Five years ago, I decided I was going to write a parenting book. I knew nothing about writing a book. I had read a lot of books, I was a parent and I had a unique perspective, so I felt I was qualified (being naïve was a blessing). I wrote casually for about six weeks before I sent my first few chapters to my three best girlfriends. I’ve known these ladies since we were kids, so I figured they wouldn’t hold back in giving me honest feedback. They didn’t respond immediately. The next time we were all together, I asked them point blank and assured them I could handle it. They didn’t dislike it, but one said the concepts and activities within “seem like a lot of work.” Not the response I was expecting, but I was not discouraged. I knew these concepts were important, but I certainly didn’t want it to seem like “work”. I kept the book on the shelf for a couple months as I tried to figure out the next best action. Then one day after work I was at happy hour with a colleague. She was talking about starting a blog. She had all the details planned out, but while listening to her, I knew she would never follow through with it. As I drove home, I realized I could take pieces of my book and convert them into small blog posts. I knew I could spend a lot of time researching different platforms, names and designs, but I didn’t want to end up like my colleague, so I pushed myself to set it all up within 24 hours. One blog turned into two and then three. I spent an hour, maybe two a week, with a goal of writing around 600 words a post. These small, weekly actions all added up to the picture above - 220 pages and over 125,000 words - more than enough for an easy-to-read book for parents that won’t seem like a lot of work.
Often, we think we need to do something big to make a difference. We make resolutions to lose weight, cut out caffeine or sugar, exercise, quit smoking/drinking, get a new job, save more money or spend more time with family/friends and in the end, we don’t follow through. We try to do too much too fast. When we get off course for a day or two or three, we think all is lost and stop all together. When it comes to action, bigger is not always better. One small action of buying a stranger breakfast, leads to a handful of others doing the same. One small action of writing one blog a week, can lead to a book. Break it down. Keep it small. Most of all, go easy on yourself. Celebrate the small victories and they will add up to more than you ever imagined.