Friday, October 15, 2010

Set Yourself Up for an Easy Start

Every day we wake up and have to face the situation we left behind the night before. But we will get back to this.

One of the lessons I have learned in my endeavors to write fiction is this: stop working at a point where you know what happens next. Yes, it would be easy to finish the paragraph or the scene and feel good about where we have left off. However, when we pick up work again we are staring at a blank. You may know where the story is going, but you do not know what the next scene is. By stopping where you know what happens next you can build momentum, get the creative fires fed and stoked before you hit that next scene. The writing becomes more approachable and less frustrating.

The same idea can be applied to our lives.

By waking up knowing what we are doing next we can create momentum. This can mean laying out your clothes for the day the night before or having a list of goals at hand that we want to focus on. By creating this frozen momentum the night before it becomes easier to keep ourselves on track.

Let's look at an example.

Perhaps one of your goals is to eat healthier. Before going to bed you could gather together in the refrigerator a package containing the ingredients for your breackfast. This way you know what you are having and some of the work is done already. Scrambled eggs and toast is a lot better than a danish at the coffee shop, and it is easy to do if we know that we are doing it from the moment we wake up.

Waking up to the same situation we were in when we went to bed is not a bad thing as long as we take charge of what that situation is. By creating a context of continued improvement we not only keep ourselves moving but we get to save some of our willpower for latter.


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