Maybe you’re like me, and you have a lifetime full of dreams. You want to bungee jump at Bloukrans Bridge in Western Cape South Africa, swim with dolphins, get your Ph.D., and fight sex slavery all before picking up the dry cleaning. Or maybe you just want to learn how not to have a heaping pile of laundry constantly growing and expanding like a bad fungus from summer camp of ’98. Whether it’s hiking the Appalachian trail or fighting with the mountain of laundry, each goal takes baby steps. My English teacher (okay, I was homeschooled, so that’d be my mom) told me, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

            I really love the app C25K. It stands for couch to 5K. I hate running, and I like my couch, so we fit well together. The app makes me feel glorious about my inability to run. It starts you off nice and easy—walk for 5min., run for 90sec., walk for 180sec., run for 90sec, blah, blah, blah. Each day the walking becomes less and the running becomes more until—VOILA!—you can run a 5K. It doesn’t tell you to lace up, put on the heart rate monitor, throw the kid in the BOB stroller, and prepare to beast the road and never turn back. I’d die and ugly death before I went 5 minutes. Rather, it puts the goal in small, bite size pieces in a realistic chunks of time.

            With any goal, we need to break it down into more simplistic tasks. If I want to ever run a Spartan race, I have to first be able to run down the street. If I ever want to not continually have a laundry in the corner of my bedroom, I have to figure out how to get it all folding before it multiples. Overwhelming ourselves only sets us up for failure. Seriously. I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at a mountain of laundry, kitchen full of dishes, or garden full of weeds and ran the other way. Probably the only time I choose to run. 

           In the end, we have to start somewhere. Fifteen minutes of piano playing is more than zero. One mile is more than none. Saving $20 is more than saving $0. Folding one load of laundry is more than none. Each little dent you make is one step closer to ending world hunger, running a marathon, buying a vacation home, teaching your 5 year old how to read, getting your G.E.D., or ending the laundry mountain. 

Get out.

            Do the things.

                        One step at the time.

                                    And do it again tomorrow.

                                                And the next day.

                                                            And the day after that.

Whatever you do, don’t stop doing it.

Disclaimer: This post in no way promotes eating elephants