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?