An article in the March issue of Fast Company caught my eye, and though it was written for a different audience, namely young, free-thinking entrepreneurs, the gist transfers to the rest of us who might not be so young or so entrepreneurial. (But who’s to say? Isn’t age a state of mind? And can’t we launch a start-up by changing the way business is done in our own kitchen?)
But back to Fast Company. The article, entitled Time to Aim Lower, motivates us to tackle projects we might dread, whether that’s filling out expense reports (their example) or making dinner when you’re tired on a Thursday night (mine).
The concept, as outlined by authors Dan and Chip Heath, is simple:
“We’re all used to hearing about stretch goals, and when you feel empowered, stretch goals are useful ambition teasers. But when you feel overwhelmed, stretch goals are a recipe for paralysis. Michael Phelps needed a stretch goal. Julie needed a whisker goal, a target that was a hairsbreadth away from the status quo. We need these more modest steps because they help us get past the “startup costs” — the apprehension and fear — that deter us from doing the tasks we hate.”
Not to say we hate cooking. Indeed, most of us really like to cook. But a lot of people I’ve talked to about eating seasonally and locally have told me they wished they had the time, but are too busy. Or they don’t know what they’d do with all the veggies from a CSA.
My suggestion? Make a “whisker goal.” If you normally eat out 3 times a week, then try cooking at home one of those nights, and pick a menu that features a local ingredient. If you normally eat at home but buy frozen food, pick up some fresh, seasonal veggies and use those for dinner. (Seasonal depends on where you live. I’m still cooking squash and potatoes while others are knee-deep in greens. More on that in another post.) If you cook a lot but rely on farmers’ markets, maybe it’s time to join a CSA.
It’s okay to start small. You never know where that little goal will take you.