Zibby Owens: Tonya Dalton is the author of The Joy of Missing Out: Live More by Doing Less. Tonya is the founder and CEO of inkWELL Press Productivity Co., a business focused on helping women create fulfilling lives around their priorities. Her podcast, “Productivity Paradox,” has been downloaded more than a million times since its launch in 2017. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Ashville, North Carolina.

Welcome, Tonya. Thanks for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books.”

Tonya Dalton: Thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Zibby: It’s so great to have you here in person. I love it.

Tonya: I do too. I love that we’re doing this in person because most podcasts you do either video or you do over the phone. This is so nice. I’ve followed you for a long time. It’s so nice to finally get to meet you.

Zibby: It’s so different when you’re actually with someone. You can have a normal conversation and look them in the eye. It’s much harder for me to do over the phone.

Tonya: I agree. You get those awkward pauses. This is nice.

Zibby: Hangin’ out getting to know each other. In that vein, can you tell everybody what The Joy of Missing Out is about? This your first book.

Tonya: It is, yes. I am so excited about The Joy of Missing Out. Honestly, it is more than a book to me. It’s a movement to help women stop feeling that heavy burden of busy. I feel like we think that we are supposed to be busy and when we’re not busy, we are somehow failing. The book really is about, how do you create a life for yourself that isn’t busy, is really focused on what matters most, but still allowing you to get the things done that you need to get done? You’ve still got to do laundry. You’ve still got to pay the bills. You still have all those other things to do. How do we make it so that we have a priority-centered life while still focusing on what matters most and using the majority of our time to do that? It is a system to create that in your own life, which is what I’m excited about.

Zibby: What do you do? What’s the system?

Tonya: That’s a good question. We walk through the four steps in the book of discovery, clarity, simplicity, and harmony. Each one is designed to build upon the last. The first step is discovery. I think this is why productivity has failed so many people. I’ll hear from people. They’re like, “I’ve tried all these systems. They don’t really work for me.” I truly believe it’s because there’s this whole rigid system. You are supposed to wrap your life around that. It doesn’t work because we have things that we’re good, and things that we don’t like, and things that are weaknesses, and all those things. We’re trying to fit this very rigid system. I truly believe that it is you and your priorities that sit front and center. Then we wrap the whole system and work it around you so that your priorities, your purpose, your passion, that is a center point. Everything works around that. It plays to your strengths. It plays to your weaknesses. That’s the first step, is really discovering who you are. What’s your purpose? What’s your passion? What are your priorities?

Then we build on that. We talk about clarity. Let’s clarify, how do you spend the majority of your day on what’s truly important? How do you prioritize? How do you figure out where to spend your time, your energy, and your focus? Then that third step is all about simplicity. You do still have to pay the bills. You still have to do laundry. You have all those little tasks that have to be done. How do we make it so that those things are not taking up the majority of our time? They’re still happening, still getting done, but they’re not the stress. They’re not the focus on our day. Then the fourth step is harmony. Let’s bring this all together and create harmony in our lives. I talk about, in the book, that there’s no balance. We don’t want balance. If everything is balanced and perfectly even, we’re not really moving in any direction. We’re not growing in our personal life. We’re not growing professionally. We have to lean into priorities. Let’s do away with that idea of balance. Let’s really figure out how to use all these three steps we’ve done, the discovery, the clarity, and the simplicity. How do we bring that all together to create harmony in our own lives? It all wraps together.

Zibby: Wow. When I have my to-do list and I pick up your book and I’m trying to figure out if I should deal with the save-the-dates for my son’s bar mitzvah or if I should start preparing for my next podcast or if I should order the thing my other daughter needs, how would your system help me clarify what I should do next?

Tonya: I love this question. This is part of the reason why in the book I say you’ve got to toss the to-do list. The to-do list is one of the things that really does work against us. It’s so long. It’s overwhelming. It’s scattered. It’s unorganized. I like to tell people overwhelm isn’t having too much to do. It’s not knowing where to start. A to-do list doesn’t tell you where to start. In fact, usually you’ll go for the quick, easy wins on your to-do list that don’t really drive you forward. They’re not really the important things, but they’re quick, easy things that we can scratch off. We love to scratch things off our to-do list.

Zibby: That feels good. I love doing that.

Tonya: We love it. How many times have you written something down on your list just to scratch it off?

Zibby: I have done that.

Tonya: All of us have because it feels good.

Zibby: If I don’t write it down, I don’t ever remember to do it. My brain is overloaded.

