Transformation: Baby Steps

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“As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect.” ― Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis

It’s just after New Year’s so the temptation to be pretentiously philosophical looms large. I’m going to do my best to restrain myself because, well, I’ve already dumped one version of this blog that did that. I couldn’t resist the Kafka quote, though, because we’ve all had mornings where we metaphorically feel like Gregor Samsa.

Also, when I took AP English in high school a lifetime or two ago, we had to study The Metamorphosis for the AP test, and I was introduced to the book on a cold January morning after a night of uneasy dreams. Took a few minutes to explain to my teacher why I was giggling madly after reading that opening sentence. Fortunately, she appreciated the sentiment, “Maybe he’ll feel better after coffee?”

But the quote also resonates today because, after all our planning and anticipation, 2016 is here. We have to deal with it — and sometimes we don’t know where to start. Doesn’t matter how many list we made, how much work we put into prepping things, now that the moment is here, it’s easy to find ourselves…stuttering. There are so many things we want to do, that we should do, that it can be difficult to pick one and start there.

I’m not talking our daily tasks; that can be pretty easy. I know I need to take my walk and make certain the the basil plant on the back porch has slightly damp soil and is watered if necessary. Those are also the first two tasks on my list every single day. I’m talking the big items, the large rocks around which everything else flow. We have our goals, but the challenge is getting started. So think about your top goals and pick one thing you can do today to further those. My husband and I want to start a podcast, so yesterday we went to lunch and spent the meal discussing the shape we wanted the first episode to take. That conversation ended with us each having our next steps that need to be done.

The point here is baby steps, not biting off more than one can chew while continuing forward movement. I’m hoping 2016 will be a year of transformation for me, with an active podcast running and not one, but multiple books published. It’s a big goal, but if I can do just a bit every day, it should be doable — without turning into a gigantic insect along the way.

So, what are you going to do today to help you toward your goals?

And, to keep this from delving into the pretentious, allow me to share Part One of Peter Capaldi’s Oscar-winning short film, “Frank Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life.” YouTube will helpfully line the next two parts up for you when the first is done. As a writer, I’ve definitely had some days like this.