Much of what I’ve read over the years about successfully completing long-term projects, whether work-related or something as personal as a diet, is to take breaks and reward yourself for progress made. In a word: celebrate small victories.
I taught my kids to break tasks into smaller pieces when overwhelmed by a homework assignment or school project and it’s what I practice, too. In our home, we call it ‘eating the elephant one bite at a time’. I so firmly believe in this that I have an elephant candleholder on my desk, next to the computer. It holds a tea light, which takes roughly four hours to burn — about my attention span and endurance for focused writing. And yes, I’ve written for the duration, from first light to burnout.
What I haven’t done is celebrate the milestones of achieving my goals. But then, I haven’t always followed my own advice about eating the elephant either. This has resulted in a severe case of overwhelm and my shutting down the project. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m more of a sprinter than a marathoner.
To change my well worn pattern, which is the entire point of this month’s adventure, I made plans to meet a friend for coffee today. If I didn’t complete my first week of daily writing and posting, I let him know I’d have to cancel. Gary has known me for more than ten years and witnessed much of my growing pains. We’d often go for months at a time without contact and when we reconnected, it was Gary’s chuckling about my stories and of my not being ‘just a housewife’ that helped me see the humor when it wasn’t always so apparent. And it was Gary’s comment about my having some stories that planted the seed for me to consider telling my story.
I am happy to report that once I publish this post, I am heading out to meet Gary.
He reminded me: he won’t be wearing makeup either.
Copyright by Donna Cerame, 2014
I dare you to join me in celebration! Here’s some inspiration to get us started: