Ugly Frogs and Wimpy Focus

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Well, it’s January again—one of the most productive months of the year for me. It’s that time of year when many people set goals to get healthier, save money, improve intellectually or spiritually, or connect more with family and friends. If you’re a writer, it’s a safe bet that one of your goals for the new year is to get busy and finish your book!

Besides setting goals, I usually choose a word in January to inspire me. To be honest, I often forget the word within the first few months—along with any other resolutions I may have made—but it does start the year out on the right foot. In fact, I just looked up last year’s word because I’d totally forgotten it. Here’s the link to last January’s blog post if you want to take a look:

Not surprisingly, I’ve already gone off on a bit of a tangent, which just so happens to be the perfect segue into my word for 2023: FOCUS!

Seriously. My focus is terrible. I can totally relate to Dug, the lovable golden retriever from the Disney movie Up who can’t stop chasing squirrels. It’s going to be an uphill battle, but I’m determined to stay focused and get some writing done. As of today—yeah, I know we’re not even through January yet—I’m happy to report that I’ve stuck to my schedule for finishing Stars at Devils Tower by the end of the year. I’m pretty sure no one will be more excited than me to have it finished.

As I created a plan to reach my goal, I pondered why my writing has suffered over the last few years and what to do about it. I know that battling chronic pain and other health issues has zapped my creativity and motivation, but I felt like there was more to it. I had to figure out a way to want to write. Recently, I found some great advice in Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. Even though this wasn’t the first time I’ve heard this advice, the wheels in my head started turning.

In his introduction to the book under the heading “The Truth about Frogs,” Tracy says if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, that’s probably the worst thing that will happen to you all day. The frog is the worst or hardest task you have to complete that day—and the one you’re most likely to procrastinate. He goes on to say “The first rule of frog eating is this: If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.” We all have ugly frogs.

It occurred to me that instead of dealing with my ugly frogs (chronic pain and health issues), I’m using up way too much time and energy dodging them and hoping they will go away. Until I take control of these nasty critters, I won’t be able to accomplish my goals. It’s like the proverbial elephant in the room—if someone doesn’t address it, no progress will be made.

So that’s my plan for 2023—deal with the ugly frogs head on and focus on my writing. I hope everyone can work toward a goal that will bring them joy and satisfaction in the new year!

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Showing 2 comments
  • Stephanie Dunn-Patterson

    Wendy, I love this! I can totally relate.

    • Wendy C Jorgensen

      Thank you! Some people are able to move forward with something hanging over their head, but I just get stuck. Hope you guys are doing well! 🤗

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