New Year, New You? NO: Inspiration for Intentionally Getting Things Done Even Though You Don’t Feel Like It (At Any Time, Not Just New Year’s)
I used to hate New Year’s resolutions. I have tried to do them, and fail by January 10th. I set a goal of stopping swearing. I literally only made it like 45 minutes. then I beat my self up over it and say *** it, I already failed, I might as well just not try. That is my typical mindset with anything. I have tried new diets, I fail after a few meals and get the f-its every time.
The only way I have personally succeeded at anything is to break down my goals into small tasks. I have found I can do this with anything. I do this daily, weekly, monthly, and so on. When I first learned about this technique, I actually accomplished some of my major goals I never thought I would.
I started a business with this method, and while I did quit after a year or so, it was not related to me being lazy! I quit because I had new goals anf higher reaching dreams, and I knew how to accomplish them!
The other thing I had to learn about goals and being a new me, and all that garbage, was there is not a time limit, there is not one day a year I can be a better person… I get to be a better person any time I want to. I can literally start my day over a million times before the sun comes up. When I give myself the gift of patience and the grace of new beginnings, I have a better chance to succeed.
So let’s start small, with tiny achievable steps, and build something we can do in small bites. How can I achieve my goals realistically, and set myself up to succeed, not fail, like I always do?
Setting goals: Small/Daily or Weekly; Medium Weekly/bi-weekly; Big: Bi-Weekly/Monthly; Anything after that is long term; Or design the timeline to your liking and schedule
Intentions: Come up with goals for each timeline, or the timeline you want to start with.
— I am choosing daily-Weekly, my goal or intention will be: Finishing my website to launch; *NOT to my liking, or to a completed stage, but to the point where there is some content for reader’s to see while I work on it getting finished.
- See the asterisk or condition I attached? You can come up with an intention with conditions if that helps you write something down. Done is better than perfect in my case, and in a few others, see if your intention does or doesn’t apply to that as well, sometimes we set ourselves up for failure before we even begin.
Planning: This is where we build out our ideas into tangible steps. This is where I sometimes overthink and over-plan. Let’s keep this pretty simple, and easy to understand and execute.
I will use a mindmap to build out my goals and actions:
I used Google Draw to create this mind map. There are great free mindmap programs such as MindMeister, MindMup & Canva, which is just a free graphics creation site I LOVE. you can use to create a mindmap, or you can just draw it out with pen and paper. I will include a printable worksheet for you to fill in if you wish to use it. You can find that here.
So I started with my big goal. That is in the center. I know that is what I want. The next steps are the action steps to getting that done.
-I created a line shooting off from my big goal. Then I thought of the literal first step in getting that done, the next biggest goal. I have a few pages that need to be finished before I can complete my Free Resource Library. So I put those items in their own little goal box.
–In order to get those done, I have steps I have to take also. Those become my next goal boxes. There are a couple more sheets that involve that Daily Planner Goal, so in their goal boxes they go.
•For yours, identify what actions you need to take to get that item finished, and put it in the next smaller goal box (an offshoot of the prior one) If that goal had its own steps to get finished, make those into little goal boxes as well. (more offshoots off of the previous) Whatever steps it takes to get this goal done, write it out so that it is real and tangible in front of your face.
When you have finished, you literally have a checklist of items to accomplish throughout your time period. Those should be put in a list, the second page of your worksheet. A To-Do list. You have ACTIONABLE steps you can take to accomplish your thing! YOU HAVE A PLAN OF ACTION. Go you!
That is how I get my goals accomplished. You can do this with any type of goal, from daily to long-term goals years away. As long as you have well-defined steps, you can do anything. The way I get these done in a daily routine is I allow myself time blocks.
Example: So I know I need to get the planner done today. I have my steps because I created a mind map. I have a to-do list because I created a list from my mind map. Now I set a literal time for each step. I can seriously overdo everything, I have been writing this post for like 2 hours, it is time to stop. I set a timer, when it goes off, I go on to my next task, whether it be a break or another goal. Then I give myself time to finish the goal either later today, tomorrow, whatever I want and works best for my schedule.
