Just Start Somewhere.

Dear Diary,

I have been avoiding you for quite some time now.
Yes, avoiding you.
Please don’t take it personal.
This is most definitely (and legitimately!) one of those “it’s not you, it’s me” situations!

I could list 1,001 reasons why I haven’t been writing but at this point, are they really relevant? Are they really what I want to focus on? Do I really want to focus on the past or do I want to move forward and focus on the present, the future? Yes, that is what I want – to move forward. I am certain there will be a time and place when sharing my 1,001 reasons for not writing with you will make sense. And I am certain there will be a time when I feel more comfortable sharing them (I know, odd coming from me, the one who feels comfortable sharing everything), but right now is not the time.

And that is really hard for me to do because folks, if you haven’t guessed it yet I am an anal-retentive, logical, sometimes-organized person! The whole idea of writing posts that don’t reflect my life chronologically drives me bonkers! The whole idea of not thoroughly explaining to you all how I have arrived at this type of post drives me bonkers! I want to explain to all you newish folks why I started with “dear diary” and how this post actually fits in within the grand scheme of The Orange Rhino Challenge.

So why don’t I write those posts you ask? Why don’t I take you back in time with me? I don’t know! I go to write those posts and I hit a block. Actually, I hit a lot of them. Think of it this way. You know how when you don’t call a friend one day and think, “oh, I will call her tomorrow?” and then tomorrow doesn’t happen or the day after or the day after that? And then before you know it more than a month has passed and you still want to call but feel so bad for not calling that you don’t actually make the call?

Yeah, well that is how I am feeling about my relationship with writing right now. Oh how many times I have yearned to write to you dearest diary. Oh how many times I write to you in my head but then avoid writing to you in reality. Oh how many times I sat down to write to you and instead surfed Facebook because the distance between us had grown so much and with it my hesitance., and my fear but we will save that for another day. And oh, oh how many times I said to myself, “just write already, you know you want to, you know you will feel relieved once you start, you know it is a great stress relief, just do it!”

But I couldn’t just do it. I guess you could say that I fell out of my habit of writing. I lost my groove (am I allowed to even admit that here?) and I think we all now how hard it is to get back into a groove. It is brutal! The whole “no more eating chex mix for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert” practically killed me yesterday but alas, I had to get back into the groove of eating better as my body was begging me too. And don’t even get me started on the having to get back into the going-to-school-groove after vacation. Yesterday was Such. A. Tough. Morning. And Day. And Night. Everyone is tired, cranky, disappointed, just wanting to be in pajamas and therefore struggling. Fun times!

I did manage to get into those two grooves yesterday and have continued them today. Partly because the out-of-groove period was so short and well mostly because I had no choice! But getting back into the writing groove? Well clearly it hasn’t been so easy-peasy! But I desperately want to get back into the groove so yesterday I did something about it.

I just started somewhere. Anywhere. 

Just Somwhere 1.4.16I told myself to, “just sit and write, stream of conscious style like you used to do. Write to your ‘diary’; it might not be your ideal format for this post but it will get you started so just to do it.”

“Just do anything,” I said to myself. “It doesn’t matter if it is good or meaningful or post-worthy, it just needs to be a start. You just need to start writing. You just need to start practicing again, to get the flow going.”

So that is what I did, that is what I am doing. And wouldn’t you know it, it feels fantastic! I can feel my desire to write to you again, as in sooner than a year from now, growing. Feeling fantastic is a pretty contagious feeling and all I needed to get to that feeling was just starting somewhere.

Just starting somewhere…
Without fear if I would succeed.
Without fear if I would continue to succeed.
Without fear of what people would think.
Without fear of whether or not I would do it right.
Without fear if I was doing enough to get going.

Without fear of well, anything that could keep me back from just doing.

It wasn’t easy letting go of aforementioned fears but I can tell you, it was worth it. AND, if you are like me and are struggling to go after something you want, perhaps, oh say, learning to Yell Less and Love More in 2016, it will be worth it for you if you let go of any fears, hesitations, excuses, concerns you have that are holding you back from starting your own journey to be an Orange Rhino. You don’t have to let go of those feelings forever, just long enough so that you can Just Start in the moment. Because once you get started, once you start to gain momentum and feel fantastic, you won’t want to stop. Trust me.

Will you, will WE, have setbacks along the way? Will you, will WE, have setbacks oh say hours after we started? Probably. And then we will just start somewhere again. We will take any step forward that we can and that step will matter because it will move us forward.

Will you, will WE, have setbacks along the way? Will you, will WE, have setbacks oh say hours after we started? Probably. And then we will just start somewhere again. We will take any step forward that we can and that step will matter because it will move us forward.

Great you say, but what blooming step can I take? Here are a few in no particular order because again the point is to just do something, anything to help close the distance between your goal/desire/dream of yelling less and your current state. They may seem like small steps, but small steps are bigger than no steps and more importantly, the small steps will lead you to where you want to go!

  1. Tell a friend you want to yell less. Tell more if you have the energy, and if not, no worries! You can grow your support circle as time continues.
  2. Surround yourself with orange reminders. Print out one orange rhino (download here) and put it up. Add more as your commitment grows.
  3. Write a diary entry to yourself about what is holding you back and let it go. Email it to me if you want to officially send it off and free yourself of it.
  4. Track your triggers for just 1 hour (here’s a free download or you can find it in my book with more details) Forget days. Just do an hour. Just get started.
  5. Set you phone timer for 20 minutes. Tell yourself that you just need to stay calm and choose a more loving tone for 20 minutes. You can so do that! If it needs to be 5 because it is a tough day, then do 5. Just start somewhere!
  6. Pick one, just one tip you want to try today and use it over and over and over.
  7. Adjust your expectations to help you get over your hesitance by telling yourself, “Today I am just getting started. I don’t need to worry about success right this moment. I just need to get started. I just need to get my mind more engaged in The Orange Rhino Challenge.”