Tonya: I totally agree. I do believe in writing things down. Instead of doing a to-do list, make a priority list. I like to say that a priority list is a to-do with intention. It’s the same thing as a to-do list. It takes the same amount of time. It takes the same, truly, amount of effort. It’s just a little bit of extra thought into it and prioritizing. I have a whole system that we walk through in the book. We take our tasks and we prioritize them into three categories: escalate, cultivate, and accommodate. We start at the top with tasks that are important. When I say important, I mean they’re tied to a goal. They are connected to our North Star, which is our mission, our vision, our core values.

They are things that are advantageous in our lives. They’re good investments in ourselves that our future selves will appreciate and be grateful for. They’re things that are essential, that really do have to be done by us. At the very top, important and urgent. Still have an urgent deadline, but these are things that are really important. Then next on our list is the cultivate tasks. These are the things that often get pushed aside. They’re important. They really well help drive us forward. Because they’re not urgent, they don’t have the screaming deadline, they get pushed aside to be done later. That happens a lot. This is where things live like registering for a class that’ll really help you out or working on your family budget or any of those things that are helpful in our lives, but they don’t have this looming deadline.

Zibby: Like making photo albums of the kids.

Tonya: Like making photo albums of the kids. That’s a great one because it’s something that is really meaningful for you and will bring a lot of joy and happiness. It’s advantageous. It’s linked to your North Star. For many of us, our North Star is tied a lot to our families. Because it’s not this urgent deadline, we’re like, I’ll do it later. I’ll do it later. Then we have that guilt. I haven’t done the photo albums. That’s a cultivate task. I say you do the escalate, then the cultivate, and then at the bottom, that’s our accommodate area. Those are tasks that are not really important, but they’re urgent.

Here’s the thing. So often, we tackle those first because they’re urgent. They’re screaming out at us. They’re the fires. They’re the things with exclamation marks. It’s returning the T-shirt to Target. It’s running to the dry cleaners. It’s those things that need to be done, but we’re starting our day there instead of just accommodating them and squeezing them into our day and focusing our time instead on that escalate and that cultivate level. When you have a priority list, you start at the top. You work your way down. You know where to start, what to work on next. That is so empowering. When we feel like we know the direction our day is going, we feel like we own our day instead of our day owning us.

Zibby: I feel like the first step, though, is acknowledging the problem.

Tonya: That’s always the first step, isn’t it?

Zibby: Right, that life is chaos and you’re overwhelmed, and then turning to a system like yours and being like, “Okay. I’m going to actually now step back and think through this whole thing.” That’s a big leap. Sometimes you don’t have the time to even step back from the day-to-day urgency stuff.

Tonya: It’s true. That’s that whole idea of investing in yourself. You think to yourself, I don’t have the time. Really, we do have the time. We just need to prioritize it.

Zibby: You’re absolutely right. Thumbs up on the book and the plan. Good job with your business and everything. You’re on the right track. It didn’t mean it’s not worth spending time. I just mean when I try to wrap my head around, should I do this? then you still have to take a step back to think about things in a farther view.

Tonya: I totally agree. Our biggest stumbling block, oftentimes, is that whole idea of, I don’t have the time. I can’t do this right now because I’m so busy chasing after all the other things that are keeping us busy. This is why we run around all day long. We check a thousand things off our to-do list. We slide into bed at night. We think, why didn’t I get more done? We feel unsatisfied, unsuccessful. That’s a terrible way to end our days. We should be ending our days feeling really good. I like to tell people, yes, maybe you check thirty things off your task list. If you’re going in thirty different directions, if you’re standing and you take thirty steps in thirty different directions, where are you going to end up? Not really anywhere. Maybe in the same spot where you were when you started.

If you instead chose to make three intentional steps in one forward direction, where are you going to end up? Closer to where you want to go. That’s the thing. It really is this idea, this intentionality, this unhurried purpose that we truly want to have in our days. For many people, if you’re finding that when people ask you, “How are you?” and you’re answering with that word “busy” all the time, that’s a sign that we need to change. We don’t want to be busy. Busy feels exhausting. It doesn’t feel heart-filling. We’re so busy filling our days. We’re not taking the time to fill our souls. When we live a life that’s truly focused on our priorities, we end our days feeling so satisfied. It’s so much more successful. That is what I want for women everywhere, is to feel this really great feeling when their head hits the pillow at the end of the day.

Zibby: I feel like you should run for office. Have you thought about that?

