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Let’s Get Started

Categories The 52 Cards Experiment0 Comments

To remind you, the basic premise behind the 52 Cards Experiment is this:

  • Get a deck of cards.
  • Write one tiny, incremental, bit of life change on each card.
  • Draw one new card each week and focus intensely for that week on trying to make that one, tiny change.
  • Daily (or as often as you have time) flip through the cards from the past weeks and see if you are keeping up with those previous changes. Or fill in the 52-cards-checklist-form so you can tick a box every day.  :D
  • Do this for about a year and nine months.
  • Experience the total bliss that comes with having accomplished something of value.

If you have no clue as to why I am doing this, read my previous post.

There are easy ways to get started and more time-consuming ways to get started.  Choose whichever you like.


Path of Least Resistance

Google something like “small changes I can easily make to feel better/happier/be more productive/awake/energetic/strong/cool,” etc.  Pick five faves and write them on cards, any cards or paper.  You are now ready to go.


I know.  So easy.  I am sure you are thinking, “But Jen, what about the other 47 goals?”

Do them later.  A year is a very long time.  And yes, I know I am a procrastinator, but really, you can put this off.  I will remind you to plan some more cards.  Just be sure to follow the Watch Mom Try Facebook page; I will post it all there.

Path of Some Resistance

Get a pen and some scratch paper or a napkin/receipt/cereal box (or just draw with your finger in the dust on a table).

Go ahead.  Get it now.  I will wait.


Make a big brainstorm list of all the stuff you would like to change in your life, or accomplish, try, etc.  Then try to come up with very small habits you can do, ideally daily, that will nudge you forward towards these things.  For example, I want to write a math book for small children, but I never prioritize the work.  I was incredibly intrigued by the concept of habit stacking, and I think it would give my day the structure I need to get more done, and feel better/happier/etc.  So I will make the following habits some of my 52 Cards to help me work towards this on a regular basis:

  • Drink a glass of water to banish dehydration and make sure my brain can actually create decent thoughts.
  • Clear my desk, turn off notification, then work for 25 minutes, followed by a 5 minute break (not sure what I will do on the break, but it will be some kind of reward).
  • Keep a notebook and pen handy on my desk for writing down distracting thoughts, to-do list items, etc, so I don’t totally lose my flow.
  • Make my bed every day (it’s supposed to help you feel instantly productive, which I know will help start the ball rolling for me right away).
  • Get dressed in “real clothes,” so I feel engaged in working, as opposed to clothes that encouraged vegging out on the couch. I do find that if you put in the effort, you feel more energized or prepared to work.

Hopefully over time I will add a habit stack to start as soon as I get home from the school run that will really impact my productivity. I am envisioning stacking together the glass of water, a 10 minute workout, a 10 minute tidy up, starting a laundry load, 10 minutes of meditation or coloring, so I will be in a good mindset to sit down and work.

Path of Most Resistance

Some folks like to do worksheets.  This is for you. Print out the 52 Cards Worksheet.  It will walk you through the process of brainstorming and ordering all your goals for the year that fit with your personal priorities so you will have an amazing, aligned year that moves you light years forward in your life.  At the very least it will help you try.  ;)

So, get started!  We have just a few more days until January 1st.  I will post my progress on the Watch Mom Try Facebook page, so if you just want to copy what I am doing each week, feel free!

Jennifer Jasensky is currently a New Jersey resident, formerly a resident of Dubai and Singapore, and a Chicagoland native. A former mathematics teacher and dancer/choreographer, she is an outgoing homebody and perpetual idealist whose love of learning knows no bounds. She hates writing bios, so that's all you get. :D

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