Just starting somewhere certainly isn’t easy, but I think that not starting at all, that wanting to do something and not doing it all is a heck of a lot harder and a much greater burden to carry.

* * * * *

Phew! I did it! I achieved my goal for this week. Did I struggle all last night and this morning about sharing this without any connection to all of my last posts? Yes! Am I sitting here thinking I should save this post for later, for when I have written the posts that lead up to it so that everything is “in order” and “done the way I would ideally do?” Heck yeah. But again, I can’t do that. If I wait, if I don’t just take another step forward by posting, I will get stuck again and I don’t want to be stuck – I want to be moving forward, closing the distance between my dreams/hopes/goals and where I am today.

Who is with me? Who is moving forward today? What 1 step are you taking?

* * * * *

YLLMcrop2 If you would like more details to get started, you might enjoy this blog post: 12 Steps to Yelling Less or my book which gets a lot more detailed! You can the entire scoop on it here: “Yell Less, Love More: How The Orange Rhino Mom Stopped Yelling at Her Kids–and How You Can Too! A thirty-day guide with tips, stories, and insights. 


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12 thoughts on “Just Start Somewhere.

  1. Thanks for putting this yelling thing out there. I thought I was the only one 🙂
    I have two teenager boys and they often say not to scream. I have thought things through and I think I’m doing the same thing my mom did with us when children, she would scream alot. and even though I hated it I find myself doing the same mistake. Yesterday my 15 YO son stayed with his girlfriend for 6 hours and did not even call he was going to her place. I was furious because he did not ask for permission and he got furious because I decided to go speak to the girlfriends mom with an attitude. He then decided to stay at his uncle’s house because he says that I took things out of proportion. I lost it yesterday and don’t know how to start a conversation today with him without feeling overwhelmed for his decision. Please advise some tips.thanks 🙂

  2. I downloaded your book last year and began my journey. I am not sure what happened first, my book purchse or my son’s life changing comment, but I am seeing and feeling progress. Last year, I picked my son up a bit early from school and he was very upset becasue he was not able to make his “wish” in music class. ( All of the kids get a wish at the end) . I asked him what his wish was and he told me it was for me to not yell at him all of the time. Yikes, guess I was glad I could keep that embarssing moment to myself. Fast forward to this year and I asked my son if we, he and I , were yelling less, and his said yes. I asked him how he knew this and he said,” becasue the orange stickies are not on the wall any more during dinner” .
    I am always grateful for your posts ad this community , whenever they appear.

  3. I found your blog quite awhile back and loved the idea of the Orange Rhino. It’s been on my mind a lot. I have been trying to do better at the yelling at my kids though. I have been praying a lot about it. I have been taking these 40 days of Lent to really focus on not raising my voice and finding other ways to direct my kids. Something brought me back here to your blog today though and I’m so glad it did. I am committing to using your tips to help me quit yelling for good. Also, your writer’s block post was so relatable as well. I have been feeling the same way, having something to say and wanting to write, but just not doing it. Too many other things vying for my time and attention. I am a writer by trade, but the writing I want and need to do isn’t coming as easily as the writing I get paid to do. I needed to hear this and I appreciate that there is at least one other person who struggles with this getting started again too. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great ideas for just getting started. I had a yell free day today (which I gritted my way through) and have gratefully come across your blog tonight, hooray! Thanks, thanks, thanks for bringing this unspoken (but yelled) issue out into the open web. I am going to start with setting a timer for 10 minutes in tough times…reckon I can do that. Such an excellent idea. Thanks Mama!

  5. I’m telling everyone I know at the moment about this website and this movement.
    On reflection for two main reasons.
    1.To keep me accountable. 2. If anyone has felt as exasperated with themselves as I have for the last couple of years then this is a place of hope that they can empower themselves with to become or reconnect with the version of themselves they desperately want to be. I’m glad I found help when I did not know how to help myself. I’m championing this cause for the benefit of our beautiful and precious and dearly treasured children and us the parents- also beautiful, precious and dearly treasured souls.

  6. Thank you thank you thank you!! My New Years Resolution is to be an Orange Rhino. I’ve been reading one of your blog posts every morning, and for whatever reason even though I own the book, & attempted the book club, reading the blog posts is helping me the most. I think this blog post is the best yet! I love the idea of setting a kitchen timer. And of emailing, a though when I’m in the moment man it is SO hard for me to remember all of those things. I am not trying to make this all about me 😉 but know that there is a mama eager (as is possible at 6:00 a.m) to read anything you post to get my day started out right as an orange rhino. Thank you!!

  7. Great post! It’s so good to “hear” from you. I don’t care that you’re not organized. It’s just nice to know you’re still out there. Thanks for the encouragement. I’ve been doing pretty well with not yelling this past year. My parenting related goal for this year is to be more fun. To play with my son more. To love more.

  8. Thankyou thankyou thankyou! I really needed to read this today. A small step any step even if it us misdirected or not helpful its still taking a step. And deciding to get/be better is the best step. 🙂

  9. I am with you!! Thank you for moving past your resistance today to bring us this post. This. This is the best post I’ve read. Better than ALL of the “new year, new you” posts. And I’ve been trolling the Interweb and procrastinating all morning. You leading by example is just the kick in the pants I’ve needed. And I bet there are a lot of us, sitting in our PJs with all sorts of good intentions hanging over our heads, also thanking you for giving us permission to move forward, slowly and imperfectly. So glad you’re back, OR. In whatever form that might take.

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