Recently I’ve been feeling like I need to “work on myself” more. Because there are so many things I want to be better at and feel more accomplished in.
I have a mental list, (as well as a physical one … somewhere … ) of all the skills I want to develop.
The list is mainly made up of things I want to spend more time doing. Like drawing and painting, maybe even trying to sell some of the things I create.
It includes languages that I want to learn and improve on. As well as a plethora of online courses I want to enroll in, (which practically cover everything from photography to the war in Afghanistan).
I have this urge to work towards something. To feel like I’m bettering myself, like I’m pushing myself to actually create the life I want to live and be the person I want to be too.
I think I miss the deadline driven nature of University. You get a task and you have a certain amount of time to complete it. I miss that feeling, (I know, geek alert). But it really does make you feel accomplished when you hit that deadline and succeed.
But the scary thing is that my list is looonngggggggggg. So long in fact that I want to simultaneously work on every. single. thing. all. at. once and also do absolutely nothing because it’s too daunting.
My biggest challenge to actually starting these things is time. After now having started working a 9-5 job, (yayyyy we’ve finally started work!), going to the gym and just doing daily life things, like buying groceries and lugging them up 6 (double) flights of stairs, I’m left with not a lot of time, or energy.
So, I end up spending my free time watching Grey’s Anatomy, reading the news or trying to keep up with staying in touch with people — which I’ve not been very good at, #sorry. 😦
Most of the time though I feel like I’m wasting my time. Like I’m not using it wisely; I’m not being productive.
I especially feel like this when I see Jeff manage to rally himself to write more blog posts, do more research or start more online courses. When all I want to do is eat, sleep and cry over a Grey’s plot twist.
And to be honest, I’ve been comparing myself a lot to him. I’ve been beating myself up that I’m not as productive as him. But I’ve also done nothing about it.
I’ve felt inadequate and lazy. I’ve resented his ability to be so motivated. And I’ve been downright stubborn too.
Why shouldn’t I just rest after doing all these busy-life-things? Especially since I’m in a country where everything is a mission as soon as I step out the front door, because I’m still not very good at communicating.
And to a degree, it’s true. Sometimes I do just need to rest, otherwise I’ll quickly burn out.
But if I’m being honest, there are a lot of times when I don’t need to. I could be more productive if I just gave myself that nudge and reminded myself I don’t have to finish a task, I just have to work on it a little.
I think that’s another reason I tend to err away from being productive in my free time. That feeling of needing to set aside a whole day to get things done. You know the one? Where you just want a few uninterrupted hours to really knuckle down?
But that never really happens does it? Well, at least for me it doesn’t. Things crop up or I get distracted. It’s an unrealistic goal.
Chipping away at something, while not as sexy as the thought of just getting shit done in one stint, is wayyyyyy more feasible.
My tendency is to either implement a hugeee new list of habits/ideas all at one time, or stress over the fact I’m not doing any of them. Both of which are pretty intense and draining.
I’ve not really figured out a solution to this yet, other than to acknowledge when I’m beating myself up, and trying to reframe my mind into positive action. While also trying to be an encouraging partner, rather than a big jealous meany. Humph.
But one thing I have decided to do is to choose one thing, (yessssss, only 1!) from my list to focus on.
Because when I decide I want to implement five new things into my weekly schedule, nothing happens. Literally nothing. It’s never worked. No matter how many reminders I set on my phone or post-it-notes I leave around the house. Nada.
So, this is me introducing a new kind of post where I will update you about a new habit I’m deciding to implement.
A) telling you about it will keep me accountable — if I screw up or if it’s the best idea since peanut butter, then you’ll be the first to know.
B) I think it’s important I show up authentically online, (as well as in person), and that includes being transparent about how I’m working on myself and when I fail too.
And C) because well, honestly I just want to grow. And I want to share my story with you, and inspire you to also make time for the things you want to pursue.
To be clear, this isn’t a “I’m trying to be perfect” mission. I’m not trying to tick things off a list of insecurities like I’ve mentioned before. I’ve spent some time making sure that this isn’t coming from that place of insecurity.
This isn’t a project. And I’m not a project either. This is the beginning of crafting a new lifestyle.
By challenging myself to implement a new habit or idea (and actually giving it time to stick — if I like it that is!), is the beginning of making that thing just another part of my normal routine.
This is me actively making time for the things I want to do, achieve and learn. Instead of just wallowing that there are so many things I want to do, but never actually doing any of them. (Cue downloading a new episode of Grey’s) …
Note: the desire to want to change and create new habits, doesn’t mean striving to be perfect. You can want to change and not be falling into perfectionism.
We deserve to make time for the things that will help us show up in the world stronger, more confident and just plain happier.
So, keep an eye out for my first Hashtag Habit post. Because I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a good ol’ slog-fest, but well worth it. Plus I’m hoping it’ll be just the boost you need to make time for the things you want to pursue too.