Tonya: Oh, my gosh. No. No, thank you.

Zibby: You’re so self-possessed and put together with such a platform. I could see you getting up there.

Tonya: I’ll start with the JOMO movement. That’s where we’re going.

Zibby: Put that in your back pocket. Now let’s see the not-so-perfect side of you. In the book, you reveal that you basically had this major meltdown on the floor. You couldn’t figure out what to do next. You were a mess. That’s part of how you came up with devising this whole system. Let us see a little bit of the mess side.

Tonya: I like how you said there’s a story of me. There’s lot of times where I fall apart. This is what I find interesting. When I tell people — they’ll say, “I really struggle sometimes with motivation or procrastination.” I’ll say, “Yes, I deal with that.” They’re like, “Hold on. What? You’re a productivity expert.” I’m still a human. We still struggle with it. It’s all learning about who you are. Then how do you best deal with it? For me, yes, there have been times — I tell this story in the book, of me seriously turning in circles in my kitchen. I dropped my kids off at school. I’m racing home. I get home. I have so much to do. I stand in my kitchen. Where do I start? Do I do here? Do I do this? Do I do that? I literally turned in circles. I collapsed and cried for fifteen minutes. Then when I cried, I was so irritated and angry with myself for wasting that time crying that I just get up and I push myself forward. That’s the worst feeling in the world. I went through this phase in my life where I was experiencing this a lot. I was experiencing a lot of this frustration of not really knowing where I should spend my days because I was wearing myself out. I was so tired of being worn out and quite frankly, disappointed in myself. There’s nothing worse than feeling disappointed in yourself. I got tired of that.

I have this story — I don’t even tell it in the book — this time where I am standing in the kitchen. I’m stirring a pot of spaghetti. Kate and Jack are playing at my feet, which is where the kids always are when you’re cooking anything, hanging onto your pants leg when they’re that age. I hear the garage door open. I’m so relieved that my husband home. Great, he’s home. He’s going to help take care of the kids. I’m standing there stirring this pot of spaghetti. He doesn’t come in. He doesn’t come in. A minute passes. Two minutes pass. Three minutes pass. At about four minutes, I’ve about lost it. Steam is coming out of my ears. I stomp over to the garage door. I fling it open. I see him sitting in his car listening to some radio bit laughing at it. I love my husband, but I was so mad. I thought to myself, I cannot believe that he is out there enjoying himself. I would never do that for myself.

That was my moment where I went, . I would never give myself five minutes to enjoy laughing in the car? I wouldn’t allow myself just a little bit of time and space to transition from work into home? Why was it that I felt like I had to fill my day so much that I couldn’t even gift myself five minutes? That was, for me, a big transition. That was when I was like, okay, I’ve got to make a change. I did. I made the change in my own life. Then in talking with women and meeting with them and hearing their struggles, that was what really got me wanting to work with women and helping them re-shift their priorities and make it so those were really what shined in the spotlight of their days. That began to grow.

I opened up inkwell Press, which is a productivity company focused on helping women live productive lives which means not doing more, but doing what’s more important. Then I started a podcast. I did courses. Now we have the book. It’s grown and grown because I truly believe women are underrepresented when we talk about productivity. If you look at the books that are out there, they’re all from men. Our shelves are filled with books from men, men like David and Tim and Steven. There’s no women out there talking about the unique perspective we have as women, the things that we struggle with. It is different from what a lot of men struggle with.

I like to say it’s my love letter to women. It’s going to be okay. We can get this figured out. I understand your struggles. I’ve been there. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom. I’ve been a work-at-home mom. I’ve been a full-time working mom. I get it. I get the mom guilt. I get the frustrations. I get it that you can’t even go to the bathroom by yourself sometimes. Can I have five minutes to myself? I wanted to write a book that really leaned into that and showed them that this is possible. In fact, it’s not just my stories in the book. It’s stories of other women in all walks of life who’ve applied this system and made it work for them and are now living happier lives. That’s what I want out of this book. I really want women to feel so good about their days.

Zibby: You don’t just want them to miss out?

Tonya: No. I want them to miss out on the clutter and the noise in their life, and the busyness. If we think about that ideal day that we dream about, sometimes when you’re in the shower and you’re thinking about, wouldn’t it be nice if this was happening in my life? there’s so many amazing, beautiful things in that day, but there’s a lot of things that are missing. The feeling of guilt, that you feel like you have to say yes to everything instead of saying yes to the things you want to, the feeling of being stretched too thin, the feeling of being busy and feeling like you don’t have five seconds to yourself, let’s choose to miss out on those things. There really is joy and happiness already in our days. We just have to find it. It’s already there. Let’s discover it.

