Anything worth doing is worth is worth preparing for. Some people ask, where did you find the time to do a, b, or c? Others find the moments to make it happen. The difference isn’t the talent, its the preparation.

It may seem elementary to you, but it surprised me when I discovered how many of the great artists painted multiple versions of their work. I knew they may have made sketches, but they also painted smaller starter works, and then the larger masterpiece. They wanted to make sure they didn’t miss anything in the process.

I wish I could tell you I’m one of those who has all their Christmas shopping finished in October, but I’m not. I do however know firsthand the value of preparation. If you want to do anything well, you have to plan for it.

We live in a time when the tools for it make anything possible. I’d like to share some concepts and tools with you today. The concepts are simple, record, sketch, and increments.

Everyone says it, because it’s true, first you must put your idea in written form. Whether it’s a note on your smartphone, or a list on a post it, it’s got to be written down. The fact is, mentally, and emotionally, it gives the idea weight. This creates almost a responsibility to see that it gets finished.

It does more than that alone, it gives it form. God set a precedent in creation, His words formed and shaped the world. We are finite, He is infinite, but He did place life in our words. Writing it down will help your idea to begin to take shape.

There are paper people and digital ones, so finding the right tool is important. Some still find a pen and a notebook to help them the most. If so, keep one in your briefcase or purse, and by your bed. Others find Evernote, Notability, Notes on iOS, or Google Keep to be good options.

A lot of ideas benefit from a visual connection, sketching them helps us see how to complete the project. It shows us the sharp angles and round corners that we will have to contend with. It can be a visual heads up to the obstacles we’re going to face to accomplish the task.

Many use a drawing program like Art Rage, while some use software such as Penultimate. Some sketch on a tablet, others a computer, and still more on paper. In a very real way, a drawing can illustrate the next phase of our lives.

My favorite concept though is the realization that we don’t have to do it all at once, we can conquer in increments. Often we fail to begin because we think of the project as a whole, but almost any project can be broken down into smaller sections.

Whether it’s planning financially for a vacation, starting a hobby, or obtaining an education it can be done in time. Knowing this can alleviate the pressure and cause you to think clearly about the task in front of you. The tool in this case varies to the task, but in almost every field there exists something to help along the way.

In the end, every project is like the paleontologist’s dinosaur skeleton. Nothing worth doing comes assembled, but that’s okay. The T Rex, which scares you really can’t harm you. As far as his size, don’t worry, just build him one limb at a time. A little glue, a game plan, some preparation, and your exhibit will be ready for all to see before you know it.

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