Psalm 37:23-24 –The Lord guides us in the way we should go and protects those who please him. If they fall, they will not stay down, because the Lord will help them up.
Somedays, I can do great things. The next day?
Not so much.
This is the tape that plays on repeat in my brain:
Me: What should I do first today?
The Other Me: Well, you could do this. Or this. Or this.
Me: But what is MOST important?
The Other Me: Aren’t they all important?
Me: Yes, but …
The Other Me: (Mulls over for 2-3 minutes why each option has a valid reason for being first on the list.)
Me: OK, let’s get started on one thing.
Me: (15 minutes later and clearly distracted and jumping to a second item that feels important in the moment) – But this will just take me a minute…
Me: (another 15 minutes later) – Oh, this over here is important as well!
The Other Me: Don’t forget about me! I have something important as well!
Me: (one hour and four distractions later) – Why don’t I ever seem to get anything done?
I could write a book about all the silly distractions I let hijack my days. Or hours. Sometimes, I get so caught up in trying to pick the right thing, nothing really gets done!
I pray that I am not the only person who struggles with this.
With a Simple Is Better commitment to living, I am trying so hard to focus on just one thing at a time. Mind you, I am far from perfect. But trying not to let three ideas mull around and take up so much head space.
This is my mantra these days: “What is my next right step?”
Look carefully. It’s not, “What is my next best step?” It’s my next right step.
This shifts the challenge from finding the best thing to do in the moment. Too often, I put all this energy into finding the best thing and nothing gets done! Instead, just pick something. Anything! And do it! This helps me think less about fear of failure and more importantly, focus on seeing something done. It doesn’t have to be done right. Or perfect. Or just-so. I’m just making a decision about doing something.
If I were honest, there are times when fear of failure rides pretty high in my mind. I get so caught up in making sure something is done perfectly that I never get started. With such high expectations, I talk myself out of doing anything. And so, nothing gets done.
I’m trying a new approach these days: just do SOMETHING.
One tiny little step. Pick anything. Doesn’t matter if it’s the best thing. Just pick one and do something.
Why is this important? Because if we get caught up and do nothing, then six months later, we are in the same place we were six months earlier.
We’re still dealing with the stuff that overwhelms us.
We’re disappointed that our health has not improved.
We feel like life is slipping by and we’re an observer and not an active participant.
Our houses still have too much stuff and we haven’t made time for something that was so important.
We look at someone else and think, “It must be nice.”
It is nice for them because they did SOMETHING. They took the next right step.
They chose to not let fear of failure or fear of doing the wrong thing stop them from doing something.
And six months later, something looks different in their lives.
What is something that you wished would change in your life? Your health? Your overwhelming stuff? Your finances? Wanting more time to do the things you’d like to do? A vacation? Not to be so busy? Or something else?
Pick one thing that you want to be different in six months.
Write it down on a piece of paper.
Now, set a timer for 15 minutes. Write down everything that you could do to fulfill that idea in the next six months. Absolutely everything. No wrong answers here. Just everything.
No, pick one item off that list and do it today. Maybe some of your steps should be broken down into smaller, easier steps. That’s just fine. Write down those smaller steps. And pick one of those steps.
Then, Monday, pick one more small step off of the list and do it. Do the same Tuesday. Wednesday. Every day possible. If you miss a day, be gentle with yourself and start again the next day. You don’t have to do this every day of the week but slowly begin to make progress towards what you want different in six months.
Celebrate each small step that you take. High five yourself. Tell someone (even me!) how good it feels to accomplish one small step. And do it over and over and over again. Smile each time to finish one small step. Soon that big thing? Doesn’t feel so big anymore.
Because you took one small step today towards accomplishing that one thing that you want to have work towards in the next six months.
What if you haven’t fully accomplished it in six months? No big deal! Celebrate what you accomplished. If you hadn’t started, you would have nothing done, just like you did six months ago.
Sometimes it’s hard to get started. It can feel overwhelming and challenging. But one small step? That’s all it takes.
Here are a few things that have inspired me this week:
This beautiful, and fun story. I want to meet Blossom and Frankie. Seriously.
Pictures from the most recent Northern Lights. Aren’t they simply stunning? I pray they remind us that there absolutely must be a Creator that orchestrates this all.
All the natural light we can get. A few weeks ago, we got a new front door for our current house. Early after our move, Hubby Rick and I agreed a new front door was a priority. We were so used to afternoon light spilling through the front door at our Poynette house. We wanted this again in our current house. Now, we do. And we LOVE it. Lesson learned – never underestimate the value of natural light in your life. It is like a little happy pill. Seriously!
So, as your day begins, your weekend gets underway, what is one tiny, little step that you can take today to move towards something that is so important to you? Write it down. Go do it. Celebrate.
What if it isn’t the best next step? No worries. God has you covered. We are promised that God will help us up. By the way, isn’t it better to do something that may not be fully right than do nothing? Yep, I’m sure of it.
For the lesson of doing something over nothing, I am grateful.
Loving God – Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies. We convince ourselves that something is too hard. Too difficult. That we might fail. And so, we do nothing. May we have the assurance that something is better than nothing. For if it does not work out exactly as we would like, You will dust us off, pick us up and be ready to try with us again. Thank you. Amen.
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