A House in the Hills contains some contextual affiliate links. An affiliate link is a link in which advertisers have agreed to pay a commission should a purchase be made from that click-through. I do not post anything that i haven't or wouldn't purchase myself.


All images on this site are taken by myself or Lou Mora, unless otherwise noted. We're happy for you to share for any non-commercial purpose but please make sure to link back to the original post and give credit where it's due. Conversely, should we feature an image of yours that you see mis-credited or would like taken down, please let us know and we'll take care of it right away! Good interweb manners are always appreciated. Cheers!



hi everyone!  as promised, i'm going to start sharing some of my random thoughts, life lessons, and general contemplations about whatever comes up.  this series is going to be called musings, at least until i think of something better (WHY ARE TITLES THE HARDEST THING EVER?!).  and if you have anything specific you want me to ramble on about, you know where to find me!  {here, silly!}

today i want to talk about something that's been on my mind lately, and what i've realized has opened up a world of doors for me.  i used to look at a goal or ambition and become insanely overwhelmed thinking about all of the daunting details involved with achieving it.  i'd get so defeated that i'd often give up before i started.  point A to point B would often seem SO far away and almost impossible to imagine getting to. what i've learned since then is that the best way to get where you want to go (or become who you want to be) is one small step at a time.  

for example, i spent all of my 20's wishing i knew how to cook, wanting to be one of those people that could swoop into a kitchen and whip up something incredible with whatever was on hand.  but i didn't see a direct route to become that person, so i was overwhelmed and just sort of accepted that it wasn't meant to be.  i thought maybe i just wasn't that person.  but i've since realized that that person didn't wake up one day, breeze into the kitchen and throw together an amazing meal.  they started at a beginning somewhere and took who knows how many steps to become kitchen fluent before they EVER just spontaneously threw together an incredible dish.  and after my fair share of time in the kitchen following recipes, browsing cookbooks, experimenting (and failing) i am now proudly a person who can improvise in the kitchen!  {more after the jump}

so my advice is this: whatever it is you want to accomplish, forget about how long it will take you to get there, don't focus on everything that will be involved in doing so, and instead sink all of your energy into doing any small thing that will get you closer.  

do you want to be a person who travels the world?  start a savings account, create a vision board of photos of the places you want to go, start journaling and write about the places you want to visit, get a part time job and squirrel those extra pennies away for your travel adventures, subscribe to a travel magazine, plan a garage sale to get rid of some of your stuff and put the proceeds into your piggy bank.  just tackle something every day that moves you in that direction. focus on the small things you can do to get you onto that flight to nepal. don't worry about the big picture, life/momentum/the universe will take care of the rest. i promise, one day you will wake up and realize YOU ARE that person that travels the world.  

what do you think?  have you experienced similar anxiety when looking at a something you want to accomplish/become and then let that anxiety paralyze you?  what have you done to move past it?  thanks everyone, i hope you like this new series!  more soon.  xx- sarah

References (3)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: Take Small Steps
    just tackle something every day that moves you in that direction. focus on the small things you can do
  • Response
    Response: Not so bad
    Interesting apinion
  • Response
    MUSINGS : TAKE SMALL STEPS - a house in the hills - interiors, style, food, and dogs

Reader Comments (30)

I think the biggest thing for me has been to find a friend who can help teach me whatever I want to learn or motivate myself to follow through.

Chase Miller
The Smell of Summer

06/04/13 | 3:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterChase @ The Smell of Summer

thanks for this today! i'm having goal anxiety. the a to b distance seems so far. i really need to map out a.1 to a.2 before trying to make the leap
kw ladies in navy

06/04/13 | 3:51 PM | Unregistered Commenterkelsey

This is exactly (EXACTLY) what I needed to hear and thus practice. I am struggling with many many goals, one of which is to get out more in the web world. Today I took a small first step and commented on one of my favorite bloggers sites (that would be this one :). Thank you.

06/04/13 | 4:6 PM | Unregistered Commenterlolo

thank you. i needed to read this today.

06/04/13 | 4:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterkaye

This is so helpful right now. I'm a recent law school graduate studying for the bar...and its so hard not to worry about how I'll be employed afterwards. This really reminded me how much I need to simply focus on studying hard.

06/04/13 | 5:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrittany

This is awesome , thank you sometimes you need that encouragement from a friend. Blog friend. ha. I have always worked since I was 16 and I am 35 and feeling the urge to finish college. I loose focus at times because I like to make money and I love to shop so this fall I need to just take the plunge and do it. Focus on that degree and forget the rest. Thank you so much for sharing Sarah.


06/04/13 | 6:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMyrna

Wow - what great thoughts. I must I too get overwhelmed by my goals so this line really speaks to me ' just tackle something every day that moves you in that direction' - in the next few months I'm going to start smaller to reach my goals!

06/04/13 | 10:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Hi Sarah (and everyone else that needed this advice!) - have you read any of the posts on zenhabits about habit change and starting small when making changes... I have found them really helpful when I was having the same thoughts - I always want to go from zero to amazing! Here is a good one -

06/05/13 | 3:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterSarah B

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>