Zibby: You took your own personal struggle and turned it into a business to help other people. You sell these amazing products, which are adorable as well. They’re aesthetically — adorable’s the wrong word — aesthetically super pleasing.

Tonya: This is the thing. I believe that things should be really functional, but let’s make them beautiful so we want to use them.

Zibby: Functional and beautiful, thank you. Those are better words.

Tonya: I want it to feel like planning your day feels like this beautiful ritual like a Japanese tea ceremony. Yes, drinking tea is a regular, everyday thing. Planning is a regular, everyday thing. Let’s make it beautiful. Let’s make it something you look forward to.

Zibby: You were so busy that you decided to add a million things onto your plate?

Tonya: I know, right?

Zibby: You already had your system with all the buckets. Now you have a whole new thing you have to integrate into your already busy life. When you woke up this morning, did you go through and make the list the way you were just describing? How do you get through the day? What do you do when things come up that totally throw you off, or a sickness or something that gets you off the track? That’s life, right?

Tonya: Let’s be honest. That is totally life. Especially if you’re a mom, that is absolutely life. You’ll see that word flexible show up again and again and again in the book. So many systems are so rigid. They are so structured that they don’t really work for you. We want to create a system — it’s all about the customizing the system — that works for you in your life, plays to your strengths but plays also to your weaknesses and allows that flexibility for a kid crawling into your bed at three o’clock in the morning, for waking up with allergies, for life. Truly, one of the things that I do every day — we talk about this in the book. I have a whole system of, how do you create structure for your days and your weeks? I do plan each day as it comes. I don’t sit down on Sunday and say, “This is what I’m doing Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.” There’s no flexibility in that.

I sit down on Sundays. I do Sunday planning with my family, which I called team planning. I’m really big on bringing in your team. We talk a lot about how you bring your family into this productivity system. I do that on Sundays for my family and Mondays for work. On Sundays, I sit down and I map out, “These are the things I’d like to have happen.” Then each morning I spend about ten minutes at the very most mapping out my day and creating my list. That way I’m able to say, “You know what? Today feels really good. I’m going to be able to get these things done,” or “Today is just not good. It’s raining. The kids were late to school. The alarm didn’t go off,” whatever it is. We can adjust.

If you’re not giving yourself that grace, if you’re not giving yourself that flexibility in your life, it is so hard to keep up to these standards that we are setting for ourselves, these impossibly high standards. If you plan out every single day of the week, and Tuesday is a hot mess but you’ve already planned everything you’re doing Wednesday, you wake up Wednesday with Tuesday’s tasks and Wednesday’s tasks. It’s no wonder that we feel exhausted and it’s not even eight AM. We already feel like we have failed before we’ve gotten out of bed. We’re already behind. Let’s do away with that. Let’s spend five, ten minutes at the start of each day planning what you want to do for that day. We walk through that whole system in the book. I like to say it’s all simple, huge movements. They are really easy to implement. They’re very, very simple to do yet monumental in the impact it can make on your day. It really can make a huge difference.

Zibby: Tell me about this becoming a book. When did you decide you wanted this system to be memorialized and rolled out across the world for everybody to use? When do you like to write? Do you write in the morning? Do you go to a coffee shop? Give me a mental image.

Tonya: I’ve wanted to be an author since I was twelve years old standing in the front of Mr. Carlyle’s sixth grade classroom.

Zibby: Hi, Mr, Carlyle. Thanks for the lessons.

Tonya: Thanks for the lessons. It really did plant this seed. I would revisit this goal of mine to write a book. Of course when I was in the sixth grade, I wasn’t like, I’m going to write a productivity book with systems in it. It was more like, I want to write a book. I want to be an author because I love to write. Each year I’d revisit it. I’d be like, no, this is not the right time. This is going on. It all came to fruition in October — I have the worst time with years because I’m always making planners for different years — in 2017 where I was approached by a couple of publishers. I was actually approached by two publishers who told me they wanted to publish my book.

Zibby: Amazing.