It isn’t perfect, but it is a system that works for me. I hope you are able to use it or get inspiration from it to create your own goal setting technique.
It can feel incredibly overwhelming to start any new task, especially if you have a chronic illness. With EDS, I suffer from extreme fatigue and brain fog. It affects my everyday life, the important things I have to do, my job, my commitments as a mother, my motivation, my ability to be a present partner, and my own self-esteem. I really believe that without EDS and the comorbidities that accompany it, my life would be cake. I could accomplish all of the things I want.
But instead, here I am having to work twice as hard as others to get one thing done a day. Maybe it is all in my head, but until it gets out of there, this is my reality.
These are the ways I have found to get things done, set goals and accomplish them, feel more motivated and energized overall.
Finding Inspiration is one of my favorite things to do. I am an artist and a very lazy one. I have my art center set up in my front room, which will go untouched and not thought of for months. Then I will see a video on Youtube of someone I admire starting a badass painting. Then I will watch a suggested video from that, then another. And if I’m lucky, I won’t end up watching three hours of how chicken nuggets are made, or some murder documentary. (Both my favorite things to watch other than art videos)
My motivation comes from watching others succeed at the things I am too tired to do. It is a thing. Write down the thing you want to start on, specifically with details. Look it up on YouTube. I promise there is something on there about it.
Pinterest is my other go-to. You might think it’s just a social media center for recipes… I did. Until I really go into it one day after searching for something food-related.
Pinterest suggests other things for you to look at, and it is not food.
Pinterest is actually its own search engine, like Google! Except it searches within its own users’ content. Pinterest users create Pins, links with awesome pictures back to their website. It can be on any topic. My favorite topics to Pin are Art Inspo, Fooood, DIY Crafts, Make-up, Pagan tutorials, books, and a bunch of others. After you choose your topics, Pinterest creates a feed for you to scroll. You can like things and it will add it to a list for you to look at later. You can re-pin things to your own curated Boards to look at later. You get followers, who see all the things you re-pin, and can then re-pin those things to their boards to their followers, and so on.
I suggest you go create a Pinterest account if you haven’t, follow me (if you like the things I pin) and start searching for the things that interest you, or that you want to be more motivated to do.
I also get things done by telling people I am going to do them. This may be a personal thing about my ego, but it motivates me. If you think you might operate this way, post something on Twitter, Facebook, or Insta, and then make a plan to do it. If you tell others its getting done, you stand a better chance of actually doing it. You can use the mind map and the inspiration tools I just showed you in conjunction with that and there’s NO STOPPING YOU!!
Being in my own head is the most dangerous place for me personally. I am a selfish being, naturally focussed on my own ego. You will hear me mention my ego multiple times in almost every post because it is my biggest obstacle. Maybe I will write a blog post about that someday, but for now, just know I struggle with selfishness.
One of my tools for getting out of my own head is to connect with a group of people that I relate to. I do this is a few ways, and they are all going to be different for you, but try and come up with some of your own, or copy mine, you may already be involved in several communities that you can use to help pull you out of a funk, or even to use to get tools and resources to help you as well.
I volunteer at a local non-profit. I work the counter, I work with committees to set up events, I go and just hang out sometimes. I work with people with mental illness and addiction issues in my professional life as well as outside of that, and I get to bring people who are new to recovery to this facility and introduce them to new people who are trying to better their lives. That is a huge resource for me, and you may not have that opportunity, but there is something out there for you.
Write a list of interests you have. Literally look up online if there is a community that meets in real life, an agency or nonprofit you can volunteer at, or you could start one! A lot of non-profits start at the library, meeting in small rooms there until they get up and running.
It doesn’t have to be a nonprofit specifically, I just have a soft spot for them, and they all need more help.
