5 Tips for Taking Back Control of your life

(Or: Some of the Things I Learned in Week 2 of the Momedy Sketch Community Challenge).
So last week was a bit of a fail on the “blog 3x a week” goal but I feel like it was worth it. I was focusing on other things.
It’s no secret that I am instinctively an all or nothing kind of girl. My approach to self improvement in the past has been to “DO ALL THE THINGS. "

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After a day (or an hour) of trying to completely revamp my life in every possible area, I was burned out and disgruntled. This generally led to deciding I was lame and lazy, had no willpower, would never change and was unworthy to be taking up valuable space in the productive-adult world. I would subsequently fall into a schlumpy heap of self pity and depression.Rinse. Repeat.
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Something I am realizing and slowly becoming more and more at peace with, is that you can’t be awesome at everything all of the time. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t awesome.
I will always be instinctively an all or nothing, go big or go home kind of girl. I like quantifiable improvements, I like quick results (who doesn’t?!)  I’m not going to apologize for the fact that my tendency is to paint my life in broad, bold, and often messy strokes. I’m never going to be a careful sketcher. I’m just not that person.  And I do in fact, have tons of goals I am working on right now, but I’m not working on all of them with the same focus and intensity every day. So that brings me to my first tip:
1. Manage your expectations. Identify just one (or two) “do or die” tasks to add to your non-negotiables every day. For instance, my daily non-negotiable goals are : daily scripture reading, spending meaningful time with my kids, and sticking to a healthy eating program.  Each day I throw in 1 or 2 tasks from the 16 (yes, today I realized I have a list of 16!) other things I have decided I want to be better at. This keeps every day interesting and challenging and fun without being overwhelming. And when I do achieve that one thing at the end of the day I feel like a hero. I feel like the day made a difference. I have a sense of accomplishment that can only come from getting done what you set out to do. Even if 12,000 other things are a raging disaster around you, you got that one thing you said you would do done. You’re a freaking rock-star.
2.Be accountable to someone. I post my goal (s ) for the day to the Momedy sketch community challenge forum. I try to post in the morning but even if I don’t, I post at least once a day for that sense of accountability. I try to commit and then report back on whether I followed through on the same day. A sense of community has been incredibly helpful to me too. I’m so inspired by those who have joined me in this challenge who are doing hard things, looking at some really tough challenges and choosing to face them rather than surrender to them. Because isn’t that the whole point of life?  Even if we come out bloodied and bruised in the battle,  at the end of the day, we LIVED.
3.Focus. For the ADD inclined like me (or anyone living in a world where the internet and smart phones exist) I highly recommend downloading an app called Phocus. It’s simple but so effective. If you don’t have a smartphone,(you’re probably less in need of intervention) an egg timer will be just fine. When I first used phocus,  I was amazed at how many times I would go to my phone mid-task to check a text or an email or a website as I had a random thought which reminded me of something I needed to do/wanted to check on. Seeing the Phocus app on the screen redirected me and soon it became easier to just stay on task. (I also turned off social media and text message notifications. ) Incidentally there are a million and one productivity apps that can be really helpful.  (Just don’t waste hours picking one out…because that would be ironic. Not that I would know anything about that….erhem)
4.Celebrate your progress. No progress is too small to be celebrated. Small steps make a huge difference and they should be acknowledged and thrilled over. Just recording a small triumph every day is enough. Tracking your progress is so important.  Today I glanced at the post I wrote just a couple of weeks ago talking about how I could juuuuust about see the possibility of becoming the person I wanted to be again.  And I am amazed at how much more confident I feel about the fact that I can do the things I want to do . I will be the person I want to be. I’m feeling more like that person every day. I spend a lot of the day, while I am working, consciously and intentionally reflecting on the positive changes I am making, no matter how small or simple they are. Progress is progress. It’s no small thing.
5. Get enough sleep. Or as much as you possibly can. Things just don’t go nearly as well when you are tired. Life is 50000% harder. ‘Nuff said.  Make it a major priority. There were several times in the last week that I most uncharacteristically just ditched things half way done to get as much sleep as I could, and I never once regretted it.
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Last week I talked about how much of a difference drinking enough water was making for me. And this week I’d say that the goal of doing something that I find scary or uncomfortable every day has made a truly profound difference for me. I am even starting to replace the feelings of fear and dread with nervous anticipation. I know how empowered I will feel once I have done the “scary thing” and so I have started to look forward to that moment every day. It’s a bit of a rush, to be honest.  Getting out of my comfort zone has made me feel alive and capable.

Hey! It’s not too late to join us at the Momedy Sketch Community Challenge. We are working on all sorts of things. From fitness to budgeting to not freaking out at our kids.  We’d love to have you jump in!  Email me: kirsty DOT sayer AT gmail DOT com.  and I’ll hook you up!
hooking up we are that family wfmw, because this is working for me.

*** HILARIOUS images above borrowed and amended with much credit and many apologies to the brilliant hyperbole and a half (most brilliant blog post of all time,on all the internet). I actually posted about it here years ago here.

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1 comments:

ANH said...

How did I miss this post?!!?! I've got you emailed to my inbox now, but... I'm usually so good at not missing your posts. And the latest one wasn't emailed, to my knowledge.

ANYWHO - great tips! I have been so bad at participating because of my aversion to facebook. Aside, you continuously support me and inspire me :) You go girl!