Gratitude Day 890

1 Timothy 4:15: Practice these things and live by them so that your progress will be visible to all.

When you brush your teeth and get ready to crawl into your bed at the end of the day, what is your most common thought?”

Is it: “Today was a good day! I feel so satisfied.”

Or: “Did I get anything done today?”

Possibly: “Why do I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels?”

As a Martha who perpetually struggles with whether I am getting enough done or not, these thoughts invade my mind nearly every week. Every day. Every hour. It often feels like the to-do list never really gets shorter because as soon as one thing gets crossed off, three more jumped on. Seriously.

Oh, I’ve tried a magnitude of ways to streamline what I do. I’ve contemplated what I can get rid of and stop doing. Yes, I’ve read articles and listened to podcasts and devoured books that guarantee they will help me achieve what I want in less time.

Right.

Recently, I’ve tried a slightly different approach. Rather than measuring whether or not I’ve accomplished something, how about I simply try to make a little progress?

Truth? It’s helped.

Instead of beating myself up because I didn’t accomplish more or get something done, I challenge myself to ask, “What is one small step I can do today that will help me feel like I’ve made a little progress? Just one small step.”

Yes, there are days when something requires more than one small step. And there are the moments when I still feel torn in multiple directions. Yet this little mantra has helped. It’s challenged me to pick what is most important right now and do it.

These days, I find myself with a variety of projects and opportunities. It’s a great problem to have. These opportunities cover the wide variety of things I have experience with. The challenge is trying to keep all of them on task to some degree. Yes, some have tighter deadlines than others and require more immediate attention. Yet, I don’t want any of them to get lost in the dust. So, I often ask myself, “What is one little thing I can do for this opportunity today?” And let this one step be enough.

How might this look in your life?

  • What is one thing I can do to help make my home feel more at peace?
  • What is one routine I can add at the beginning or end of my day that will bring a bit of order and predictability to my day?
  • Where can I do squeeze in a way to care for my body that feels doable?
  • How can I give myself permission to care for myself?
  • What is one small step that I can take today that will bring some peace into my life?

The good news? YOU get to pick one small step!

  • Maybe it’s crossing off that one thing you’ve been putting off for far too long.
  • How about a quick walk around the block?
  • Rather than trying to tackle a big project, what is one little thing you can do? Clean one drawer of the dresser rather than the entire dresser.
  • Let yourself close your eyes for five or 10 minutes and just rest.
  • Read one page of a book that you’ve been wanting to read.

This one question doesn’t solve every dilemma I find myself in. But it has helped bring more clarity and peace into what the next right thing for me to do is.

Here are a few other things that have inspired me lately:

This quote.

It’s summer. It’s time to go to those places that inspire us and be inspired. Where will you go this next week and get inspiration?

This Song.

Amen. The power of a praying person. Progress is made when we pray. No, progress may not always look exactly like we prefer. Our role is simply to pray.  

One last thought: We put so much emphasis on the big things. Don’t get me wrong. There ARE big choices that ARE super important.

Let’s not forget how significant some of the small choices in your lives ARE just as important:

  • The choice to stop being busy with something and spend time with a loved one.
  • The decision to enjoy the moment of a beautiful sunset, a quiet moment with God, the beauty of a single flower.
  • Choosing to just listen rather than share what’s on your mind.
  • Allowing yourself to make a choice that supports something important in your life. Remember that “No” is a complete sentence.

Will I always struggle with whether or not I’m accomplishing enough? Yep. But slow progress … it’s a game changer.

I am thankful God for small daily progress rather than being overwhelmed with not completing something.

Blessings –

Dianne

Almighty God – Why is it that I struggle with the same things over and over? You know exactly what those things are. Encourage and support me as I seek to accept any progress as “good enough.” Amen.

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