March 26, 2023. Find your productive time.

Tiny actions work well for me-hence the book I wrote. However, even tiny actions cant always fight against my “down time.”

I have the majority of my energy in the morning. By the end of the school day, I am kind of like a wet noodle with not much energy. So tiny actions I accomplish in the morning now are

  1. Washing/putting away any dishes from the night before.
  2. Hanging up clothes from the night before.
  3. Tidying up the house/bathroom/bedroom.
  4. Grading papers.
  5. Practicing French.
  6. Cleaning out my car (before I pick up the carpool)
  7. Folding any laundry that I washed.

This may seem like a lot but I usually get ready in the morning and then have about 20 minutes left until I have to be out the door. Before implementing tiny actions, I would simply leave a lot of these tasks for after school/evening. Then, I would get home and be tired and not get anything done. Therefore I learned to maximize my energy in the morning and give myself a break in the afternoon/evening.

Do you know when your “peak energy” occurs? Can you maximize what you do during that time and cut yourself some slack for the rest of the time?

To my 110 subscribers and 336 followers-THANK YOU!

November 20, 2022. Ask a question

Last week at work, I had a misunderstanding with a colleague. After a few days of stewing, I finally decided to ask why this particular issue was happening. It was so insightful. There was a deep history behind the decision that ultimately affected me.

A tiny question. A tiny clarification. In a few tiny moments, I understood. I felt better. I relaxed, accepted it, and moved on. So simple and so tiny.

So this week I encourage you to ask a question if you don’t understand something. It may be a really complex issue. It may have nothing to do with you. You may be the end result of a lot of other decisions. OR it MAY have something to do with you that you need to change. However, you cant feel better by avoiding it. Another colleague said (at lunch) nothing gets better with avoidance and she is right.

Thank you to my 96 followers! My new book is available on Amazon under Jessica Riley Beebe. The kindle version just launched a few days ago!

Get your copy of Tiny Actions Big Results today!

November 9, 2022 My book has arrived!!!!!!

2-3 years of daily notes. Countless hours of reading and experimenting. All the tiny little actions that I tried, discarded, tried again, kept, improved. They have all led me here! My book is here! It is on Amazon! It is an accomplishment that is both exciting and scary.

You can either search Jessica Riley Beebe in the Amazon search bar or follow this link

I have already given one speech. I am booked to give another one in a month. Some authors may dread this. I find it exhilarating. Thank you to all the people that purchase a copy of the book, read this blog, email me Congrats! I appreciate all of you dearly.

To my husband who has been a source of encouragement from the beginning-THANK YOU!

To my sister who has taken up the social media side of being an author-THANK YOU!

To the others that have encouraged and helped me-THANK YOU!

To those that criticize-is it perfect? Probably not. Will you find an error? Maybe. Is my life full of ease and comfort because I have everything figured out? No. But guess what? I tried. And anyone who tries to do something to help people in this world is just fine by me. I can sleep at night knowing I tried.

My next book is in the works. Stay tuned and stay tiny! To my 94 followers-thank you and have a great week!

May 22-we don’t like to talk about failure.

Failure. The reason I started this blog was because I believe in the tiny habits and tiny steps toward a goal. However, I also wanted to “see failure.” So many books and stories tell you “I just did one or two things and now I’m successful.” And I KNOW that there are more ups and downs than that.

So I wanted to start this blog to document everything. And guess what? I know why people don’t want to document failures. Because it’s embarrassing. I didn’t want to fail this week and as I got ready to write his post, I didn’t want to write it because I feel as though I have failed at some things.

However, failure is a good time to regroup and scale back. I have come to believe that if you find yourself unable to make progress, then your actions/steps/habits are “too big.” You can NOT compare yourself to others at this point. Instead you need to scale back to what YOU can accomplish.

Here. is an example. Two weeks ago I went all week with no sugar, without chewing on ice. This week I have eaten sugar and have been chewing on ice. Each day I start again and I can’t help but think about “30 days of no sugar or even 1 week of no sugar.” and I immediately think it will be impossible. It is because I am thinking too big. I am imagining a place where I am not. A place that feels unattainable. And so I must change something and try again. Therefore…

I need to scale back. I will try to just eat one meal without sugar. Then two meals. Then three. Then a whole day. Then two days. Same with the ice chewing. If I am awake for 15 hours a day, I will try to go one hour without chewing it, then two, then three and so on.

Failure makes us vulnerable. It makes us feel weak. It doesn’t have to. Instead it can make us reevaluate and try again. We only fail when we stop and don’t keep striving to improve. I will let you know how it goes!

