The “one thing” that is changing everything!

I spent the first 4 months as a full time artist learning how to navigate this new unstructured territory.

Before I quit my job in January, I had a LONG list of what I wanted to accomplish with my art biz, and envisioned it would be easy to tackle everything on my list with so much new found time on my hands.

Boy was I in for a reality check, as I shared with you here!

So I spent the first 3 months experimenting with different daily rituals, trying them on for size, constantly tweaking my schedule.  Then I read “The One Thing” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, and the final puzzle piece of how to effectively spend my days finally fell into place.

Bottom line – THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I can do right now is ….

… learn new art techniques. Period.

EVERYTHING else takes a back seat.

And this takes time, lots of it.

Creating art seems like such an easy thing to do, yet it is also the easiest thing to put on the back burner.  Turns out that was I treating my art-making practice as an optional luxury, and something I would do AFTER all my other ducks were in a row.

Like you, I have A LOT of ducks.

The One Thing” made me look deep within my soul to find the most important thing to spend my time on, and that by doing this, everything else would be easier, or maybe even unnecessary.

So on April 9th, I made this commitment to myself:

I am blocking out 4 hours a day, Monday-Friday, to develop my skills as an artist, with the overall intention of expanding my unique and inspiring voice.  Everything else I want to do with my art biz (blogs, newsletters, Instagram, etc.), comes after I get this one thing done each day.

Now on week two, this simple commitment is already making a huge difference in the speed in which I am learning new artistic skills, and integrating them into what I already know how to create. I suddenly have plenty of time to experiment and play, take workshops, and have fun with art making once again.

And my unique voice is beginning to show her timid self,

one painting and experiment at a time.


To make this type of commitment also means that I have to give something up. 

There just isn’t time for ALL I envision doing. 

For starters, I’ve decided to post to Instagram every other day, instead of every day. To my surprise, that appears to work equally well.  My community isn’t abandoning me while I spend the extra time to make art. Who knew?!

By the way, the picture in this post is one of MANY new paintings I have created with a joy-filled heart in the past couple weeks, and is a direct bi-product of following my “one thing”!


Coming soon – all the juicy details of my new daily schedule, which includes my 4 hour daily commitment.

I’m curious what is YOUR one thing, the thing that by doing it, everything else would be easier or maybe even unnecessary?  Please share in the comments below so that we can support each other as we each take our next steps toward our deepest heart’s desire.


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10 thoughts on “The “one thing” that is changing everything!”

  1. Thanks for writing this. It really is so easy to avoid doing art, and I’m not sure why (for me that is true). Maybe I’m just afraid it will not be good? I think that has something to do with it. Maybe I am very scatterbrained and I can’t narrow down what I actually want to do, that’s part of it too. But this four hour rule is kind of putting it in perspective for me… especially lately, maybe not every day, but there are a lot of days that I spend four hours browsing my phone (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc); and I know it’s not good for me. I’d like to minimize the time I am spending on line. There is a happy medium in there somewhere. I need to recommit to being creative. I hope that the nicer weather brings me out of my funk (I tend to get depressed in the colder months in New England). Thanks for the blog post!

    • Lindsay,

      I totally understand your hesitation to create. Very similar for me which is why I have to gently prod myself into doing it be following a rather structured schedule. Like you, it is too easy to waste my time doing things that are not meaningful, but easier than facing myself with art. You would think artmaking would be just fun and full of joy, yet it can also make you face your fears on so many levels. Reading “The One Thing” might help you get clearer and more structured if the idea of devoting a certain amount of hours each day to art appeals to you.

      I wish you all the best as you find a way to fit art into your life on a regular basis. Best therapy I know of, and I’ve been to all types!


  2. I am following with interest your path you have taken. Very brave indeed to quit your job and I wish you much success and adventures in art. I am also an artist, but in the polymer clay world and have started a Facebook page for my CleverclayShop on Etsy. I will post this on my page as I think it is so inspirational.

    • Leslie,

      I am very touched that you choose to follow my journey. Lovely to know that we are walking this artistic path together. Thank you for the very kind words and for sharing my post with your world.


  3. Catherine, as usual, you continue to inspire me.
    I love you and your art.
    Keep it up, sistah!
    Be well.
    Katt Raines

  4. Cat you inspire me with your purpose, passion and path. I’m going to need to get that book. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to seeing your new creations!
    Be blessed,

    • Barb,
      I am so very touched by your loving words. Thank you from the center of my being for choosing to be part of my journey, and allowing me to be part of yours.
      Much love to you,

  5. LOVE the new piece!! I am anxious to hear how you have structured your day. As I prepare to make the leap to retirement and will finally have the time to devote to my quilting and my garden, I worry about what the structure of my day will look like. I like having structure (I NEED structure 🙂 ) and right now it is imposed from the outside…can I impose it from within??? Keep making are, I am loving watching your journey!!

    • Peggy,

      First, thanks so much for your kind words about my new piece. Always a bit nerve racking sharing a very new style. Second, moving from having structure from a job to no structure has been quite the challenge for me, but after 4 months, I’m finally getting the hang of it. What I don’t want to do is “waste” my time, which is sooooo easy to do when doing the laundry is easier that sitting down and creating art. LOVE art making, but its VERY easy to avoid because I often down’ know what to create. So I hear your concern because I’m living it! Thank you for taking this journey with me, and sharing a bit of yours with me.

      Hugs, Cat


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