Posted by: deadmousediaries | September 10, 2014

Objects at Rest Catching Fire: Overcoming Inertia with Mitchell Kyd

Remember Sir Isaac’s Law  from your 11th grade physics class? Objects at rest stay at rest; objects in motion, stay in motion. Sound familiar?

The rest of that law reads: unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. I don’t want to admit that I might be unbalanced, nor is my friend DW, but we have once again tapped into a force that I know ALWAYS works for me in overcoming inertia. I do more than in get in motion; I am catapulted into overdrive when we set some fires and make a commitment to meet weekly to do goal-setting and accountability sound-offs.  My News from the Path Valley Hotel series of stories and many of my new freelance gigs are results of our first set of meetings in 2012.

We’ve recently reconvened for Round II and I’ve already shifted a lot of things from my To-Do list to the Ta-Done! column. I love making those exaggerated, colorful check marks next to an intimidating blockade of words that a week prior made me want to run away screaming. 8 )

How it works: We have cleared our calendars for the same day and time for the next three months. Commitment and consistency are key to this adventure (with an understanding that life will occasionally get in the way of best-laid plans). Meeting locations are flexible as long as they are comfy and private enough for truth-telling. Home is good– if everyone else is gone.

We both start with our own new notebooks dedicated to this work. Over time, all kinds of doodles, art clips and paste-ins may embellish them but the primary content is a list of our weekly promises to ourselves — and our successes. Each meeting consists of an out-loud run through of last week’s list and updates on each item. The atmosphere is supportive and forgiving but we are getting better at gently prodding and asking the tough questions about why any particular task wasn’t completed or even begun. In that way, we keep each other honest.  When we really hit our groove again, those weekly assignments will get more aggressive and morph into stretch goals.

Why it works for us: It’s been a long time since I got a star sticker on a homework assignment or had someone tack one of my accomplishments to the front of the fridge but that doesn’t mean I don’t still ramp up my game when I wave a visual reminder of my success in front of me. Ditto for getting an affirming atta’girl from someone I respect – and that is definitely my friend DW.

There is amazing power in the simple act of writing down what you want to achieve. If nothing else, it forces you to clearly articulate what that is and then it gives you focus. In the bigger realm, that writing evolves  into affirmations as you begin to visualize the thing you want as something you have already accomplished as in: I am so happy now that I have cleared my desk  of clutter. The freshly organized space makes it easier for me to find what I need and get started faster on what I want to really want to get done. I look forward to sitting down in my personal work space. It inspires creativity and I am grateful for my talents. When you let yourself feel that effects of that accomplishment, you are well on your way to Ta-Done!.

If you haven’t done any reading about the Law of Attraction or gobbled up all the good stuff  in Write it Down; Make it Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser, put those items on your to-do list (or call me to borrow books). My meetings with DW were inspired from all this.

There are two other great things about writing it down: you can break each task into manageable micro movements AND you get to award yourself credit for every single thing you accomplish.  (More star stickers on your homework assignments!) Author Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, better known as SARK, often writes about the micro movement approach and gives a relatable example of how to break tasks into those do-able chunks. For instance, if you want to clean your closet but every time you even think about it, you have to go lie down, SARK recommends taking baby steps every day until it’s accomplished. By baby steps I mean, on Day One, open the closet door. Day Two, remove two empty hangers, etc., etc., etc.

My journals are filled with micro movement progress. As I’ve gotten better at this, I realize these baby steps are the  road maps that get me around obstacles, real or imagined.  This is critical for me now as I face the fallout of major life changes. I’m working on building up my strength to tackle all the work that no one else can do for me. I need the emotional resilience to bench press 300 pounds of baggage and that ain’t happenin’ anytime soon. What I can do to start is assert some control over a one-pound hand weight until I can swing two pounds.

There is  nothing new under the sun, including all of this, but maybe I’ve packaged it in a way that resonates for you right now. It’s how you put to work what others have learned that moves you forward. And in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”  MK




  1. Truly inspiring! Gave me a few tidbits to toss into my Writing Journal.

    • Hey!So good to hear from YOU! This post was clearly a fluke; it contained something constructive. Most of my writing is, well, my crazy stories, but I’m really happy to know you’re reading!

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