Repost: Decide What You Really Need to Change

Planning out New Yearโ€™s Resolutions? Read this to ensure that youโ€™re working on the stuff that really matters!

Before New Years Resolutions, Decide What You Really Need to Change

This post rang true to me. I wrote my January goals, made weekly plannars, got a calendar, and yet I still feel overwhelmed and distraught.

I haven’t been doing much of my resolutions or goals, because in order to do them, I can’t give my son the attention he needs, so he is becoming clingy. I think in my pursuit to become a better writer I forgot that my priority is my son and husband. Maybe I resented it even. But being a mom is what inspires me. Interacting with people is my muse. I met my new neighbor today, unofficially. It was so awkward. I think I may be giving off anti-social vibes, but to me, other people are either too closed in on themselves or too open and pushy.

I hope I get to know my new neighbor. It’s sad that I don’t know my other neighbors. My husband isn’t social and I’m socially awkward. I really want to get over this and have mom friends and neighbor friends like normal people.

Turning the page on 2020

Hello ๐Ÿ‘‹ reader and welcome to my blog!

It’s a week until New Year’s and 2020 will finally be over. Here’s to hoping 2021 will be a better year. Despite the rollercoaster of a year filled with tragedy, I still managed to achieve some goals and restore some order to my life by making monthly goals for November and December of this year.

Today I’m reflecting on my December goals (I know December isn’t over yet but since my son will be taking a 2 week vacation from school so I won’t have much me time to focus on my goals in these 2 weeks, hence the early reflection)

Disclaimer:

I don’t celebrate Christmas because I’m a Muslim and it’s a Christian holiday (Christmas symbolizes the birth of Jesus as Christians consider him to be God or the son of God ุงุณุชุบูุฑ ุงู„ู„ู‡) but as a Muslim, I believe in 1 God and Jesus is his messenger. However, since I live in a multisectarian country with Muslims and Christians, schools must take both Muslim and Christian holidays (good news for students and teachers but bad news for parents).

This month, I made 20 goals (I know that’s overwhelming but last month I made 29 goals so I’m getting better). I won’t go in detail about each goal, but I’ll tell you that I categorized them into personal, social, spiritual, reading, writing, and physical. I tried to stick to 3 goals per category.

As you can see, week by week, my performance in these goals fluctuated. Week 1 I was best at writing, week 2 I brought my spiritual A game, and in week 3 I pulled myself together socially, physically and kept on reading increasingly from the beginning of the month until today (2 pages a day, don’t be impressed). Here’s to hoping I don’t fall apart completely in the 4th week!

This last week of December I’ll be reassessing my goals and what I need to focus on in the future, and I’ll be planning for a better 2021.

How will I plan for 2021?

1. Calender

I did this in 2020 for the 1st time. I printed out a calender where each month had a quote on it and there was an empty page where I drew and decorated.

I drew and cut and colored for each month until I got to September because I got discouraged.

This year I will print out another calender but I will decorate it differently (no sneak peaks, I’ll show you when I make it).

2. Monthly goals

Since I really enjoyed making goals for November and December (although a bit overwhelming), I decided to continue this into 2021, but I will try to limit myself to 2 goals per category.

The categories may change as well once I write my mission statement (I printed out the template and action words and I plan to fill them out before new year’s).

3. Weekly planning

I haven’t done this before, but I’ve been reading a lot about time management and Stephan Covey said weekly plannars are very important so I’m going to give it a shot.

I’m not done reading this chapter yet but this is the template for weekly plannars from the book The 7 habits of highly effective people

4. To-do lists

I’ve been writing these for years, but this time I’ll try to do them differently. I usually jot down 20 tasks to do per day, or nothing at all. I’ll try my best to not put more than 10 tasks on my list and to create a morning and evening routine such that I don’t even have to write it down. I’ll also try to prioritize the 3 most important tasks and do them 1st if I can.

Yesterday’s to-do list

I hope you enjoyed this overview into how I plan my life. There is a lot of unplanned events that I don’t write down. People can be very unpredictable. My mood and health throw me off balance too sometimes. It’s important to plan ahead and work on your goals but to also be flexible so that when something happens (a death in the family, sickness, bad weather,…) it doesn’t discourage you from working on achieving your goals.