To my 83 followers…THANK YOU! And stay tiny! Scale back your actions so far that you are successful. Even if it feels silly. It will work. Save $1.00. Floss one tooth. Eat one healthy meal. Wash one dish. Do one load of laundry. Get to work early one day this week. You can do it! See you next week!

March 22, 2022-which mode are you in? Surviving, Tiny stepping, Bursting or Retreating?

Recently (on the treadmill actually) I was thinking about goals and working toward them and what a convoluted process it is and that led me to this post. I think we are always in 3 stages of something that we are experiencing (4 if you count retreating-but we are going to focus on the first 3)

  1. Survive and Advance
  2. Tiny steps forward
  3. Bursts forward
  4. Retreating-but we are trying to stay away from that for now.

So let’s take the goal of weight loss. We see a magazine article or diet book that promises “Lose 30 pounds in 30 days” and we get excited. We want to lose 30 pounds! And we can do it in 30 days-YES! So we start the diet, start working out and may even lose a couple pounds that first week. Then, we don’t lose weight in week 2 and we get frustrated. We keep trying the program and maybe lose 1-2 pounds in week 3 but then week 4 creeps up and we have lost nothing. We feel like a failure. We only lost a total of 4 pounds-we were supposed to lose THIRTY! So we give up, go to the grocery store, buy an entire bag of cookies and eat them all before we even get out of the parking lot. Thats just me? Oh ok (its ok-I know you have done it too and just don’t want to admit it) Then we retreat back into our old habits and ways until we try again to lose the weight.

We were in burst mode for 3o days and when our results were not as promised, we think we have failed.

In my opinion, every goal should be attacked in 3 ways and we should avoid #4 at all costs. But that is not how we currently do things. We “go burst or go home.”

So lets take the weight loss goal to start with. First, I survived the holidays/funerals/job change/house move/ etc…for last 10 months and only gained about 5ish pounds. Success! Next, I started taking a few tiny steps in the last couple of weeks like drinking more water, wearing my Fitbit to see how many steps I am averaging, and working on my sleep (supposed to help with weight loss). JUST this week (actually yesterday) I decided to cut out sugar for 30 days. It is a burst for sure but I am not doing ANYTHING ELSE differently with my diet, so it is also a bit of a tiny step to lead me back to the low carb lifestyle that I had been enjoying before my world exploded. The other tiny step I am working on is advancing my average steps for the week from 8100 to 8500.

I am not doing this for weight loss (although that would be an added bonus). Instead I want to feel better and stronger. I know that by cutting out sugar and increasing steps, those things will start to happen.

I will update you Sunday on how Week 1 went! To my 74 followers-what tiny step could you take this week toward a goal?

February 6,2022-“we don’t wake up and say today is the day to destroy my life”

I just heard a YouTube interview with Mel Robbins and she said this almost word for word. She then went on to explain what she meant and it really resonated with me. We make hundreds of decisions every day. TINY DECISIONS. And when those add up, it creates a life we like or a life we don’t.

For example, lets say that I use a different coffee cup every day and instead of washing it, I leave it in the sink. Then I put my lunch and dinner dishes in the sink. Then the sink fills up so I stack them on the counter. Then the counter fills up so I use paper plates. Then the garbage fills up because of all the trash. Then the trash fills up but its cold outside, so I simply put one bag of trash in the garage and start filling a second. Then that starts filling up. Then the bathroom trash can fills up but I have no where to dump that so I start just filling small grocery bags full of trash and placing them around the bathroom. It seems silly but I didn’t “wake up and decide to trash my house-it just kind of happened” and I would be telling the truth. It did just kind of happen. THEN I have to spend HOURS cleaning and tidying and I get into a bad mood. Then I snap at m husband. Then, then then…

It is JUST like that book, “If you give a mouse a cookie”. If you don’t know the book, I highly recommend it. The premise behind it is that if you give a mouse a cookie, he is going to want a glass of milk and then the whole book is what he needs after that-a napkin, a plate, etc…

The two stories above may seem like silly examples but I want to ask you…Do you have a pile of unopened mail somewhere? Do you have a pile of laundry somewhere? Do you have a sink full of dishes? Do you have boxes stacked up in the garage or basement that haven’t been looked at in a while? Do you have items in one part of the house that belong in another part of the house? Do you have things sitting out in your bathroom that need to be put away? Do you have a desk at work that needs to be organized? Do you have bills to pay or accounts to look at to budget your money for the week/month?

