Lining Up Your Ducks

“I have learnt that I need to work towards lining up the ‘ducks’ rather than focusing on the outcome too much”

There’s a phrase I use all the time; “lining up your ducks”. I love it and it’s so accurate when helping you to achieve anything, both big and small.

I’ve managed to line up a few of my ducks this week, working towards a goal I have over the next 3 months, and then a seperate much bigger goal we have as a family over the next 11 months, knowing that they’re falling into place helps to spur me on to keep going!


Over the years, I have learnt that I need to work towards lining up the ‘ducks’ rather than focusing on the outcome too much. By this, I mean as long as my ducks are lined up the outcome I want will happen. That probably sounds like nonsense to some but for me it helps put situations into context, and stops me from feeling overwhelmed because there’s so much to do, we all have so much to sort out at once these days. I’m sure life didn’t used to be this busy?

Last month I managed to get a few ducks in line so that I could reach this point and remove other distractions – Sorting out a new school for my son, replacing our car as the other one was starting to let us down, getting ourselves a new tent suitable for our summer adventures, well to be honest its more like a marquee (we may have gone overboard!) and actually also bringing the dream of getting my blog off the ground! Now all those are sorted I’m on a real mission to bring something to fruition that’s really important to me and the family, a far bigger goal… but you’ll have to wait to find out what that is!


If you look at each one of those tasks/things to achieve as a duck, each one has a whole family of ducklings sat behind it. Some of those ducklings have floated off in the pond and need shooing back in line. When the ducks are all lined up that’s when things start to happen. We’re talking metaphorically of course. It’s all very well, choosing which ducks you want to put in your pond but it’s how to get them lined up which is the tricky bit. Yes, it can take time chasing after those baby ducks and getting them in line but when we do it allows the big duck to swim off, family in tow. Leaving one less thing to worry about and allowing you get closer to your goals.

“Too many ducks equals a crowded pond, does that sound familiar? Oh yes….”

It’s got to be said, I’m one of those people who likes to move forward and progress all the time or feel as though I am at least. I hate to have periods where I feel like I’m stood still. I suppose I could ask myself, is that because I am always putting ducks into my pond? Is that the secret of being able to move forward all the time, alternatively it gives you the ability to pace yourself, only putting the next duck/s in when you’re ready? I’m constantly looking to put new ducks into that pond and as a result I often finding balancing them & everything else difficult. If you fill your pond with too many ducks, they aren’t going to be able to swim. Too many ducks equals a crowded pond, does that sound familiar? Oh yes….

“I slept with a big smile on my face that night I can tell you!”

Sleep well

This is where my strategic thinking comes in. Which ducks do you line up, in which order and how the chuff do you get some particular ducks into line? So here we talk about priorities, picking out the ducks that mean most to you. I’ve always loved problem solving and puzzles and I guess this is just my mind working out another puzzle. Just lining up one duck behind another gives a sense of achievement. That motivates me to start lining up the other ducks too! One day last month 3 of my ducks lined up on the same day – bought Car, Tent & enrolled my son to start in a new school that one day. Isn’t funny how that can happen in a short space of time and yet it has taken you weeks, if not months of effort to line them up! So, all those things came together at once, what a day of achievement that turned out to be, I slept with a big smile on my face that night I can tell you!

My pond has been looking slightly empty, but that’s a good thing too. This time I didn’t rush to put new ducks in, I let the water in my pond settle first, and that has allowed me time to decide and focus on which ducks are next, because I think I knew deep down that they’re going to be pretty big ones – significant one might say, and bravely I have done just that, the largest ones I’ve ever had in my pond, so to speak!

Personally I think once you understand how this works, you can become quite adept at duck shopping and duck keeping.

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6 thoughts on “Lining Up Your Ducks

  1. Thank you for that, I do get overwhelmed easily and am probably running around with my ducks scattered everywhere!! I like the idea of concentrating on lining them up. Thank you

    1. Hi Salwa,

      I know exactly what you mean, and hope that helps you to organise those ducks when you need. I can just picture us all running round chasing after them 😀 Claire x

  2. Thank you so much Claire…
    Trying to run 2 businesses from home and looking after the family has me feeling overwhelmed at times!
    I would then procrastinate over the many little jobs that need doing because they didn’t immediately change the situation…Reading that made me realise all the small jobs are just helping the ducks line up and when they do it will be magic!! Thank you so much for what you are doing. 😀 xx

    1. Thanks Helen, lovely to hear from you, absolutely – love your analogy and so glad you can relate to the Blogs. I know the new business will become a great success too! 😀 Claire x

  3. Claire, this is fantastic! Like most people, I have lots going on and forget to celebrate the small achievements and see how they link into my bigger goals as I’m so focused on the bigger picture. Thank you for this insight. Really love your blog too! X

    1. Thanks Alison, I agree totally, the small achievements when you put them together make such a difference towards the bigger picture and it’s important to recognised them too – so pleased you’re loving the Blog, it’s starting to grow a life of its own and I’m loving it! 😀 Claire x

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