Have you reflected on 2020 yet?

What do you have planned for 2021?

Do you self sabotage? I do!

Do you stay up late to watch your favorite show even though you’re tired and you know you’re going to wake up the next day feeling terrible?

Do you go ahead and eat that burger and fries or several donuts even though you know it’s going to make you feel bloated and lethargic later?

Do you keep procrastinating your workout because you’re too busy, even though you know you will be very stiff if you don’t at least stretch?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you probably are sabotaging yourself. I know because I do all of the above!

What is self-sabotage?

refers to behaviors or thought patterns that hold you back and prevent you from doing what you want to do.

Www.healthline.com

What are these thoughts and behaviors though? “Just one more episode”, “one more burger won’t kill me”, “I’ll exercise later”, “I got time”,… Etc. Sound familiar?

What causes self-sabotaging behavior?

Substance abuse, turning to food, or procrastination can all be ways in which we self-sabotage. We may also self-sabotage by not committing to relationships or being a poor friend even when connection is what we truly want.

Why do people self-sabotage?

Some individuals, of course, spend much of their lives struggling with powerful cravings for food, drink, gambling, or other temptations that come at a painful cost to their health or relationships. But the forces that lead to self-sabotage can also be more subtle, such as an accumulation of dysfunctional and distorted beliefs that lead people to underestimate their capabilities, suppress their feelings, or lash out at those around them. (source http://www.psychologytoday.com)

How do you stop self-sabotage?

The 1st step is realizing you’re doing it.

The 2nd step is knowing why. Are you stressed out so you need to watch to destress? Do you emotionally eat because you feel sad or angry or lonely so you seek comfort food? Are you a perfectionist or afraid of failure so you end up not even trying?

The 3rd step is setting limits and tiny goals for yourself. Start with one episode per night, or try waking up really early (after going to bed really early) and limit yourself to 1 episode a day. Have the burger and fries once a month and then once every 3 months. If your goal is working out daily, start with twice a week or 1 minute a day.

The 4th step is opening up to someone in order for them to help you and hold you accountable, so you don’t slip. I’m struggling over here. I do open up about these things (I’m doing it right now) but no one seems to care. I have 1 friend who keeps asking me if I’m exercising, and surprise surprise, I went from exercising once a week to 4 times a week. Now I just have to take care of everything else.

Following goals through isn’t easy, but it all comes down to the small habits you practice day in and day out. How you destress, what time you sleep and wake up, what you eat, how much physical activity you do, what you watch and read and how much, who you’re friends with, and last but not least, your mindset.

Self-sabotage is something I’m aware that I do and I want to stop it. I know it’s because I overwhelm myself with goals because I’m a perfectionist and I fear failure so I procrastinate. But I’m also impulsive so that counteracts the latter. I’m open and vulnerable and I’m not afraid to be myself (on the blog, not in real life) because I know that I’m not alone, and neither are you. We can stop self-sabotage together!

Do you self-sabotage?

Repetitive behaviors of self sabotage by Paulo Zerbato

How to write a mission statement

Hello ๐Ÿ‘‹ reader and welcome to my blog!

I recommend you read my previous post about the whole brain theory (click here) if you haven’t yet, as it is an introduction to mission statements.

What is a mission statement?

a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.

Dictionary

In this post, I will mainly focus on personal and family mission statements, with a brief mention of organizational mission statements.

But 1st, why are mission statements important?

In identifying your roles and goals, you get a sense of proportion and balance in your life. Otherwise, you will spread yourself too thin trying to eat healthy, sleep early, take care of your kids, be social and happy, make money, etc because whenever one calls for your attention, you drop the rest. This is related to having a different center (also explained previously here) than a principle center. For example, you get consumed by work and neglect your health.

How to write a personal mission statement

1st, identify your mission. For example, my mission is to make a difference in the world by motivating and inspiring others while working on my self growth continuously.

2nd, think of the ways in which you can fulfill your mission. For example, can you give charity? Volunteer? Spend time with your family? Give inspirational talks or write inspirational blogs?

