The Year of Small Steps

This time next year what will you have named 2012? How about this?

The Year of Small Steps.

Because no matter what happens, whatever it is you want to achieve, if you concentrate on the small steps, you’ll get to your destination. You can overcome failure, mistakes, loss, pain, rejection, just about anything,  by taking one small step – the first step. And then the next step. You don’t have to worry or panic about the result, about the big picture, all you have to do is to take those small steps.

Pick your right foot up and put it down.

That one small step is everything because fear paralyzes us.

At least it does me. I get stuck in one place, spinning my wheels and worrying about what might happen, the least productive thing in the world to do, especially when you’re stuck. Because might isn’t will. What might be isn’t what will be.

And the only way for me to get past that blockage – whether it’s fear or criticism or rejection or loss or pain – is to keep on keeping on. Take the first step and then the next step and then the step after that. And usually, once I’ve taken the first couple of steps, I’m past the fear, past whatever it was that locked me in place.

Now I’ll admit that first step isn’t easy. Sometimes it feels like the hardest thing I’ve ever done. In fact, often, no matter how many times I take that small step, it still feels like the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But what I have learned over the years is that if I can manage to take the first one, the second one is easier, and the third one even more so.

A perfect example is something that happened to me this week. I had an email from an editor, who also happens to be an old friend. She said, “You know I kind of like this book, but there’s a real problem with the first chapter. It starts in the male perspective and it feels angry to me.” Not that many years ago I would have said, “You’re wrong, and I’m going to leave it the way it is.” But this time, I took a breath and thought about that one small step and acknowledged that she might be right. And when I responded I said, “I think you might be right, and maybe what I need to do is this.” That doesn’t mean she’ll buy it, but it does mean that I didn’t lock myself into a position that meant there was no way forward.

And that, for me, is the biggest advantage of the small step. All you have to do is pick up your foot and acknowledge that it’s possible to keep moving forward.

So for me, 2012 is going to be the year of small steps. One step at a time, I’m gonna pick up my right foot and put it down. And then I’ll do it again.

What about you?



12 responses to “The Year of Small Steps

  1. I’m right beside you Kate. I walk quickly, but short legs make for small steps too 😉

  2. I like it. It’s kinda my approach to life, just keep moving forward, everything will get better or progress eventually lol. =)

    • Annette – keep moving forward 🙂 Actually, I could have said The Year of Moving Forward just as easily as the year of small steps…

      Funny how simple it sounds and how difficult it sometimes is.


  3. It’s how I’m writing my current novel. Trying to envision how I will resolve what I’ve set into motion is too overwhelming, so I only look at the next chapter, the next scene in the chapter, the next line of dialogue and step-by-by-step it is coming together.

    • Raymond, you know how I write – not even the next paragraph, but only the next word. And isn’t that interesting? I’ve always written that way, never realizing that it works in all kinds of other ways…


  4. Kate, I LOVE this!! The year of small steps. *swipes* For me, it’s more applicable to my exercise/health goals than to the writing, at least for the moment. 🙂


  5. *laughs* We’re on the same wavelength, Kate. I just blogged about the “first step” as far as fitness goes on my personal blog.

    Brilliant post. Especially the line about fear paralyzing us. It’s the only weapon it has really, freezing us in place so we don’t even make the attempt. Once you break free of that you’re golden.


  6. K – *laughs back* – I think we’re all on the same page this year. That first step is the BIG one!


  7. Sorry I’m late getting to this. I have been practicing my short steps all day. This Year ended with me way behind on several projects, after recovering from the flu. I decided the only way I can catch up and not fall further behind is to do it in short steps. i worked today on four different projects and started a new one. I finished one, moved a head on all the others–taking short steps forward. Tomorrow, same routine. I hope to finish another one tomorrow and move the rest forward.

    Like you said, Kate, “Short Steps.”


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