Back in June I ordered an exercise bike for my office. I was really excited, ready to commit to more physical activity, and couldn’t wait to get started…until the bike arrived. I opened the box and was greeted by a thick instruction manual which included a diagram outlining the correct placement of approximately 1.2 bazillion pieces. Before I’d even emptied the box, I panicked: “How will I ever put this together?” I thought. “You’d need an engineering degree to know what they’re talking about here! Do I even have the proper tools?”

Feeling defeated, I reluctantly pulled out the packing material, certain that I was starting an all-night project. But when I finally saw the contents of the box, I had to laugh. There, nestled into layers of styrofoam and plastic, were a half-dozen large, pre-assembled metal and plastic pieces and a bag of nuts and bolts. About 40 minutes later I was sitting on my bike with a new appreciation for the term “Some Assembly Required.”

Here in the middle of January I awoke in a similar panic. Like many people, I started the month with lists and plans. I’m taking a class, I joined a book club, I’m rethinking my entire business, and all of this feels like it needs to be done this month. Preferably, right now. (Actually, wait, I don’t already have the Master Plan in place?!) I’m feeling overwhelmed by all of it. What if I don’t have the right degree, or the right tools? How can I take these complicated plans and assemble my days when there are so, so many pieces?

Then I remembered my experience with the bike. And realized that even if I don’t have ALL of what I need, I came to today with SOME of the skills and experience I need to get things done. I’m not starting from scratch, not today or any day. None of us are. When we build on what we know, and learn from others as much as possible, then some of those many, many parts are already assembled. It’s much easier for me to face each day when I know that there’s only SOME assembly required.

What about you? Are you tackling those big plans? What helps you to put together the pieces of your projects and goals?