I have more than two problems...
- 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.
- I'm a creature of habit. That means if there isn't a routine in my life, then NOTHING will EVER happen.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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):
- Self-esteem goal: Smile & Know I'm Loved
- Physical goal: Wii-Fit Workout (20-30 min)
- Household goal: Clean Kitchen
- Emotional goal: Write or Create something (20-30 min)
- Relational goal: Spend time with hubby (20-30 min at least)
- Relational goal: Playing with kids (20-30 min at least)
- 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.