Working on Self-Improvement

I constantly work to improve myself. I work to increase my effectiveness and my creativity. I work to improve my knowledge of music as a therapeutic medium. I try my best to work on things that enrich my life rather than complicating it. There are times, though, when my penchant for self-improvement becomes onerous rather than productive.

I am someone who has always used a calendar and journal. I have always used to-do lists and self-reflection as a part of my personal and professional lives. Right now, though, I have become a bit overwhelmed with thoughts about what I "should" be doing as part of my life rather than what I "am" doing. The preceding statement is the reason that I have three words that I call my "goblins" - would, could, and should. 

I have a list of self-improvement habits that I want to get started. They include daily exercise (I have NO excuse except that I just don't like exercising), eating better (again, no excuse), being purposefully creative, and clearing out my environment of extraneous stuff. I tried listing all of these habits on my tasks page in my journal/agenda, but it became silly to have lots of empty little boxes. So, I've simplified.

The habit I am currently establishing is eating breakfast every day. You can see that habit tracker on the bottom of the right page. I've done well (so far) this week - two out of two days! I got 100% last week as well. I am well on my way to making this a habit. After a month of breakfasts, I will add another habit onto my tracker list. Exercise HAS to be next!

I spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out what I "should" be doing rather than examining what I am able to do and what I am actually doing with my life. For example, I "should" exercise, but I don't. When I track something like that pesky exercise habit and find that I am not doing what I set out to do, I find myself heading towards guilt and shameful feelings.

Guilt is not something that I enjoy. I don't know too many people who do enjoy it, so I try to get rid of my "goblin" words, especially when referring to myself and what I do in my life. Every time I say one of my goblins, I coat what I am getting done with a layer of shame - I spent some time yesterday making a junk journal, but I SHOULD have dome some exercising, too. Well, I COULD be exercising, but I would rather watch YouTube videos. If I WOULD only exercise more, I WOULD feel better. See what I mean? A layer of guilt and shame over everything.

As a result, I work on one thing at a time. Eating breakfast in the morning means better blood sugar during the day. Eating breakfast helps me avoid spending money on fast food stuff that is bad for me and encourages me to eat better. Eating breakfast means that I don't eat the snack food that I keep in my office. So, I will eat breakfast until it becomes very natural for me, and then I will add something new...like exercise.

What I really need to do is to exercise when I am watching YouTube videos! Okay - that's a plan that I can get behind!!

I'm going to check off some of the stuff that is on my self-improvement list today. See you soon?

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