We All Have to Start Somewhere

In the beginning, there were good intentions.

Since Adam and Eve made that fateful choice with the direst of consequences we humans have been not reaching our goals, falling off our wagons, and promising to start again Monday.

And we’ve been writing about it almost as long. People throughout history, from the ancient Greeks to Benjamin Franklin, have documented their tricks and systems for living a “right” life. Franklin’s philosophy was even the inspiration for the highly successful modern organizational planner company, FranklinCovey.

At no other time in history have we been as obsessed with improving ourselves, and that is saying something, especially in America. From the Puritans to the Victorians, America was practically built on self-improvement, but nothing can compare to our current infatuation with detox cleanses and spiritual immersions.

It is to this noble and overly saturated market I add my hat. My own journey on the road to awesomeness and becoming the pinnacle of perfection will be documented here. Along with the tricks and tips I find helpful that might work for others too.

The problem is I am really terrible at this self-improvement game. I am tired, easily distracted, and a daydreamer. I would much rather think about all the things I am going to do and how great it’s going to be once I do them than actually do the things to get me there. That might make me a bad choice for a guide on the road to personal excellence, but I argue the opposite is true!

I have been reading Martha Stewart for years in addition to numerous blogs and books (some notable and helpful titles to be reviewed in future installments) and they have never made me do the things; the things you gotta do to be better.  They have inspired me, given me a useful tidbit here and there, but mostly they just make me feel inadequate in everything I do.  I need to decant all my pantry dry goods into artfully labeled glass jars. Why have I not invested smartly enough to retire at 35? Have I responded to my toddler’s raging fits with enough love and patience or have I scarred him for life?

Lightbulb moment! It turns out most of those people with the blogs and magazines and books are type A go-getters.  They have the energy and drive to not only better themselves but document it and sell it to us hopeful masses trying to be as together as they are.

The problem is so many of us are not type A. That is one reason we have trouble following through on the wonderful magazine ideas (or hell, even getting off the couch to start). It turns out I am some sort of type AB (I know because I took a Facebook quiz), so many times I have great visions, and I might even get the project 90% done, but then I lose steam and it doesn’t come to fruition. Sometimes I think my favorite thing to do is to spend a lot of time making a list or schedule I will never use.

I am not the get straight As, clean the kitchen before bed, my kid wears matching outfits kind of person. Which is totally okay and I love that I am laid back and able to enjoy the wonderful moments of my life without worrying about them being perfect. But there are so many areas where I would be happier if I could do a little better, and if I can do it, anyone can. I am going to outline all the things I want to work on and then use strategies I’ve learned and the power of public accountability to see about getting things done.

I will fail. A lot. I hope I will succeed a little too.

Hopefully, others can find some inspiration in my stumbling attempts at becoming a better wife, mother, friend, and all-around human being. Maybe we can all begrudgingly pull ourselves off the couch together and do just one thing. Just one thing that we’ve been meaning to do, that would make our lives happier, simpler, more fulfilling. Wouldn’t that be a great start?


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