My husband is a chef. He cooks for people with special diets. Like me. I’m a good cook, too. But we cook in totally different ways. He will get a recipe, go shopping, and follow that recipe to the last word. He’ll charge ahead for 15 pages, if that’s how long it is. I do not have that kind of patience. I, on the other hand, will open the refrigerator, see what is left over and what is fresh, and make up a meal on the spot. Different results, for sure.
We agree on one thing, though. If you are cooking from a recipe, follow the ingredient list and steps exactly the first time. Taste it. Then, and only then, make changes according to your taste. You don’t want to mix inventive and recipe-following at the same time. If it doesn’t taste great, you won’t know why.
There seems to be a connection to real life here. We decide on a marketing plan, or on a resolution, or on a list of books we want to tackle. Once the plan is in place, a million excuses show up, asking to be tried out. Start in a week. Don’t read that book on your list, change it. That marketing plan won’t work, so why try?
Don’t sabotage your plan by not trying it out fully. Follow your recipe. Try out whatever new thing you dreamed up for a set period of time. Maybe two weeks, maybe eight, maybe three months. Set that timeline when you dream up the plan. Stick to it. If it isn’t working, you’ll know it’s not just a bad day. You’ll have something very specific and very precious–you’ll have clarity. You’ll know why it didn’t work. Then you have something to base change on. A change that will lead to more clarity.
—Quinn McDonald has a plan she’s following.