This quote is one of those that really helps me DO something with my life.
This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
The part that was always hard for me is the “…if we but know what to do with it.” I had the hardest time knowing what to do because I always want to do it ALL. In my mind of over-everything, I want to do the grueling training workout every day. I want to write a hundred pages in my book. I want to write twenty entries for Starling Fitness and The Gadgets Page. I want to do ALL THE THINGS!
At some point, however, I have a system failure.
This was explained very well by Hyperbole and a Half:
Just my list from earlier sends me into system failure, where I sit on the couch not knowing what to do. The ONLY thing that has ever worked for me is to set my goals LOW! Not just normal low. LOW LOW! So low that they feel like I am not accomplishing anything. You can’t imagine how very MUCH I can do by “not accomplishing anything.”
I’ve talked about this before:
Instead of a grueling training workout every day, my goal is twenty minutes of EASY exercise, like leisurely walking the dog. Instead of writing a hundred pages in my book, all I need to do is write a SINGLE sentence. That’s it. Instead of starving myself or keeping my calories below a certain level, I need to eat moderately every two and a half hours. I eat when my alarm goes off. I don’t when it doesn’t.
Instead of doing ALL THE THINGS and shutting down, I’m doing some small meaninglessly trivial things and getting a ton of stuff done in the process. This was brought home to me when I got my yearly email from Fitbit.
In one year, I walked over a thousand miles and took 2.3 MILLION steps. You probably did the same amount last year, you just didn’t have a little device measuring your every move. You can accomplish so MUCH by just doing a little bit every day. Whatever your big goal is, break it up into small steps. Then break those steps into even SMALLER steps until the thought of doing that one thing sounds trivially easy. THAT should be your daily goal. Sure, dreaming big helps you stay motivated, but working small actually gets things done.
DREAM BIG, BUT WORK SMALL.