Baby Steps

I have more than two problems...
  1. I lack in motivation.  I think I've mentioned this before.  Part of my particular brand of depression manifests in severe procrastination due to lack of motivation.  
  2. I'm a creature of habit.  That means if there isn't a routine in my life, then NOTHING will EVER happen.
  3. I am also a perfectionist.  This is a problem for me because if something is going to be done, I want it done RIGHT.  This leads to the fact that if I'm not capable of doing something RIGHT, there is no point to doing it at all.
  4. I set unrealistic expectations frequently.  I want to be the best and I expect those around me to be the best.  Not that setting standards for oneself is bad, but when you set them as high as I tend to, that's just a recipe for disaster and a guarantee of feeling like a complete and utter failure!
  5. If I don't accomplish SOMETHING productive in the course of my day, I start to feel guilty and beat myself up about it. This leads to more depression and cycles me through these four problems over and over into a downward spiral...
This means there are a couple things I need for my own well-being:
  1. I need to set goals for myself DAILY.  I set goals every night for the next day (or first thing in the morning when I wake up).  This helps me to know exactly what I need to accomplish, helps me sleep at night (because I don't lie awake thinking about whether I'm gonna remember any given obligation before it's too late), and provides a "fair" measure of my productivity each day.
  2. Because I know that my motivation is not high (less so some days than others) and that my day is filled with pint-sized interruptions, I set my bar low.  I gauge it to how I'm feeling that day.  Obviously if I'm tired, sick, or incredibly down on any given day, I've learned to cut myself a break and set either "easy" goals or less goals for the day.
  3. I send my goals to my hubby and mother-in-law.  This whole goal thing was my mother-in-law's idea in the first place, trying to help both of us snap out of the motivational slump we've been in of late.  Accountability means that I am more motivated to actually accomplish my goals... or at least work toward them.
  4. When I set my new goals for the day, I review my progress on my goals from the day before.  Again... a "fair measurement" of my productivity and the ability to keep myself "in check" as far as my expectations go.
This sounds so very "business-like" but that's what works for me.  Here's an example of my goals (I shoot for 5-10 on any given day in the following categories):
  1. Self-esteem goal: Smile & Know I'm Loved
  2. Physical goal: Wii-Fit Workout (20-30 min)
  3. Household goal: Clean Kitchen
  4. Emotional goal: Write or Create something (20-30 min)
  5. Relational goal: Spend time with hubby (20-30 min at least)
  6. Relational goal: Playing with kids (20-30 min at least)
  7. Spiritual goal: Relax (20-30 min)
Anyway, I don't know if this is helpful to anyone, but I find it works for me, so I figured I'd share.  The important thing for me to remember is that even when I make these goals, I do so knowing that there will be a couple everyday that won't get done.  

And the point is, that's okay.

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