Start Small. Be Scrappy.
By Elizabeth Villa
A few months ago I bought a fancy pre-made bullet journal. It’s pages are full of beautifully designed spaces for goal-setting, hourly schedules, morning gratitude, daily targets, inspiring quotes, and so much more that will make any Type A heart skip a beat.
I’ve been telling all of my friends about it for months, but up until last week I had yet to use it. Actually, I had yet to open it.
When I got it, I made a place for it across the room and told myself that I’d start using it when I felt ready.
I bought this journal because my life was in the midst of a hard transition and I wasn’t sure how I would move forward. In this journal I felt like I had found the way and— to put it plainly — I really didn’t want to fuck it up.
So it sat.
After seeing it sit there for months, I remembered three very important facts:
First, I remembered that I’m a proud (okay maybe reluctant) member of the club called humanity which means I’m never going to be ready and I’m always going to fuck it up.
Second, I remembered that this journal is not actually the answer to my life’s problems. (If you know what is please call me thanks.)
Third, once I set aside the hope of a single change in my life being the “answer,” I remembered that I had some really tangible needs that if addressed could make me feel better on a daily basis.
For example, I knew that I really needed better sleep, to make more intentional healthy choices, and to find structure for my thoughts and for my days. Those were (and are) all things that this journal could help me with… if I dared to open it.
Why Now? Why THIS Journal?
I’m telling you this very dramatic story about a journal because I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who buys into the “answers” offered by others and then waits until I’m ready to take the next step.
I’m not the only one who waits until the beginning of the next month to start something new so that I have the chance to do it perfectly. I’m not the only one who has waited to start doing Yoga until I’m more flexible. I’m not the only one who has scrolled through my Instagram feed envious of my friends’ progress wondering when I’ll be ready to start my own.
To say it again, we’re never really ready. When we put all of our hope into perfect answers and perfect circumstances, we miss out on chances to make progress in our own way and in our own time.
We Have What It Takes
The good news is that we don’t have to be ready to start making the changes we need in our lives. We already have what it takes to connect with what we need and start pushing forward in small, scrappy, imperfect ways to provide for those needs.
We’re all members of the club called humanity (welcome, it’s good to have you here), so it’s time to embrace it and use it to our advantage.
Where Will You Start?
There are approximately one million ways you can start taking your small, scrappy, imperfect next steps. The only best next step is the one that’s best for you.
If you’re feeling at a loss, consider taking a few minutes every day to write down how you feel and what you think you need. That’s data you can use to decide what’s next!
Because our main focus at DTGS is helping you establish healthy habits on your own terms, we’ve put together a list of small, scrappy ways to incorporate more movement and self-care into your life today.
- Foam Rolling: For stress-relief in your body and your mind.
- Headspace App: For a 10-day free trial to start your meditation practice.
- TV-Ready Workouts: For multi-tasked movements.
- Bullet Proof Coffee: For the caffeine rush without the crash. (I linked to the vegan option, but you can find the original recipe out there too!)
- Big-Ass Salads: For more nutrients without all the work.
As for me, I finally opened my new journal. I even started using it. It’s a complete mess and I don’t get to all of the beautiful sections every day, but having it helps me create structure for my thoughts and for my days.
That’s exactly what I needed, so perfection can wait another day. (Okay, maybe a lifetime.)