My name is Marian and I have a problem.
Unreasonable doesn’t even begin to describe the expectations I have for myself. I push myself beyond anything I would ever demand from anyone else. I want my dissertation to be finished, I want to lose 30-40 lbs., I want to do yoga at least 3 times a week and lift weights the other days of the week because I want to be healthy, I want to have hours in the day to dream about the future and plan for ways to make things better instead of just dealing with the immediate/urgent, and watching the number of emails in my inbox to go down, only to rise again. And as soon as all that’s figured out, I want write another Bible reading plan for YouVersion, I’d like to explore taking some cooking classes - maybe even pastry school, I’d like to teach another course - maybe even online. I want to travel with Scott. I want to read for leisure - about fashion, and movies, and more travel.
Instead, I feel like I’m treading water. There aren’t enough hours in the day, am I right? I work for several hours on my dissertation and I feel like I have more to do than when I sat down. I’m moving in the right direction on that 30-40 lbs., but at 2 lbs. at a time is going to take a hot minute to reach the goal. I work on a system for my out-of-control email so I can be sure I’m communicating efficiently while also being realistic about how much time I can spend on email. And let’s be real, for every one I answer, there are 2 more back in my inbox. It’s just taking so long to see real progress in any area of my life right now.
I listened to a podcast last week - I mean I listed to about 15 podcasts last week - but there was this one. I really wish I could remember which one, because I’d like to hear it again and I’d like to link it for you. He was talking about progress. He said this: Do a little bit today and then do a little bit more tomorrow. You’ll find that you’ll look up in a month, in a year, and you’ve made real progress.
This isn’t rocket science.
But it knocked me into gear. For some reason I’ve been stagnant in several areas of my life and I’ve been so discouraged that I’m not making progress, but also feeling like it’s not worth what I can give at any given moment because it won’t be enough. Call it the right time on the right day, but that podcast made a real difference in my mindset. I began to think about what I already knew to be true. A little bit every day makes way more progress than doing nothing for weeks on end out of fear. So I did it. I’ve been working every day on things. Weights, tracking what I eat, yoga, my dissertation, email, projects at work. All of it. A little bit every day. And it’s working. In a few short days I’ve seen that I’m further down the road than I was before this new effort and that means I’ll be in an even better place in another week. All I have to do is keep putting one foot in front of the other, and give intentional action to my goals.
I knew it.
You know it.
But when the end result we want seems lofty from our present viewpoint, it’s overwhelming.
I hope this reminds you that taking action and doing the work is the way to progress.
Doing and not just thinking.
That’s when we make headway.