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Get Started with L. E. A. N.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


After an energy-draining bout with the flu that kept me down the week after Christmas and kept me struggling for more than a week afterwards, I am trying to get started with New Year goals.  Getting started is always half the battle but takes double the energy. 

New Year probably brought my internal struggle more quickly to the forefront, but the truth is that too many unmet goals from the year before demoralized me.  House projects, writing possibilities, relationships all waited on some scrap of paper.  They waited with their accusations, their pointy fingers, and their failure talk.  That’s not what makes me want to start them again.


To move forward this year, especially after the cataclysmic changes with the death of our daughter, felt like moving a mountain. I know that even the longest journey begins with the first step.  Still, which step helps the most?  In which direction?  For which project?



That’s when I connected with a simple acrostic called L. E. A. N. that I personalized.


L - eave excuses, fear of failure, and the paralysis of doing nothing.

E - xplore possible steps and timelines. Reduce  to 1 step and 2 target dates.

A - ct on something.  Something will move you forward faster than nothing.

N - ow make the call. Start on the stack.  Write the first paragraph. 


When I follow these steps, I LEAN in the direction of progress over procrastination.  I can’t LEAN into everything at once.  I have to make choices, evaluate them, pull back, start over, but keep going.


This isn’t the way to put yourself on a fast-track to check off the most things on your lists.  I am learning to use the LEAN method when the task or goal overwhelms me, when self-doubt paralyzes me, or when fear of failure traps me.  There is no fear in trying to LEAN and it helps me evaluate whether I’m LEAN-ing in the right direction or not.


So how do you tackle a project or life goal that is bigger than you think you can handle?  What tricks have your learned?  The shared journey is a learning journey and I still have a lot to learn.  I could use a teaching-learning partner.  How about you?


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