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52 Fridays is our first challenge. You didn't know you signed up for that did you...
One huge lesson I've learned over the past year is that to make headway on major goals, I have to break them down into smaller, more manageable ones. I always have some grand idea in my head that can overwhelm me and paralyze me into not doing a darn thing about it. Over the past year I've really challenged myself NOT to do that. I say this to people frequently, if you just do something toward that big goal of yours for 30 minutes a day, or 2 hours a week, or one day a week. Think about how much you will have accomplished in just one month!
I say 52 Fridays because there are 52 Fridays in a year. In my case, I'd need to dedicate some time each week to painting. I'd like to have a painting day where that is my main focus of that day each week. Yes, there will be meetings, blog posts, or tweeting I need to do, but if it's my painting day then I will focus the majority of my day on that (or at least a couple hours, one day a week).
This is a challenge for you too (if you choose to take it). Basically, your current life situation boils down to 99% of your own decisions. I understand that if you were let go from your job, that wasn't your decision, but almost everything else is. Even if your situation isn't something you think you want, you chose to sacrifice what you wanted to be in that situation, right? It's a bit of a wake up call once you realize that. (Try me with excuses... I'm harsh.) You choose to not make time for things, and you choose to make time for other things. Think of the most successful person you look up to... they have the exact same amount of hours each day to accomplish their goals that you do.
So what is that thing, that goal that you really want to work on but you never seem to have the time? You have to choose to make the time. Surely there is one hour a week you can dedicate to it. Find it. Carve out that hour/two hours/day. Turn your phone off. Have your husband/mom/sitter take the kids to the park (if you have kids). And focus only on working toward that goal of yours. Sounds rigid, but distractions are a bitch. Maybe you've always wanted to write a book, go to yoga, whatever it is, just do it. Don't think too hard about it, just go for it. Trust me, you have to start somewhere. Even if that somewhere looks ugly, you have to start there to get to the goal. I'm going to ask you in four weeks if you've made any progress! (Feel free to state your goal in the comments, I'd love to hear them!)
I really liked this tip Karlita shared:
In an Excel sheet I write my series and in another column I write my ideas.. When the ideas column is empty or I don't really feel like writing of any of that I turn to my series in which I always feel safe... but the posts I have loved the most were the unexpected ones.
I have an entire folder for "Someday Ideas". But Karlita's list is a more focused list for blog post ideas. I have my planner like I mentioned last time, but I have papers, memos, notebooks, all over when scribbles of ideas for posts. Problem I need to solve = Keeping all of those ideas in one place. Have just one list. Do I want it to be digital or written? Decisions decisions.
Whenever I get asked to do a guest post or be featured on a blog I typically get asked questions about where my inspiration comes from. And like most of you, I'm always inspired by books, magazines, blogs, etc. But other huge sources of inspiration for me are art, travel, and people. And when I say people, it's usually two types of situations. New people that have new stories, new ideas, new opinions, new cultures... and if I meet you, you have been warned... I ask TONS of questions. My husband tells me that I grill people, but I'm really just genuinely interested in them, their lives, their stories, their work, their passions in life, what inspires them, what their goals are, and yes, I will be asking you all of those questions. I dig right in, no time for small talk people. And also anytime I'm with other similarly crazy-minded, passionate, driven people like myself. Usually wine or sangria is involved. I can talk to people like that for hours. Many of them are dear friends. I always leave sooooo inspired.