If you spend 4.50 a day on coffee/pop/cigarettes/beer/etc… and have it each day Mon-Fri, you spend 90.00 a month. You didn’t MEAN to spend 90 dollars a month, it just kind of happened. Then at the end of the year, you either have 1080 dollars in your bank account or you don’t. you have 1080 paid toward a debt or in a retirement account or you don’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a fancy coffee as much as the next guy, I am simply pointing out these small decisions that affect us long term and when we try to just “survive the day” we sometimes lose sight of how that will affect us in the future.

Another example is my sophomore year in college. I needed to lose the THIRTY pounds I had put on from freshman year. I read an article that said very simply if you cut out 250 calories a day and burn an extra 250 calories a day, you could lose 1 pound per week. In my 19 year old brain, this sounded easy. I left cheese and mayo off my sandwiches and drank water instead of juice. I also biked to my classes (uphill) instead of taking the student bus. I managed to lose about 25 pounds that year. And I felt great! Nothing I did was super drastic, it was merely a couple of tiny steps that changed my entire body.

So here is my challenge to myself and my question to my readers. What tiny decisions are you making each day that are “destroying your life?” I know that one of mine is eating a small piece of candy each day. It doesn’t seem like much and in the grand scheme of life, it isn’t much. However, that little piece of chocolate MIGHT be destroying all the weight loss efforts that I have been putting into place. Its worth a try to see if that helps. We all owe it to ourselves to examine what we are doing and change it in a tiny way if we want. I don’t want pants that don’t fit, so this is the small change I have to make this week.

THANK YOU to my 69 readers and followers! You keep me inspired!

August 18- Staging vs Living

Everyone’s lives are hectic. Work, house, kids, school, illness, self improvement, self care, etc… The list goes on. Some of the “hectic” we make ourselves (feeling the need to achieve certain goals) and some of it is thrust upon us (like a loved one getting sick). No matter what your story is, you probably have at least one part of your life that is a little crazy.

I used to try to calm the crazy. I used to try to control the crazy, or brush away the crazy, or ignore the crazy. You can’t. Just when you get the crazy taken care of in one area of life, something else pops up. For those of us that are perfectionists, this can eat at us terribly. We just want things to settle down.

Well, I don’t think it is going to happen. After 42 years of life, I think it is about riding the crazy. Staging to sell a house falls into the “control the crazy” category, OR the “don’t let others SEE your crazy.”

I titled this post “staging vs living” because if you have every tried to sell a house, you usually “stage it” a little so that potential buyers can imagine themselves in the space. It involves decluttering and removing personal items. It sometimes involves very neutral decor.

Well, yesterday I decided to flip the script. We have 3 bedrooms in our new house. 1 for my husband and I. 1 for the cats (they have a bedtime and get put in the bedroom for the night so they don’t run around the house-they like it I promise!) And 1 spare room. I SHOULD stage it as a bedroom. However, my husband and I would like to have more closet space….Soooooo….I am turning it into a GIANT closet! This is NOT realtor approved by the way. However, I had to look around at what we needed/wanted and figure out how to make it happen. We have very busy jobs and so having a clean and organized room for our clothes and shoes would be hugely helpful.

Yes, minimalism would tell me to get rid of some stuff, but I don’t want to. My husband doesn’t want to. And we are paying for a house every month so why can’t we make it what we want? Thats the realization I came to yesterday. I CAN have a GIANT walk in closet. And when it comes time to sell the house, I will box up my clothes and turn the room back into a bedroom. I will “STAGE” it. But for now…I am going to “LIVE” in it.

The tiny step part will be that I can’t do everything all at once. I will slowly move some of our clothes into this room, look for dressers at yard sales, paint, get curtains, etc…but I am going to LIVE in this space.

My question for you today is where are you “staging” your life instead of living it? Basically where are you putting on a show for others instead of taking care of what you need? For me, it is with this closet. For you? Ask yourself if you are “living” or “staging.”

Happy Wednesday to my 55 followers! Hope you have a great rest of the week. And tomorrow is going to be a tough one….I am supposed to do 16 minutes of elliptical AND rip out a bunch of landscape. My body is gonna HUUUURRRRRTTTT! Wish me luck!

August 3-tiny steps of exercise

I am a high school English teacher. Teaching, despite what people think, is sometimes a very physically demanding job (on your feet all day). A lot of teachers get out of shape during the summer. I don’t think I am out of shape, but I am definitely not in “ready form” to begin school. School meetings start in 20 days. Starting today, I am doing the elliptical for one MORE minute each day so that 20 days from now, I am exercising for 20 minutes.

I am typing this after completing my one minute today. Tomorrow, I will do two minutes. The next day, three minutes and so on. This may seem silly to you and I won’t lie, it felt silly right now to complete the minute and then getting off the elliptical because I was “done for the day.” However, that is the secret sauce of tiny steps.

