Just Do It
Happy 2017! Are you excited it’s finally here? Me too! We can say goodbye to last year’s deadlines and drama, and we can say hello to an election-free year! Yay!
I love the clean slate of a new year – an entirely new set of days, weeks, and months to chase dreams, create opportunities, and make memories. My goal for this year is to do more of all those things. But in order to do so, there’s a major obstacle I need to get out of my way. (Confessions are good for the soul, so I thought I’d start the year confessing to you. Scandalous, I know.)
I’m an information hoarder. (Sometimes I’m a stuff hoarder too, but that’s another blog for another day.) When I decide I want to do something new, I put it on one (or five) of my to-do lists. I gather books, podcasts, and articles about it, and file them all into a folder on my computer. It’s so fun and satisfying! The problem is, I end up spending all that time getting ready to do something instead of actually doing it.
I’ve been wanting to play more guitar, so I keep collecting books and media about how to play it. Some are to help me understand chord structures; some are specifically for blind people who want to play guitar. (Yeah, they make those.) I’ve collected 10 guitar courses now, instead of just playing the blessed thing. I have 6 books on blogging that I really want to read before I write any more blogs, but if I waited to get the reading done, I’d never blog again.
But oh, how I love reading – or at least the idea of reading. I have 30 books on my Braille device, 8 on Kindle, 200 on Audible, and 4 in iBooks. I’m making my way through them, but I keep adding more before I finish what I have. Yeesh. What good are they if they just collect cyber dust?
I did a little research on what effect all this information-gathering has on my brain, and it isn’t good. Harvard Business Review says too many choices increases our negative emotions; it’s easier to act and make decisions when there are fewer choices. And it’s true! Looking at all my lists either paralyzes me, or sends me back to gather yet more info – I never act.
So I’m trying an experiment. I’ve spent the last few weeks on an R&R retreat in Wisconsin. I began the trip by collecting things I wanted to do, as usual, but when I realized the end of my time here was drawing ever closer, I began to dive in to my pile of stuff and actually do it – one step at a time. And guess what? I finished three books, and am deep into two more. I listened to enough of each guitar tutorial to eliminate the ones that won’t be helpful. I even started playing the thing! And I’m blogging.
Getting It Done
Taking baby steps has inspired me to remember the value of making time and space for what’s important instead of just thinking about doing it. This year, let’s make our precious time purposeful. Want to? I know we’ll love the result!
Here are some resources to get you started:
iMore and Michael Hyatt, two of my favorite bloggers, offer great apps for creating (and sticking to) new habits.
Read Scripture is an awesome app for studying the Bible. Daily passages fill your entire screen, preventing distractions. There are also great videos, and there’s even a podcast from Francis Chan.
I looooove podcasts so much. Many of my faves are tech nerd podcasts, so I’ll refrain from sharing those. However, I know you’ll love these:
How I Built This: A fabulous look at incredible entrepreneurs who started businesses like Instagram, Spanx, and Air B&B. Take 20 minutes each week to be inspired!
Relevant Podcast: The staff of Relevant Magazine discusses the week in pop culture through a faith-based lens. This one is usually 2 hours, so listen while you get your weekly cooking or garage-cleaning done. (If you clean your garage every week, please call me. I need you.)
Here’s a Spotify playlist I made for you!
What are you excited to accomplish this year? Tell me about it on Facebook or Twitter.