Tonya: It was amazing. I’d been doing my podcast, at that point, for probably a year, year and a half maybe. They were listening to my podcast episodes. They were like, “We think you’ve got a book in you.” Oh, my gosh. This is what I’ve always dreamed of. I sat down and I actually said no to those opportunities. We talk about this whole idea of finding your yes, that it feels like, should I have said yes to that? I said no because I wanted to give myself space to really map it out. I didn’t want to just write a book. I wanted to the write the book that I was made to write. That’s what I wanted. I wanted to spend some time really figuring out and mapping it all out. Then I mapped it out. Then I started the actual writing process. They approached me in October. I started mapping it out in January. Then I brought it to the publishing world in June/July. Throughout that whole entire process, I just started writing. My heart was on fire with this book. I was so excited to write it. I was getting up around 4:20 in the morning to write. I’m not a morning person.

Zibby: You must be.

Tonya: It’s funny because I’m not. If you ask my mom, she’s like, “She is not a morning person.” For me, waking up that early and having that time for myself that the whole house is quiet and no one is up, no one is asking me for anything, at work or the kids or anyone, and it’s fully my time, even though I’m not a morning person, that fulfills me, having that time and space for myself. I would get up.

Zibby: What time do you go to bed, then, if you get up at 4:20?

Tonya: I go to bed around ten or so, not too early, not too late.

Zibby: Just wondering. Keep going. Sorry. Let me pry a little more.

Tonya: It’s okay.

Zibby: How much TV are you watching?

Tonya: Right? That was one of the things that I chose to do. I told my husband, “No new TV shows.” I’m not going to be temped to binge-watch a TV show because I am gifting my time to the book.

Zibby: Last night, my husband was like, “I can’t believe you haven’t watched Veep. We should watch all of it start to finish every season.” I was like, “What? I’m already stressed out about how I’m going to fit in the next season of Mrs. Maisel when it comes out.” How am I going to fit in all of Veep? What? No.

Tonya: This is the thing. We don’t feel like we have the time. If you prioritize and you say, “I’m not —

Zibby: — I’m not prioritizing Veep.

Tonya: No? If you prioritize it, that time is there. We just have to discover it. I get up. I drink sixteen ounces of water. That’s my first thing I do.

Zibby: I thought you were going to say coffee. Okay, fine, water.

Tonya: No. I drink water because I did a little bit of research. I found that we wake up dehydrated. That’s why we’re grumpy. That’s why we’re tired. We haven’t had anything to drink for eight hours. When I started drinking sixteen ounces of water first thing, I made that into a habit. We talk about habits in the book. I made that into a habit. Wow, I feel so much better if that’s the first thing I do. It’s twenty-five percent of my water intake for the day. Double checkmark on that. I feel better. I feel like I just got a little win in my day, built up a little momentum. I brush my teeth. I go out into the living room. I generally start the fire because I live in the mountains of North Carolina. It’s generally cold in the morning. I light the fire. I do some stretches. I sit on my couch. That’s where I like to write. I write and I write and I write. Then probably around six o’clock, I close the computer up. I go and I wake my kids up for the day. Then I come back downstairs. I get back in bed with my husband for ten minutes. That is what I call my million-dollar minutes. That is time that I am very intentional with my marriage. I focus in on my husband for ten minutes. A lot of times, we may not even talk. Sometimes we’re just cuddling in bed.

Zibby: What are we doing in these ten minutes here?

Tonya: Generally, there’s a lot of laughing.

Zibby: The kids are awake. Now you’re back in bed.

Tonya: The kids are awake. I’m back in bed. We’re just there.

Zibby: You’ve locked the door?

Tonya: No. We’re not doing that kind of thing. We’re just really connecting. I’m not saying that hasn’t happened, but it’s more connecting. A lot of times, we’re laughing. We’re chatting. We’re just sitting there together being very intentional. I call it my million-dollar minutes because, quite frankly, if that time was gone tomorrow, I would pay a million dollars to get it back.

Zibby: Aw. That literally makes me want to cry.

Tonya: I feel like we have these million-dollar minutes throughout our day. A lot of times, we allow them to slip through our fingers. When our kids come in the kitchen and we’re busy making dinner and they want to tell us something that happened at school and we don’t feel like we can stop and give them the attention, years from now when our kids are gone from the house, we will wish for those moments. Won’t we? We will long for those moments. It’s hard to remember that when you’re in the trenches. It is so hard. I try to be really intentional and try to give everybody in my family a little bit of million-dollar minutes each day, my truly focused time on them. I’m giving them me. They’re give me them. That deepens our relationship. I know that that time is so precious and valuable.

Zibby: What is your secret vice when everything falls off the rails? What is it that’s bad that you do? I feel like your whole life is honed to perfection.

