I’m keeping this post short and sweet. You’ll see why when you read it. 😊
A LOT is happening in my life right now. I found my own apartment, my responsibilities at work are increasing, and I’m slowly finding my place in the world. To say the least, it’s all very overwhelming. Good but total chaos. And… I’m the type of person who doesn’t handle overwhelm very well. When things are difficult, I withdraw. I get tired. I reject myself and I think a lot. Instead of getting up and doing the stuff, I try to think my way around it and it’s exhausting.
For someone who doesn’t handle overwhelm very well, I certainly create a lot of it for myself. Not only do I have trouble quieting the incessant thoughts in my head, I let things get out of hand because I don’t have the habits to support my lifestyle. And when things go wrong (like when I wake up late for the fourth time in one week), I put myself down instead of picking myself back up and starting over.
Let’s face it. Life only gets busier the more connected we become and it’s difficult to slow down long enough to not only forgive ourselves for making mistakes, but also to create new habits to avoid burnout in the future.
Life-making is hard (did I make that word up?) but I’m slowly understanding that positive habits make it easy. Habits are the day-to-day “hacks” we build into our schedule that make us feel like we can accomplish what we set out to do. As I’m moving into 2019 (😂), here’s the foundation I’ll be building my habits on so I can reach my goals this year.
Drop The Guilt
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I have a habit (lol, not intended) of putting myself down when I can’t keep up with my routine rather than forgiving myself and trying again. And although it may be okay for me to recognize where I went wrong, I can see how the guilt that comes after is greatly impacting my success with implementing new habits.
Guilt can make us feel badly about ourselves, especially when it’s ruthlessly self imposed. My thought process usually goes something like this:
“Seriously, Shawna!? You’re up late, AGAIN? When are you finally going to get your act together?”
I attempt to fight back: “I’m trying, things are changing right now and I have a lot on my plate. This is the best I can do.”
Cynic-self: “Well, that’s not good enough, especially after you tried so hard to do this before.”
All this bad self talk only makes me want to reject myself and crawl into a hole. How can I expect myself to do better when I’m literally criticizing myself over the smallest digression? Building habits, I realized, starts with accepting ourselves wherever we are in our journey. So Shawna, forgive yourself and move on. Drop your guilt at the door.
Last night, while I was desperately tryin to fall asleep at 1am, I came to the realization that it’s really not ALL bad. Of course, when we come to this conclusion with our lives it can seem like we’re stating the obvious to ourselves. But I’d like to argue that sometimes we need a gentle reminder the world is not ending just because the dishes didn’t get done.
What I realized is this: I do have good habits buried underneath the overwhelm, confusion, and guilt. They’re there, waiting to be appreciated and understood. So I made a list of all the good habits I could think of in my head before I went to sleep and noticed that the more I thought of the positive habits, the less I cared about the bad.
That’s not to say that the bad ones shouldn’t be replaced; I just felt less controlled by them. I saw positive actions I could build on rather than a mess I had to clean up from scratch. So although “Think Positively” sounds a little obvious, it can be the gentle reminder we need to see that we really aren’t in a hole we can’t crawl out of. We’re just climbing a mountain we cannot see and it’s actually a lot of fun.
Follow me on Twitter (@shawna_117) and use #ProductOfTheInformationAge or #ShareWithShawna to tell me about your positive habits and how they help you accomplish your goals! If you’re new here, check out my About page for more information on my goal to make the world of technology and the lives of the people who use it a more mindful and supportive place.
P.S. – I FINALLY got computer glasses so I’ll let you know if I notice a difference in about a week AAAANNDDDD I’m super excited to tell you about my experience with finding and decorating my apartment. More to come!! Nighty, night.