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Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

As the weather starts to warm up, everyone seems to be winding up, making plans for the summer, talking about all the projects they're going to do. I love hearing about it, but I'm not going to lie. I feel overwhelmed. It's nice out! I should be doing so many things!

I think I'm not the only one. So I made us a little plan for how to get things done even when it's overwhelming.

  • Keep it simple. This is not as easy as it sounds. Make a note. Put it on your mirror. (And remember--if you're overwhelmed, your plan isn't simple enough).
  • Don't try to do everything. It's easy to see all the cool stuff out there and want to do it all. But trying that is just going to exhaust you or freeze you up so nothing gets done. So spend some time thinking of the things you really want to do, then whittle that list down to the ones that will really feel good. Put everything else on a list for later.
  • Celebrate when you take a small step! You're getting stuff done, and who cares how much your neighbor Janice did?
  • Make sure you put some fun things on your list. Fixing up the yard and the house and whatnot are great. But what do you want to remember at the end of the spring or summer? I want to remember drives in the country and going to the coast and visiting waterfalls and lighthouses. Put some experiences on your list. Make sure you sprinkle them in amongst the tasks and to-dos.
  • Take things off the list whenever you can. Doing a bunch of yard work? Don'e put making dinner on your list for the same day. If ever there was a time for carry-out, the evening of a big yard work day is it!
  • When you're thinking of what you want to do ask yourself some questions. "What's the simplest way of doing this?" "What's the smallest step I can take toward this?" "Why do I want to do this? What do I want to feel from doing this?" Make your plan from the answers.

We can do everything. Just not all at once. And we don't really need to. We just need to figure out the things that will make us feel good because we did them, then pick those. And keep those steps small and simple!



I've been wanting to write a blog post for over a month. I've started it at least four different times. But I seem to be doing all the things I coach people out of doing! So I haven't been writing it. The funniest part is that it's about my desire to share more (probably a lot more) about my love of planning and to-do lists and goals and how I feel like as a creative I need to adjust how these things are usually done.

Luckily, Effy Wild launched a thirty day blog challenge for April. I saw it yesterday and signed up to do a post a day this month. Having that deadline, plus an audience, should shake those words right out of me!

I'm doing one other new thing this month. Even though I love love love planners and lists and apps and systems, I have balked at using habit trackers even though I'm always attracted to the way they look. They just seem overwhelming--so many things to track! So many spaces to fill in! It's like my whole life would be micro-mananged.

But some people in a class I'm taking have been showing theirs, and they talked about only tracking a few habits a month, and I thought I could do that. I realized I already use a sort of habit tracker with my monthly exercise calendar (I'll show a picture of that maybe tomorrow). And with the trackers I use for my 365 Mile Challenge and The 100 Day Project. I thought maybe I might be thinking of them the wrong way, so I decided to experiment a little bit.

I went looking for different types of trackers and found these cool mini mandalas from The Artisan Life, and I jumped right in to using them this month. I'm going to track my daily blogging. The other two I don't plan to do every day, but I want to do them more days than not. I'm going to track cleaning things in small bursts (tiny, tiny bursts of 2 - 5 minutes) and to work on story writing (also in tiny increments--even 5 minutes is going to count). I can't wait to show you the colored-in trackers at the end of the month!

My April habit trackers ready to go!

Is there anything you'd like to get done? Break it into small steps, and let's do things together! Drop me a note and let me know what you're going to work on this month so I can cheer you on.



Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash

Do you have a dream so big you don't even spend much time thinking about it? A dream you brush off as not a real goal or desire, just a passing fancy? Because it's so big it seems like there's no way it's happening?

I do.

I want to be a published author. I've been writing for decades, and before that I was a storyteller, making up tales in the lunch line to amuse myself and my friends. Since high school, teachers and workshop leaders and fellow writers have been telling me I'm a good writer and that I should submit some of my work. I still haven't done it. There are a lot of reasons--fear that I'll never get published even if I try; overwhelm at the idea of all the things you have to do to submit stories and keep track of where you've submitted, etc.; the constant, compelling pull of new stories and projects. But mostly I think it's been the fear that I can't do it or it won't be what I thought--all of that. I even convinced myself for a few years that I didn't want to be published, that I just wanted to write stories to enjoy them, and that was enough. It sounded good, and I even believed it.

So how do you know you have a secret from yourself? It usually surfaces frequently but in a quiet way. You make something and think "I could sell this," and then you brush it aside and move on to other things. People around you comment on how good your work it, what a talent you have, that you could sell this/show this/be a professional, and you thank them and turn your attention to other things and don't think of it again. But this kind of thing happens a lot, and you spend a little time thinking about it sometimes. You give the idea a little bit of attention, but then you have a lot of what seem like really good reasons to not do it, and you go back to not dreaming.

What do you do if you realize you've been keeping a secret dream from yourself? Maybe nothing (you weren't expecting that, were you?). Try to pay attention to when the idea crops up and how you feel about it. Spend some time just observing the idea and how you feel about it.

If you decide you want to go for it, go! But start small. (You know I love small steps!) You've probably had this dream for awhile. You don't need to make it happen right this very minute. Do one small thing toward it. Do your best not to think of the other steps that need to happen. One at a time, and give yourself as much time as you need. This is your dream, it deserves time, and you deserve to enjoy it, not stress out about it!

Here's the breakdown I've made for myself so far. Hopefully these steps will help you with your dreams, too:

  • Figure out if you have a dream you're not acknowledging or pursuing
  • Decide if you want to follow this dream
  • Look for a first small step to take (make it smaller than you think is small enough!)
  • When you've taken a small step, celebrate it
  • Choose another small step and take that one
  • Take your time and enjoy the journey!

I hope your dreams are feeling one step closer now. Drop me a note here or on social media and tell me about your dreams and your small steps, and we'll celebrate together.