Sunday, September 4, 2011

Small and Simple Sundays

I’m a big believer in the power of small and simple things. By the yard it’s hard, but by the inch it’s a cinch. A thousand mile journey begins with a single step. (You probably know some proverbs of your own. I bet your mother taught them to you.)

I believe that small, simple goals are the steps to success and that great, big enormous goals are tools of Satan that we use to clobber out all the good feelings in our souls. Which may sound funny coming from a novelist and a marathon runner, but I didn’t sit down and write a novel in one breath and I didn’t run 26 miles the first time I put on my sneakers. I got an idea which I nursed and then wrote about a few hundred words at a time. Nearly every day. And I took A LOT of classes and workshops. Same thing with the marathon (which, by the way, was ten years ago) I ran six days a week and every week I went a little further than the week before. It wasn’t easy. There wasn’t a short cut. I had giant blisters on my feet and lost all of my toenails. (What was I thinking? I’m deviating, back to my point…)

In Melanie Jacobson’s new novel, NOT MY TYPE, Pepper desperately needs an attitude adjustment and her father challenges her to write a thank you note a week. Originally, the book was titled 52 Thank Yous. (I preferred that title, but since its Melanie’s book and not mine, I didn’t get a vote.) At first, Pepper’s notes are sarcastic and a little mean, but by the end, when love has softened all her rough edges, the note to her father is poignant and sweet.

A thank you note a week—how long would that take? Maybe ten minutes out of a week of 10,080. (My husband would be so proud of me for voluntarily doing math!) Can ten minutes a week change your life? Do you want to give it a try? Maybe you don’t need an attitude adjustment. Maybe you’re already plenty grateful. It doesn’t matter. Think of something small and simple and set a goal. (Remember, big, giant goals are Satan’s weapons used for beating yourself over the head and killing all your hope.

So, I’m calling this Small and Simple Sunday, or, if you’d rather wait until Thursdays—Throw-down Thursdays. I’m going to wait and set my goal on Thursday, not only because it’s the first day of school, but also because it gives me four more days to think of how I want to change…for good.

If you want to join in and make yourself accountable to 80 something fantastic, friendly followers, leave a comment announcing your goal. If you prefer anonymity, write it down and tuck it in between the pages of a journal. Either one works.


  1. This is such a good idea, Kristy. I probably won't share my goal here, but you've inspired me to come up with one!

  2. Thanks, Katie. I'm hoping I'll be more responsible if I have to give a reckoning.

  3. Stopping by to say hi, we're in the same campaign group.

  4. Hey, I'm a writing runner, too! Or maybe a running writer? Either way, novels and marathons have a lot in common. ;)
    I just started the fall semester, so my goals are all currently neatly printed in impossibly long syllabi. :/

  5. Great idea. And hello from the Campaign. Looking forward to reading your blog.

  6. My mother should have taught me more proverbs. Maybe my goal will be to teach my kids one proverb a week. Or not. Either way, this is a great idea. Thanks!

  7. Thank you for this post. I am one of those people who clobbers myself over the head with big, impossible goals. Thank you for this reminder to step back and see how blessed I am.