Today felt easy. I am motivated, not discouraged, to exercise again tomorrow. Could I have done more? Absolutely. But I have done that before (especially around Jan 1, wink wink) You have too, I know it. You get excited and motivated. You join a gym. You buy new sneakers or a fitness monitor. You workout and feel good and then the next day (or day after) you are sore so you push your workout to Wednesday. And then your kid gets sick so you don’t exercise the next day. Now, its Friday-because we ALWAYS start on a Monday! And its Friday, so you sleep a little later and have a donut at work and someone brought you a coffee and you are going out after work for drinks with your colleagues. Then its Saturday and Sunday and you are right back where you started. You had the best of intentions but life got in the way.

Here is where the tiny steps come in-I am not going to let life get in the way. I can do one minute. And tomorrow I can do two. No matter what. And I keep going until I feel like I can’t do anymore. Maybe its 20? Maybe its 30? Maybe 45? I don’t know. What I do know is that I will keep increasing the minutes until I feel like I “can’t.” And if that is only 15 minutes a day? Then it is 15 minutes more than I have previously been doing so that is good! I will be more ready for school this year than if I had done nothing, and that is the point. I will keep you posted on my progress!

Thank you to my 54 followers! Each morning on the elliptical, I will think of you. Keep it tiny!

August 2-tiny changes can make a BIG difference

I am sure you have heard the above phrase and have maybe even considered it. However, like most people you think that it is crazy and you blow it off. Well, I am here to tell you that you can’t blow off this statement.

Last night, I cleaned the fascia of our house. I am not sure if that is exactly the right word for it, but we are having gutters installed in the next week or so and I thought I would clean the little trim piece of the house that is right above the gutters and below the roof.

WOW. I mean wow. It looks SO much better. To the unsuspecting eye, I am sure it looks like nothing. To me, it looks like accomplishment, hard work, cleanliness and pride in home ownership. It may seem silly that cleaning that little piece of my house could do so much, but it really did. It was a tiny little change that makes me super proud. We got a W today.

In sports, getting a W means that you got a win. This clean part of trim is a win. We also (my husband mostly) built a fire pit yesterday. How can a simple metal ring with some pavers around it make you feel? AMAZING. Another win! These are not huge changes to the house. Yes, they required some sweat and hard work and a little bit of money. But they have both made a huge improvement to the house.

We bought a bit of a fixer upper house, something very new for us, and so we have been making small changes for the last 5 weeks. Similar to a person, a house needs love and this house had not gotten any love for quite some time. (Older owner, then mother with 5 kids), so we are putting the love back into it and just like a neglected child, there are good days and not so good days.

Today is a good day. Today is a W.

To my 52 followers, I hope you have a W today!

July 25-be honest with yourself

I would love to be a professional writer. In my mind, a professional writer wakes up, drinks some coffee for inspiration, types out words that inspire and teach and entertain others, and then receives a check in the mail every few weeks that is more money that she can make at a “day job.”

I realize a lot of you are laughing out loud right now. The professional writer “dream” or “wish” is what I described above. It is kind of like wishing or dreaming of winning the lottery. It is something you want to have happen and you think it will make your life perfect if it does.

However, here’s the disconnect. You can’t win the lottery if you don’t buy a ticket and you can’t become a writer if you don’t put pen to paper. I understand the first one, so why am I struggling with the second one? I think it is because I want the fantasy of being a writer-a JK Rowling that puts an idea on cocktail napkins and then has more money than the Queen of England. But fantasy does not get the job done. It does not get the actual job of WRITING done.

So this morning I had to be honest with myself-how much time and effort am I truly putting into this dream? And if I am completely honest? It is kind of like I am buying a lottery ticket and then just waiting for something to happen. I get on facebook, do a load of laundry, do some dishes, drive to the grocery store, etc… I am not REALLY trying very hard. And that is a tough pill to swallow.

So I have two choices-I can keep “dreaming and wishing” and hoping that someone shows up at my doorstep with a giant monetary advance OR I can swallow the bitter pill of honesty and start taking steps toward figuring out how to be a professional, aka PAID, writer.

The first one is much easier. But it is not producing any results. So it looks like I need to start in on the second one.

First tiny step-be honest with myself.

Second tiny step-make a dedicated writing spot.

Third tiny step-apply butt to chair (my writing professor in college told me that one) and start writing, and researching, and reaching out to others to figure out how the heck to do this. I will keep you posted.

THANK YOU to my 52 followers! You inspire me to keep going every day!