Be Your Own “Tanya”: Eat That Frog!

Senior year in college was difficult both in and out of the classroom.  Writing 10 page papers and sometimes 15 on topics like “Racial Reconciliation in South Africa” was becoming a normal, time consuming, part of my life.

Outside of the classroom  I was an active member of our Christian fellowship Intervarsity.  The college I attended was huge and had a lot of Christian groups.  I decided our fellowships needed another organization to act as a go between to make our outreach on campus more effective.  With the help of a team, I did things like organize a month long “Prayer and Fasting for our Campus” event in which people signed up for slots of time, committing to pray and fast for our campus.

 I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of being an underachiever.

Surprisingly (ha, ha) I had a bit of a meltdown at the end of my first semester because those dreaded exams had arrived and I didn’t have any idea how I was going to study for the tests, write the papers, fulfill my commitments, and manage to sleep and eat.  I was beginning to freak out.

Enter stage left: Tanya.  Tanya was our Intervarsity leader.  She was a campus missionary whose job was to guide the student leaders throughout the year.  Tanya was a woman of amazing faith and strength.  She was constantly pouring her life into the students but not to the point of being unbalanced.  She always got away to be with her Lord.

Tanya would attend our student leader meetings and every time she would carry along this soft, golden tan, leather Daykeeper with a shiny silver Cross mechanical pencil.  She would open it at every meeting and take a couple notes and write in appointments.  This book was always with her.

Checking in with me one night, asking how things were going, I revealed my panic about my “unbelieveable” schedule.  She calmly made an appointment with me to meet in the school food court the next day.  “”Everything is going to be fine”, she assured me.

The next day Tanya spent two hours listening to me pour out my heart.  She then had me write down everything- and I mean everything- I had to do in the next three weeks.  Tanya helped me weed out the nonessentials and order my priorities.  She taught me that when you can’t get the sleep requirements that you would normally get, you have to make sure you are eating regularly to protect your body.  By the end of the session, my life was planned out hour by hour and peace finally entered my heart.

Never once during that meeting did she suggest I miss my quiet time with God by the way.  She felt that it was especially important during this time.  Did I say she was an amazing woman?

As I reflected on one of my January book assignments, “Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get Motivated”, Tanya came to mind.  The Daykeeper, the writing down of all my responsibilities and then breaking them into smaller tasks……these are all similar to what the author Brian Tracy suggests in his book.

Brian Tracy also shares some other apples of truth that are helpful as well.  Today I want to mention the first that is also the title of the book, “Eat That Frog”.

Brian begins his book introduction with these words:

“Mark Twain  once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day.  Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task,  the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it.  It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment.”

Brian goes on to say: “The first rule of frog eating is this: If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.   This is another way of saying that if you have two important tasks  before you, start with the biggest, hardest most important task first.  Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete  before you go on to something else.”

May I encourage you to be your own “Tanya” this weekend and sit down and take a fresh look at the goals you have for yourself?  Is it possible that the reason you don’t ever get around to _________ (fill in the blank) is that you haven’t seen it for what it really is- your “frog”?  Perhaps if you treat that thing you “just can’t seem to find the time for” or “never get around to” is because you need to make it the first frog you eat in your day?

Maybe you really are the person you have been longing to be.  It doesn’t have to allude you.  You just need to “eat that frog” every day as a form of baby steps to get you there.

Tomorrow is my goal writing day so I am writing this post for myself just as much for anyone else.  I too get tired and a bit fuzzy thinking about where it was I was going with my energy before the kids needed me, my husband needed me to help him with something, the dogs threw up on the carpet, and the vacuum broke.

Keep moving forward.  You can do this thing called life.  Thanks for letting me be your “Tanya” for a couple minutes 🙂 


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