Operation Get Shit Done


As of late I’ve been suffering from a bit of fear. You see, out of the corner of my eye, I’m pretty sure I can see the proverbial Brass Ring. And I’m pretty sure that if I stood on my tip toes (or just wore some tall shoes) and stretched just a littttlllle bit out of my comfort zone? That brass ring would be mine. As well as the over sized stuffed tiger and that cool t-shirt with the airbrushed Camaro.But apparently, I’m a bit afraid of The Success. What happens if I get everything I’ve ever wished for? Then what? Things are cozy and comfortable and familiar here in Prettygoodville! Would I feel out of place in Emerald City? What if there’s a dress code and they don’t like my thrifted, $7 outfits?

I was discussing this neurosis with a good friend of mine, a lady who’s also poised on the edge of Great Things, but engaging in a good bit of self sabotage in an effort to maintain the status quo of Prettygood. Why design business cards when I can watch an episode of The Office on Hulu? Why write a book proposal when I can spend the afternoon trying to convince my cat to wear a sweater? I need to be doing those things – every small step adds up to something bigger. And each one is a step towards the life that I want.

So the friend and I developed a plan to end this foolishness, a little plan that we’re calling Operation Get Shit Done. This plan has two, incredibly complex parts.

Part one: Print out this Marianne Williamson quote, look at it every day and burn it into my psyche.

Part two: Have an accountability buddy. The friend and I each make weekly goals (smallish, doable, quantifiable ones) and then email each other every Thursday to see how the goals are progressing. We give each other pep talks, coo over accomplishments and give each other (virtual) stern looks and inspiring links if things aren’t quite going well.

Having someone that I have to report to each week has helped me immensely – I don’t want to let myself (or her) down and talking through what worked and what didn’t is helpful in itself. Plus it gives me an excuse to look at photos like this one. Okay, and this one. Just as I’m less likely to spend a Saturday in my underwear, consuming entire bags of shredded cheese if there’s someone around to witness it, I’m more likely rise to the occasion if I know someone’s watching. Here’s hoping that what I’m working towards is worth watching!

What do you do when you’re trying to get through a big project? Is anybody else afraid of getting what they wish for?



preach! amen! this this this! haha, how does the Internet manage to serve up EXACTLY what I need to read every time! <3 you miss von!

Ashe Mischief

Yes yes yes. I totally need someone in my life who will push me to that next level of greatness, and keep me accountable for what I do. D:

Bad to say, but true–I know the beau won't do it, because he can be lazy & happy at Pretty Good just like I can be (while also kind of wanting that Something Great…)

The Naked Redhead

Ugh, I do! I think you're right…it boils down to fear. What if people don't think I'm funny? What if my idea is dumb? What if they don't think I'm qualified? What if the work is too much? WHAT IF I MISS THE NEXT EPISODE OF CASTLE!?

I'm on the same path as you, friend…it's time to stop "being" and start "doing". Shit don't happen by itself. If you need a third accountability buddy, I'm in.


time to break out of that jelly mold, my friend. done miring in the goo! up, up and AWAY!!! 🙂 i feel like your greatest accomplishments will be things that are wilder than what you could ever imagine, and you love a good adventure..sooo???

Amelia M

This post could not have been better timed! I fall victim to this sort of self-sabotage far too often. I tell myself I could do this or that if I really wanted to, but I never accept that challenge. Fear of success is just a guise for fear of failure, so lately I've been trying to tell myself that the greater tragedy would be not trying at all. Thanks for writing this, it's incredibly helpful to hear how other people Get Shit Done.


Ah i do that far too much.
I have a massive TO DO (underlined 3 times) list written on a whiteboard, and a page from a universty prospectus pinned underneath. Just as a subtle reminder…


I'm very guilty of that. I feel like I've been in the "Doing Okay" to "Pretty Good" sector for way to long and I need to push myself past it. I have no problem writing down what I need to do, but when it comes down to actually putting it into action? That's another story. Good job on you and the friend reporting to one another for progress and holding one another accountable.


I'm a list maker. I'll get it done if it's written down – something about marking things out makes me WANT to do it.

Good luck with your to-dos!


I always think of someone who is a role model to me and then think "If so and so was watching me, what would they think?" This is one of my monthly goals.


Eek! I'm currently right in the midst of half getting shit done and half sitting rigidly in terror at the thought of pushing myself further to do Great Things (capitalization necessary)

I'm all about the list thing, as many of you all are, and doing one thing of the list everyday, but I really struggle with the visualization of the end point. I can't get past my limiting beliefs enough to ever dare to dream of what my brass ring might be.

Bah, time to imagine the wildest possible outcome, time to take the small steps that lead to the big ones, time to get shit done!
Thanks for this post Sarah! You always fire me up!


dude…..i have that quote tacked to my desk at work AND in my office space at home. for real! you can hazzz IT ALL!!! anyone can!


This is such a good idea, and the name makes it more fun, haha.

I think I fall into that category–I usually will bury myself in schoolwork so much so that I don't have enough time for my more creative hobbies. I think I'm afraid that no one will like the jewelry or paintings or anything else that I make! Or that they will think that it is a frivolous waste of time.


Oh man, thank you! This is exactly what I've been worried about over the last year and exactly what I needed to read. (Sometimes I wonder if you're secretly stalking me :p)



sarah von, i love your style. thanks for the great post, i am launching my own "operation get shit done" asap.


I know the feeling. My husband is my accountability buddy. He's incredibly sweet about it, but I'm still guilty of wanting to stuff a sock in his mouth sometimes.


I think I would only be afraid of getting what I wish for if I was actually really close to getting it. My dreams are still pretty far off, so I'm much more frustrated by that than anything else!


Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.