Sunday, January 17, 2021

Turtle Steps

I made lists. I had plans. Then, last year happened. And maybe like you, all those lists and plans and goals fell apart. So with this new year, I decided to start out slow. 

Last week, I repaired sculptures that were broken in last year’s final months. I faced the overwhelming task by taking only one piece down at a time. Fixing that one piece. Then and only then, moving on to the next. Even though I went slowly, one at a time, it surprised me how quickly they were all fixed. 

Think tiny. 

I didn’t come up with the idea. One of my favorite writers, Martha Beck did. What is it? She says, “A turtle step, as I define it, is a step that takes you toward your ultimate goal, but is so tiny you could do it easily on your worst day.” 

And in addition to suggesting this as a new goal for the new year, she shared that it was the only way she was able to write her books. Her goal everyday was one paragraph. That’s all. But, of course what she learned was that a paragraph a day(or maybe 1 more on a good day) does become a book. 

After reading this, I took a long look at my big ideas from last year. And my lack of big ideas for this year. And I sighed with relief. 

One snap at a time. 

This week, I needed to revamp my Etsy shop. Although I’ve had an Etsy shop for years, I really never got the hang of it. Last year, I decided it was time for me to take it more seriously. And it worked. My work sold on Etsy. 

With Valentine’s Day approaching, it was time to re-stock my shop with new ceramic pieces. As I started to get overwhelmed, I remembered ‘turtle steps’. One day, I just chose the pieces.

 The next day, I set up my photo booth. 

Then one by one, I took pictures. Next I wrote descriptions, prices, sizes, colors and tags. Another day, I uploaded them onto Etsy

At first, it all seemed overwhelming but doing it little by little, day by day, it was a snap. 

So, if you’re feeling you just can’t face this new year: try turtle steps.

Today, one step. Tomorrow take another. Then day after day, one more.

Maybe we all need to remember the old story of the tortoise and the hare. 

Slow and steady wins.   

One by one. Day by day. Vaccinations can happen. People get well. Smiles return.  

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