motivation to do it.  Pomodoro is a great way to harness your available time and get stuff done.  It’s amazing how much time you gain when you aren’t letting it slip away.

Today I started small by working for 20 minutes and taking a 10 minute break.  Before I knew it, I finished all my annoying tasks.  It also made time go much faster.  My day doesn’t feel like it drags on when it’s broken into 30 minute sections.

There are even apps to organize your to-dos around a Pomodoro Timer.  This app looks promising.  30/30 is another option.  If an app is too distracting, a simple kitchen timer or stopwatch will do the trick.  Find what works best for you.

What do you use when you need to focus on something?  Let me know if you try Focus Booster or another Pomodoro App.

My One Little Word: Present

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One Little Word is an ecourse that encourages you to choose a word for the year.  While many people set a list of goals for the year, OLW has you consider a word that helps you reach those goals.  It can be much more flexible with you than deciding you will do yoga every day.

Last year, I signed up for the course on a whim and felt like I should have selected a better word.  Since I was already a few months into the project, I decided to save the prompts and try again later.

I considered my word for a long time but kept coming back to present.  I want to be present in every moment.  I want to stop doing several things at once and focus on one thing at a time.

I’m excited to see how present will work itself through my life.

Being present means leaving my phone at home when we go out to dinner.  I can completely focus my attention on my husband if I’m not tempted to check my phone.

Being present means being more intentional with my time.  I will be more productive if I stop trying to do so many things at once. I don’t need to start something right now.  I will have more time if I finish one thing before moving on to the next.  If I would do one thing at a time, it would take me much less time to do all and I would produce stronger work.  I want to be more intentional about not starting something until I have attention to commit to it.

When I started thinking about present as a word, I was so focused on being present in the moment.  But present has another meaning all together:  a gift.  I’m excited to explore present through that definition as well.  How can I be a present to others?  What can I do to identify the best present to give others?  Maybe it’s giving someone a little more patience when they frustrate me. Or buying a bag of oranges for the homeless person I saw outside the store.

What about presents we give ourselves?  A moment to enjoy my coffee in the morning before I leave for work would be a wonderful gift.  Taking time to make a good meal I would enjoy is an amazing present.

I hope for present to be a word I grow through this year and I can’t wait to share my progress with you.

Do you choose a word for the year?  Have any big goals you want to reach this year?

I’ll Be Back

I’m burned out.

Work has kicked my butt for the last couple of weeks and by the time I get home I want to spend the evening on the couch playing games on my iPad and watching Gilmore Girls.

I had every intention of finishing my ebook by Monday, and I just couldn’t will myself to put in the effort needed to finish it.  I’ll finish it, but I need to step away from the blog.

I’ll be back January 1 with lots of fun content for you.

Friday Social

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Friday!  I thought I’d never see you!  This has been one long crazy week.  I’m excited for a quiet weekend!

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you about my ebook.  I had every intention of launching Monday (and I still plan on it!) but I didn’t expect this week to kick me so hard in the butt.  I have a lot of work ahead of me, so we’ll see what happens.  I’m ready to be finished with it so I can move on to other projects.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you I’m feeling a little in planner limbo lately.  My A5 feels too big and my (Levenger) compact feels too small.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you about my new push to be healthier.  I’m super excited to eat better and move more.  I just need to make sure it’s stupidly easy.

What are your weekend plans?

Lessons in Ebook Writing

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In case you’ve missed a post or two from me recently, I’m writing an ebook.  I promise I’ll tell you all about it on Wednesday, but right now you need to know I’ve been buried in the stress of writing it.  If I’d spent as much time writing it as stressing about it, it’d be done by now.  However, here is what I learned so far.

1) Just do it.
I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about writing an ebook and talking about writing an ebook and planning to write an ebook.  When the opportunity came to write my ebook while my friend Ashleigh writes hers, I knew it was a perfect time to start.  Pick a topic, pick a deadline, and get to it.  No more excuses.

2) It’s a lot harder than I expected
Oh my goodness.  I thought I could just jump in and start writing and have it ready to go in a week.  I might could have done that if I had a serious plan and a week off.  Even beyond the writing, you have to think about images and fonts and design.  There’s a lot that goes into it.

3) I should have started in iBooks Author
I wrote most of it in Evernote, which worked, but I could have outlined things and had one less step to do if I’d just started in iBooks Author to begin with.

4) Make your Launch Date Public
The more people you tell about it, the more real it feels.  You don’t want to disappoint everyone who is waiting for it!

5) Write now, Edit Later
I am usually someone who self edits while I write.  I had some trouble getting things down because the sentence didn’t feel right so I spent a lot of time staring at the monitor waiting for something to happen.  Once I let go of my hang ups and just started writing, the words flowed much easier.




Friday Social

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If we were having coffee today, I would tell you I am very distracted lately, in a good way.  My mind is spinning with lots of big dreams and goals and I am so excited I can’t handle it.  I’m also so very overwhelmed with everything.  It’s difficult to find balance.

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you I just made the best brussels sprouts.  I wanted to do pistachios and parmesan so I free-handed it with oil, garlic and herb seasoning, parmesan, and pistachios and it was so good!

If we were having coffee today, I would tell you how excited I am to make some progress with my health.  It’s so easy to move into bad habits, and I’m super motivated to start making some healthy decisions.

Happy weekend!

December Currently

I am busy working on getting my ebook ready to go.  I promise I’ll give you more details soon, but here is a snapshot of me today:

Reading Percy Jackson!  I’m on the third book and I’m really enjoying it.

Writing all about planners.  I’m converting my planner series into an ebook with updated content and lots of extra sections.  I’m really excited to show you.

Listening to Serial.  Every week.

Thinking about 2015 plans.  We’re getting closer!

Smelling the chicken quesadilla Tony just made me!

Considering changing up my planner.  A5 feels so big right now.

Loving life.  I’m so excited for everything that is coming.  I can’t wait.


Feeling content.

Excited for 2015!

Your turn!  Pick one and tell me what you currently are.

December Goals

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I can’t believe it’s December already!  November flew by and it’s time to outline a couple goals to finish out the year.

Far and away my top goal for this month is to finish and release my ebook.  I would love to have that ready by the end of this week, but I think I am way underestimating how much I have left to do.  Either way, it will be ready to go by the end of next week.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

This morning, I stepped on the scale expecting to have gained a few pounds this week.  But I weighed five pounds less than I expected.  Hooray!  I really want to keep up the momentum through December.  That means working super hard to hit my fuel goal, drink enough water, stay within my calorie goal, and try to get some movement in every day.

What are you goals for this month?