Monday, January 16, 2012

Do that thing -- Progress report


Last week I wrote a post about my grand plan to do that thing.  It was almost a post devoted to the notion of thinking big and taking a leap, until I realized that I didn't have a whole lot of room in my life for leaps.  Instead, I reasoned that doing that thing wasn't so far removed from taking a leap, but with a little more flexibility and (hopefully) a sense of humour.  For me, doing that thing is growing Grace is Overrated, a goal which will have to find its home in between all of the other, mostly non-negotiable, things jostling for my time and attention. 

I mentioned that I'd like to write about my progress as I do that thing, and that I was hoping you'd join in by sharing your progress with some of things you've decided to do this year . . . you know, in between all of the other things you're already doing.

Continuing the conversation

Then, the day after that post, a lovely coincidence presented itself:  Blogger updated its blogs to allow threaded commenting.  Which was the grooviest of coincidences because one of the prongs in my three-pronged plan to do a better job here at the blog was to improve communication.  And now I can reply directly to your comments.  Woohoo!  Not that I couldn't reply before, but it was cumbersome and the replies had to be written as new comments and I tended to shy away until it was too late.

It is perhaps a small change in the scheme of things, but it has me feeling quite optimistic about being able to stay in touch.  It's a bit of a risk because I go through periods in which I really struggle with communication, but my ultimate goal is to reply to as many comments as possible.  I would like you to feel that if you comment here, you will be heard.  So far, I've managed to keep it up for exactly one post, the first in this series.  But that is a good start.

Focusing on the present

And on the subject of starts, which I've been Googling lately, I found one article that has really stayed with me.  It was written by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits and boils down to his four line algorithm for change.  It's a plan that is absolutely reasonable and doable and no doubt very effective when followed conscientiously.  He wisely suggests starting small, changing only one thing at a time, being present and enjoying each activity, and being grateful for each step taken.

These are all things that I try to work on in alternate spurts from day to day.  But, by far, the most sneakily challenging step is the third one, being present in each activity.  It sounds so easy, doesn't it?  So rational, even a relief to have only one task on which to focus.  Yet, in my experience, it requires steel-willed discipline to remain present, to filter out the distractions or, worse yet, the foreboding sense that I should be doing something else, something better, something more productive instead.

So today, as I work on new journal pages for the blog and the shop, I'm wondering, when you're doing that thing, how do you stay focused on the job at hand?  What are your tips and tricks for keeping doubts and distractions at bay?  And on a happier note, what is that thing that you're doing and how's it going so far?

hugs,
Christie

13 comments:

  1. I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and this is my first comment. I'm so guilty of being a lurker haha. I love that you are "doing that thing" ! I have a few of those on my list for the year. I'm trying to be a runner and blog more. Both of those are going well so far. I don't really have any tips for staying present b/c I struggle with that myself. I actually find when running that it helps for me to be distracted haha. Well I've rambled enough. Hop you have a great day!

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    1. Hi Brenda! I tend to lurk for a while, too, before commenting on blogs. :) Thanks so much for stopping by to share your things. Glad to read that running and blogging are going well so far. It's also fun to know that there are times when distraction is a good thing!

      (Gotta get used to the reply feature! Please excuse the double comment.)

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  2. Hi Brenda! I tend to lurk for a while, too, before commenting on blogs. :) Thanks so much for stopping by to share your things. Glad to read that running and blogging are going well so far. It's also fun to know that there are times when distraction is a good thing!

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  3. My THING for this year is to be more healthy! In mind, spirit, and body. Yes, I started the "this year I'm going to eat better" but I am truly trying it, but not just that, I need to lose weight (for various reasons), and before when I have attempted the eat better thing, it hasn't worked. But, now I'm being more vocal about it (which I thought at first would be embarrassing but actually is somewhat empowering). And trying to change my mindset. As a poster I saw on Pinterest says "I'm not a dog. I don't need to be rewarded with food." And also, I think that I need to realize that food is something to fuel my body, not something to tantalize my taste buds. Not just that, so much of the food out there is so overprocessed. So, getting better at eating fresh ingredients, or at least with very little processing (including cutting out sugars and carbs for now). And hey, already in 1 week I've lost 4 pounds. (Uhm, I actually have a scale now. Yeah.) And, wow. 4 pounds. This means I CAN do this. I can say no to the cookie, or the cupcake, or candies at work. Because I am already making progress on my goal. SO, that's MY thing this year ... and hopefully for the rest of my life. (AND, sorry for the novel.)

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    1. Hi Gabby! This is awesome! Congratulations on your empowering first week. You sound utterly committed and I hope you'll stop by often to share your progress this year. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  4. I'm so glad you're sharing your journey with us. It is encouraging and interesting and I look forward to reading about it. I also waver in my ability to keep in touch so I know how hard it can be to motivate oneself.

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    1. Hi Rachel! Thanks so much for your comment. I'm so happy to read that you're enjoying the journey so far. I'll keep you posted!

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  5. Good for you! As a parent, it's hard to completely zero in on a moment as you have to be thinking about the next thing for the good of the order (or before the natives start running the place!).

    My plan to walk every day hasn't been every day, but has been more than less. I've played with my camera more than less as well. Just a daily work in progress around here. ;-) Hugs to you.

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    1. Hi Scribbler! More than less sounds like a great start to me. :) I do find as a parent I need to be at least one step ahead of the little ones or suffer the consequences. Hard to get out of that mindset, I think. Best wishes and hugs in your daily works in progress!

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  6. Hi Christie! Wow! I love following your journey...I'm not so great at picking up after much crafting. So I started small and figure it's a success if I do some each day - that's what I'm doing. I don't know if you want some ideas for your journey...but I have one or two. You know I love the journaling pages...you have 52 now. So I do one per week and then in between I do "A day in the Life" ones. Sometimes I feel I'm saying the same thing (especially now with the snow) but maybe, a few different pages for the "Day in the Life" or even holiday ones would be cool. I loved the Christmas stocking - maybe ValentinesDay, Thanksgiving,ect. Good Luck on your journey! Bonnie

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    1. Hi Bonnie! Thanks so much for your feedback. It's really great to read how you use my pages! I hadn't thought of creating different versions of the Day in the Life pages. I'd love to do that. I had considered other holiday pages and I'll definitely be putting out some of those at some point. Like you, I'm trying to put in time each day, even if it's only a little bit. Best wishes on your crafting!

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  7. I just discovered your blog and I love it. I really love your journal pages. One thing I wanted to do was get back to journalling on paper and your pages are just the thing to get me going again. My other "thing" is that hopefully you will see my Etsy shop before Oct. 31 (don't want to put too much pressure.) and my first sale by Dec. 31.

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    1. Hi Jojesek! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your things. I'm so happy to read that my pages are a small part of one of your things. :) Best wishes on your journaling and your shop! I hope you'll stop by again to share your thoughts as October 31st draws nearer.

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