When we're trying to achieve our dreams, it can be easy to be overwhelmed by all of the steps between where we are today and where we ultimately want to be — maybe even more so at the start of a new year, when we have so many resolutions stacked neatly into a small tower of ideas. MOTHER EARTH NEWS writer Jenna Woginrich recently wrote on her blog, Cold Antler Farm, a great post titled "One Hour Better" (Dec. 28, 2009) that offers a fresh perspective that might help you make your goals more attainable. Check out this excerpt for a look at the heart of her post:
"... Don't attempt to be a drastically better person in the next calendar year. Don't plan on being thirty pounds thinner, or $60,000 richer or the front man of your own band. Instead, how about just trying to be a slightly better person in the next 60 minutes. This may sound like a weak attempt, but it's not. Results happen slowly and only when we focus on what we want and who we want to become right now. If you want more money, for the next hour, don't spend any, and try and pull a quarter off the floor of your car. If you want to lose weight, try not to eat that candy bar for the next hour, and walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator. If you want to be kinder, spend the next hour on the phone with an old friend and tell her you miss her. If you want to plant a garden, raise chickens or own a farm — spend the next hour online ordering seed catalogs or going to the library for a book on coop building. Make small changes constantly and just try to meet that next turn of the clock one hour smarter, one hour thinner, one hour kinder and one hour richer, and watch your life change.
If everyone could just see the day as 24 chances to make their life a little better, imagine the resolutions that could be met. I try to be an hour better, every hour, and hope those choices add up into something I can grasp with both hands. I think total dedication to the present is what improves ourselves, and not the empty promises that are too big to get our arms around. Just try be one hour better, starting right now. My favorite movie whispers the quote 'that every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.' It's a chance worth taking. ..."
An hour is managable. You can do anything for one hour. If you're looking at steps to take to bring your dreams into reality, figure out the steps that you can take within an hour. As Jenna points out, if you take it one hour at a time, over and over again, you can ultimately go great distances. Whether you start by reading a chapter on organic gardening or signing up for a shepherding course, those small tasks can one day add up to the dream that you hold most dear.
If you look at the next 60 minutes, what can you do in that time to get closer to your goals?