Tonya: It’s not.

Zibby: Nobody could do that.

Tonya: No. Nobody can do that.

Zibby: What do you do when you’re having the worst day ever? Do you go eat secretly in the closet? What’s your vice?

Tonya: I will go read books nonstop.

Zibby: That does not count.

Tonya: That doesn’t count?

Zibby: No. That is not what I was looking for.

Tonya: When I read books, I get seriously antisocial. Nobody come bother me.

Zibby: You’re not going to admit it. It’s okay. You don’t have to. You can just put more on the perfection here.

Tonya: I am, by no means, perfect because none of us are. I have my own weaknesses. I have moments of crying in the closet because I don’t want the kids to know I’m crying crumpled up in a heap. I am no different than anyone else.

Zibby: I’m just playing with you. I’m sorry.

Tonya: I know.

Zibby: I’m so impressed by how together you are.

Tonya: This is the thing. All these things that I do in my life, I truly believe any woman can do. I like to say I’m nothing special. My mom thinks I’m special. My husband thinks I’m special. I’m not unique. I just am very intentional about how I choose to spend my time. Your time, your focus, and your energy are these resources that we have that are gifts. We hand them out to anyone and everyone on the street. Strangers on the street, we’re handing them out like they’re just dollar bills that we have to pass out. Instead, let’s choose to invest them. It really is this whole idea of being mindful and being intentional with how we gift our time. The time you give, that is a gift that you’re giving to other people.

Zibby: What is on your horizon next? What are you about to make time for? What’s new? What’s coming up?

Tonya: Really, this book. Honestly, all leading up to this for the past year, I’ve been preparing my family. I’ve been preparing my team at work to say, “This book is the priority for this season in my life. I’m going to be traveling more. I’m going to be doing more interviews. I’m going to be focused on the book.” This builds in that whole idea of harmony. This is my priority I’m leaning into. After the new year, I’ve already made plans to lean back into family time and lean a little bit heavier into that. That’s the focus right now for me, is really getting this book into the hands of as many women as I can, getting this Joy of Missing Out movement, this JOMO movement, going. The women who have read the book have been so excited. They are wanting to help spread the movement. I truly believe that when we come together as women, we are capable of doing amazing, incredible things. That is what I want. That’s what I’m focusing on.

Zibby: Quickly on your podcast, you’ve had over a million downloads. That’s amazing.

Tonya: I have. Thank you.

Zibby: How did you do that?

Tonya: I really focus — I’m intentional. I knew you’d be surprised to hear that word come up. With my podcast, each season is a focus. I have a topic that we cover. Because I’m a former teacher, I think of everything that I do, the writing of the book, the podcast, as curriculum. It’s all these little mini things that work together and weave together to create a comprehensive season. You were at one place at the start of the season. Thirteen episodes later, I’m getting you to an end point. Each episode is about twenty minutes or so long. They’re really bite size. People can listen to it on their commute. They’re very actionable. I have lots of downloads. I have lots of exercises and things like that that people can really easily implement. That’s been really good for me, that word of mouth. People have loved the podcast. They love what they get out of it. It’s almost like taking a course for free.

Zibby: How do they find the podcast?

Tonya: It’s “Productivity Paradox.” You can find my podcast, you can find information about my Tonya TV episodes, because I do videos as well, and everything at Tonya with an O and a Y. is the best place to find my podcast and everything else.

Zibby: Amazing. Do you have any parting advice to anyone else about to tackle a book project?

Tonya: Yes. Here’s what I would tell you. We think that when it comes to our big goals and our big dreams that it takes these giant leaps, especially these giant leaps of faith. I’m here to tell you it’s okay to start small. Choose one teeny tiny step to get started, one little step that maybe feels insignificant. Once you do it, that will build your momentum. That’s your springboard. Once you take one step, it’s easier to take two steps. Then it becomes easier to take a third bigger step. Then maybe by the time you get to the seventh step, you are already running. You’re off and going. That’s the thing that we undervalue. We undervalue the small steps that really do push us forward. One tiny step each and every day gets you so much closer than if you wait and wait and wait for one giant step. Start today. Start small. Start with something that feels really manageable. Get that win. Use that momentum as the wind behind your back.

Zibby: Love it. Thank you so much for coming on “Moms Don’t Have Time to Read Books” and for sharing all of your tips and inspiring people to be like you and get their lives under control, seriously.

Tonya: Thank you. Thank you so much for having me. It was great being here.

Zibby: Thanks for coming.