Laying a Firm Foundation for Success at Home
Advance Preparation: The Details
Before launching any endeavor, having a crystal clear idea of what the goal is essential! This is where impatience is sure to crop up and complicate matters. Rushing into anything or rushing ahead, however, will not make matters better. Planning, preparation, diligence and persistence are the most important elements of laying a foundation.
Can we take a break for a semantic distraction? Okay, great! So the word "laying" is a verb which needs an object (laying - a foundation). This has been a somewhat tricky idea for me since I hear people say "lay down" when the mean "lie down" all the time. When a person is at rest in a horizontal position, they are lying--not laying. Want to ask someone to do something? Could I have you lie down? Could you lay the books on the table? See the difference? When a noun does it to itself, lie is the correct term. When a noun does it to something, lay is the correct term. Hope that helps! Grammar Girl also does a great job of explaining this difference.
Back to laying more plans! Let me be more practical and begin with planning. My goal is to make a nice living from home and create a loving home and healthy learning space for my kiddos. Sounds nice, right? Since I am in the planning stages, I have to assess basic needs first. I need to drink lots of water. I need to eat plenty of healthy food. I need get plenty of rest. I need to exercise on a daily basis. If I don't do these things, will I still be okay? Maybe, but I would like to have the certainty of knowing these will be fixtures in my life experience that I won't have to spend a lot of time thinking about. I want a plan in place. The interesting thing about my basic needs is that they are the same for anyone else who wants to achieve any thing. Why is it they so often get overlooked or neglected? Not sure of the answer there. I do know it happens and so making a plan, or a schedule even, would really help out a lot!
Now Onto the Preparation Part
Preparation is different from planning in several ways. It's like actually measuring out ingredients to combine them is to listing the ingredients and gathering them. We all have to start somewhere! A word of caution: make haste...slowly. We are after steady progress that leads us to steadfast results. So take some time getting your plan together and allow a sense of urgency to push you onward to completion of all the steps you need to take in order to realize your goal.
Sticking to our example from earlier. Did I drink plenty of water today? Yes. Did I get enough to eat? Yes. Did I get my rest. Yes, I did. Oh yeah, and exercise. Yes I got started--I'll finish before bedtime. So what are we doing here? Establishing a new pattern or habits. In time, we won't really have to spend any time at all thinking about doing these things! They really will be like second nature to us. So realize that preparation is not the execution of the plan. It's like the early stage of the steps we are taking to realize our goal. Yes, it may seem like a slow approach. Wouldn't it be easier just to give something a shot and then assess whether it turned out well or not. Yes, it would be easier. That's not really how to produce longevity though. Even if we are successful today or tomorrow, wouldn't it be so much better to know with a fair amount of certainty that we will be successful for the next 3,650 days before we have a hiccup?
Infusing Diligence and Persistence
Diligence is defined as "constant and earnest effort to accomplish what is undertaken; persistent exertion of body or mind". To persist, on the other hand is defined this way: "to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action, or the like, especially in spite of opposition, remonstrance, etc.". While the two definitions are similar, they possess a slightly difference nuance. The former almost has a sense of rhythm in the positive direction, whereas the latter has a tone of defiance. Kind of like, I will succeed no matter the obstacle. Diligence helps of plan and persistence helps us keep up the preparation we need in our lives on a daily basis.
By this point, we have put a lot of thought and energy into thinking about our goal, followed by planning and preparation. What's next is taking the first step. I'm not going to jump ahead or jump right into discussing that until next time. It's a pretty big deal. Just think of it like Michael Rosen's 1989 classic "We're Going on a Bear Hunt". We're not scared! Followed by "Uh oh!" You of course know "we gotta go through it"! So let's recap the laying foundation steps:
1. think about your goal
Infuse these steps with diligence and persistence. More next time when we take our first step! Taking our first step is a really big deal. I'm so excited! A lot is involved and we have to remember our starting point and our goal too. But let's talk more about that next time!