Online communities Yay! One of my favorite places to go hang out with like-minded people. I HATE going out, as I am sure most of the chronically ill community has an adverse reaction to it. We hurt, we are freaking tired, we are grumpy a lot of the time. Leave us alone. Nothing better than being in my jammies with a hot mug of tea and my heating blanket (and my heating pad, and my pain cream and my TENS Unit) and connecting with like-minded people. Facebook is the best place I have found amazing groups of people who like what I like. I learn a lot from these communities, and I can also be of help sometimes, which feels good all on its own.
I am in about 50 different Facebook Groups… but my favorites are spiritually themed ones (I love energy, spirituality, and rituals, candles, praying, history of Gods and Goddesses, things like that)
I am sure some of my readers are from the biggest EDS groups on Facebook, comment below if we know each other!
There are so many forums for things online, I couldn’t even begin to list them here. Some platforms are Reddit, DeviantArt, Tumblr, those are the top three other than the Book I can think of. I am part of specific forums like, a Durango forum (I LOVE my car) make-up forums, mental health forums (which can bum me out pretty quickly, I have to be very careful not to get sucked in too much and try to lend a hand only if I am feeling up to it) herbal forums, pain management forums, baseball forums (A LOT of baseball forums) metal \m/ forums, blogging forums like I could go on.
There are at least a trillion forums out there that you can be a part of, reach out and become part of something outside of you, even if it is inside the house.
This may be a tagalong of the last one, but I don’t care. This can be done LITERALLY ANYWHERE. I have to place myself outside of my own needs all of the time in order to feel better. I can do this online by commenting on a friend’s post about anything, just saying Happy Birthday when I don’t really want to, spending quality time with the people in my family, I will go into all three of my kids’ rooms and just spend a few minutes int here with them catching up, finding out what they are up to, what they’re into, what is in their world. Most of the time we end up having a great talk and I feel better and so do they.
If I go outside I have to be super aware of the people around me, especially if I am having a bad pain day or am just grumpy from the million things that try to keep me down. I will smile at people, help old people or disable people with their things, talk to the checkout person, let someone in front of me in the parking lot get that spot, there are so many little things we can do to help other people. We don’t get to decide exactly what helps who, but we can offer our help and positivity no matter what.
Donate things! You can help others by giving away used items and clothes to your local homeless shelter. Something I found out is really helpful, if you have a Family Dollar or Dollar General, you can call ahead and tell them you are coming into purchase items for your local non-profit or homeless shelter. I suggest calling those non-profit facilities ahead of time and asking what they are currently in need of or currently accepting, they do have needs specific to them. The Dollar store will sometimes give you a steep discount for donating to a nonprofit. I go in there and buy shaving supplies and feminine products, underwear, and socks, our shelters are always in need of those things. You can buy some cheap dollar food at the Dollar Tree and donate it literally anywhere. You will feel good about helping, and the ones you help will be blessed. That energy flow is important to our mental health and it affects our physical health on some level too.
You cannot do all of the things. I can not do all of the things. I can do like, three of the things in a week… any of the things, not just the things I listed here. Sometimes getting a shower is an accomplishment that I will thrive off of for three days. I know.
Conserving energy is something that chronically ill people need to be mindful of, or we pay for it for days or weeks. You know your body the best. You know your limits. Do not push yourself to the limit, or you will not be able to be of use to yourself or anyone else. Better to do small things infrequently than to overload yourself getting everything done and then laying in bed for five days.
This is where lists can come in handy. I know, I talk about them literally all the time, so far in every post, but its because it is one tool or habit that gets things done, but keeps me from overdoing it. Prioritize your tasks, give yourself reasonable time to get them done, and don’t beat yourself up if you only get a couple of things done. Or nothing, you can try again tomorrow.
Overall, be kind. Be kind to you, and be kind to others. It is like a duh thing, but sometimes we forget to do both, and if we can be more mindful of how we present ourselves to others, we can control some aspects of our illness, even in thought.
Being chronically ill is difficult at best, but there are ways to minimize our worst days and moments. You do have control over some things in your life, and this post is just showing ways that you can guide your day a little better to make it less harmful, stressful, and overbearing. We are gonna have bad days, there’s no way around that. But our intentions and awareness can help minimize them.