Concept is simple, execution is difficult.

Once again, I’m embarking on a new food plan. I’ve done this one before and lost a ton of weight. Then I slipped into old habits and all that weight I released came drifting back.

This time, it feels like . . . scratch that. . . It is a lifetime change. I’m eating very simply: lean protein, most vegetables, some fruit and a little grain. Minimal processed food.

It’s a very simple concept, yet hard to execute. It takes determination and keeping my eye on the goal: being healthy.

It’s a lot like writing. Many of us want to write but either don’t have the time or don’t know how to start.

Right now about 56,000 writers are participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). When you come up for air, NaNoWriMo Campers . . . let us know how you managed to fit writing time into your busy lives.

For the rest of us, here’s an idea: Take inventory.

Make a list of all that you do in a day. Write down everything. Include daydreaming time, Facebook browsing, meals (planning, shopping, preparing, cleaning after), cleaning house, laundry, shopping, work, commute and so on. Everything. When you are done, set your list aside (but don’t forget about it. Okay, forget about it for a day or two).

Next: Plan for a time to go over your list when you won’t be interrupted. Get out of the house if you need to. You really need some thought-full time for this next step.

And be honest. You’ll only set yourself up for failure if you aren’t honest here.

You can use highlighters, colored pencils, stickers or symbols to categorize your activities.

Highlight/mark things that you have to do. No negotiating with these items. Maybe a red pencil will be good for this. Or check marks. Or star stickers. Or hand-drawn stars.

Next: Use a colored pencil or marker to underline or highlight the things that bring you joy. Don’t give up activities. Joy in your life is very important.

Now, perhaps the hardest one: Put a line through activities that you don’t have to be doing. Can you give up the areas that are stressful or cause unhappiness? Be as honest as you can. You probably can’t eliminate all these items, but perhaps you can modify. Brainstorm how these unpleasant things could be accomplished quickly or with a positive attitude. Perhaps when you cook a meal, prepare enough for two meals. And if you don’t like to cook, crank up music, or listen to an inspiring podcast.

Continue with categorizing your list: Cross off anything that has no meaning for you. These are the “shoulds.” Things you think you should be doing. . . but really, do you have to keep doing them? If not, cross off.

Now, go back through your list. What can you let go of to achieve your goal of writing? Maybe it would be more fulfilling to write than watch TV or scroll through Facebook or play a computer game. Maybe you could get up earlier, stay up later to write. Perhaps you could write during work breaks, or lunch time. This isn’t forever. . . just a break from these activities so you have time to write.

Lolita.200If you want to write and don’t have a particular topic in mind, or if you need a warm-up (like stretching before exercising), take a look at this list of prompts or jump on the magic carpet and select one of these prompts. Settle on a prompt and write.

Be determined and keep your eye on your goal.  Just Write!

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