How can I change? Make tiny changes.

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I wasn’t going to give any resolution advice, as a kind of anti-resolution resolution, but I do have one item I’d like to share.

Most life coaches will give you multiple steps to get on the path to glorious self improvement, and that’s nice of them, particularly if they offer suggestions for free.

So, should you expend your efforts on designing and decorating a dream board? Is wrestling with the Eternal Why or the Eternal Why Bother more suited to your situation? Should you keep it simple and accept that the biggest monument starts with one of the biggest bricks you ever saw? Wait–isn’t that a little brick? Yes. The longest journey begins with the smallest brick. Or something.

My dream board has wine glass ribbon at the borders and a pack of badly drawn cats in the middle, mainly because I forgot what I was doing almost immediately and had too much fun with found materials. Don’t be like me.

Pondering the Ultimate Purpose of my resolutions is also going to end in tears. I want to conquer my attention deficit, so that I can help your sisters with theirs too. This thought is instantly blanketed with a big fat quilt of guilt for all the previous opportunities I had to do better. We could have found a better medical person to work with… and anyway, why are that cat’s whiskers so bizarre?

So. Back to the bricks. There’s not one single thing that I have improved in my entire silly life that was done in one huge sweeping gesture. The really big actions were a disaster, every time.

Freaking out at work and going all George Bailey with a pile a cash for a bunch of dock workers who were only one cousin away from felonies, for instance, was not my best move.

Walking into the first house I toured and offering the asking price because I liked the yard sculpture–which the owners later took with them–was also a terrible idea.

When we take it easy and make small adjustments, we’re more likely to get to the ultimate destination. Want to drink less? Try drawing cats until the sun goes down and postpone instead.

I keep telling you kids to pace your drinks to avoid barfing in your friend’s purse, and I will stand by that forever.

One per hour, never sour.
— yermom

Don’t pounce on a drastic move unless your health is at stake. Seriously.

Every grand, sweeping action will generate a big, lumbering, hard-to-stop reaction. I’m not talking about physics, but something more like reality physics.

Flinging a bunch of cash around some almost-felons will most certainly get you fired or robbed. Offering the asking price for a house you haven’t vetted guarantees the next door neighbor will be a serial killer. It’s not only frightening and embarrassing, it’s the way things work.

Do you know anyone who drastically altered their diet and ended up in the hospital? No? Then you are twelve years old and know only me.

Your goal is probably achievable, but don’t try to stomp right over to it. Instead, sidle up and size it up and keep moving.

No one gets to their very own dream destination by wishing and waiting. Hoping and pouting will only land you in someone else’s plans.

Be patient and pave your path in the direction you want to go, one little brick at a time. You may not get exactly where you want to be, but you’ll be paving in the neighborhood along the way.


Further, further reading:

Undertakers, Harlots and Other Odd Bodies is out now. A free preview is available and all electronic formats are priced at a very reasonable US$3.99!!

A print version is for sale (US$14.99) for the benefit of people who prefer paper: | | IndieBound  | BetterWorldBooks | Alibris

More ebook retailer links: Apple | Kobo | | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords | Scribd

If you search for it on google books you end up with Oliver Twist, which is fine. Just order that!



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