Those who’ve been regular visitors to my site over some time will not be surprised to know I tend to ponder over things. I’ll read something – like this piece from Tiny Buddha – and I’ll bookmark it on my phone or computer while it marinates in my mind a little. Or a lot.
The article in question is about change and procrastination and as the queen of the latter it really hit home.
Then, coincidentally Facebook reminded me this week of a blog post I wrote in 2015 about change needing to be sustainable. I talk a lot in the post about my old life in international development but end that post referring to some weight loss goals. Hence the pondering…
Change: small, slow steps or fast and final
The Tiny Buddha piece references the Kaizen method, so akin to my thoughts on the need to make small sustainable changes. I’m also reminded of Leo Babauta’s work around habits and change on his Zen Habits blog as he’s a big proponent of the slow and steady method as well.
However… I can’t help but wonder if there’s ever a time to just rip that damned bandaid off. Quickly, getting the pain over and done with. It occurs to me that some of my more successful ‘changes’ (meaning life changes I guess) have been those big changes I’ve made (my job changes, my seachange and weightloss surgery) that haven’t needed a lot of over-analysis and ultimately have been based on good old ‘gut’ instinct.
Changing the way we think about tasks and goals
Another thing the Tiny Buddha piece (by Alison Breen) focuses on is reframing those things we’ve procrastinated over. As a procrastinator from waaaay back, I talk again and again about stuff I’d like to do and yet I do nothing. Like Breen I can’t use the ‘I have no time’ excuse because I find time to do other things.
She talks about the fact we tend to think ‘big’ when considering our aspirations. “Write a novel” (in my case), certainly seems overwhelming. And pipe-dream-ish to me at the moment. She suggests we set ourselves smaller goals and ask ourselves smaller questions, to overcome fear and apathy and become more aware of what it is we’re avoiding.
Breen suggests we consider what it is we’re avoiding (or wish we were doing) and ask how we can make the task seem more enjoyable, for example.
So I’ve started using Breen’s approach of minimising the overwhelm of my goals as well as my eternal frustration that I’m not pursuing a more creative life. And here are my questions, in case you were wondering…. (forgive the awkward phrasing but they’re only for my benefit. And it really is all about me me me!)
1. What did I do today I’m glad I did?
2. What did I do today I wish I hadn’t done?
3. What didn’t I do today that I wish I had?
4. What could I do tomorrow to make me happier with these answers?
It’s a bit of a stocktake or audit approach for me to remind me that I do a lot of crap I don’t need to do and push aside stuff I wish I had done. Interestingly I’m also finding it kinda enlightening that some of the things I assumed to be time-wasting crap are the more enjoyable and fulfilling parts of my day.
How do you feel about change? Slow and steady or do you prefer to rip that bandaid off? And on the notion of change and achieving goals, are you a procrastinator? Any suggestions for me?
I’ve joined Leanne from Deep Fried Fruit and some other bloggers to help promote “ageing positively” and the Lovin’ Life mindset across the interwebz. You can link up via any one of us!