3rd, identify the roles you play and how you can fulfill your mission through them. For example, I’m a mother so raising my son to be a kind assertive human being is part of my mission because I am impacting a human being and instilling my values in him by raising him respectfully (I haven’t exactly suceeded yet but I’m trying). I am also a wife, a sister, a friend, a daughter, a Muslim, a blogger and a reader so I should use these roles to help me fulfill my mission, like giving my sisters advice, and being there for my friends, etc.

How to write a family mission statement

The author Stephen Covey explains in The 7 habits of highly effective people that many families are managed on the basis of crises, moods, quick fixes, and instant gratification.

This is very unhealthy because it creates an unhealthy family dysfunction where there is poor communication and no mutual respect.

But when the family comes together and discusses their values together and makes goals they want to achieve as a family together, then you got yourself a family mission statement.

This reminds me of the parenting book I read recently called Character is the key by Sarah Dimerman and it was about the values a family should have. The author suggested family meetings and activities done together to strengthen family bonds. She discussed the top 10 attributes a family should focus on: empathy, fairness, courage, honesty, initiative, integrity, optimism, perseverance, respect, and responsibility.

These words will help you make your own family mission statement.

These are some action words to help you make your mission statement

Finally, here is an example family mission statement I found on Pinterest

How to write an organizational mission statement

Now this is something I have no knowledge about besides what I just read in this book, but it applies to any business or establishment. If you notice, universities have mission statements as well.

Without involvement, there is no commitment

Stephen Covey, The 7 habits of highly effective people

Everyone in the business or institution must be involved with the mission statement, aware of the values of the company, and in line with the goals of the establishment. Otherwise, there will be chaos in the organization.

Creating an organizational mission statement takes time, patience, involvement, skill, and empathy….to align systems, structure, and management style to the shared vision and values.

Stephen Covey, The 7 habits of highly effective people

Takeaway message

Take a few moments and write down your roles, your goals, and your core values. Share them with your family ir work group and try to create a mission statement you can work on together.

Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Hello ๐Ÿ‘‹ reader. How are you?

I hope you’re having a great day and a great week. I have a migraine (as usual lately) so I will try to keep this short.

I’ve been questioning my writing credability lately. I don’t want to write just to write. I want to write when I have something to say. Usually, I’ve been too busy or too tired, sometimes both, to turn my thoughts into words on the blog. But I wanted to take a few minutes before I go back to my to do list and share something with you.

I made 20 goals for this December, and a week in and I’m overwhelmed. No surprise there, but I can’t help it. I have so many plans and goals and I feel like I’m such a mess I need to fix everything in me. I read a blog today that I need to be myself more. But what if myself is a neurotic perfectionist? Then, according to Nick Miller (if you know, you know) then being yourself is the worst advice ever. I also read not to change myself but to improve my life and that’s what I’m trying to do. Or am I?

I’m isolating myself at home reading so much I’m not really living. My husband suggested that I take a walk today, so guess what? I did!

It was amazing! I went with my 5 year old at 3pm. They said it would rain at 4. We took his umbrella. We went to the supermarket and got some english muffins, then went to the park (which has been closed since March) and surprise! It was open. For 2 minutes. The moment we walked in, the guy told us they were closing and to hurry up. I took as many pictures and videos as I could, which upset my son because he doesn’t like it when I film things. He wanted me to just enjoy the moment. He is right but dude, this is how I enjoy the moment.

Anyway, it’s a good thing we took a fall photoshoot on the way there because I saw a tree with orange leaves and it had Fall vibes all over it and there was no time for a photoshoot at the park anyway.

On the way back, it was rainy and windy but I think my son had a good time. He had been wanting to walk in the rain since forever. He finally got his wish, but we basically sprinted in the rain and wind.

Now I’m cozy at home with no cocoa (forgot to buy some at the supermarket) so I can’t have hot chocolate milk, but my son is happily playing with the monster family we made together today (another fun activity we did today). *my son got bored of playing before I finished this blog and started irritating me and is now throwing a tantrum because I’m on my phone so I’m going yo try to wrap this up quickly*

My point is, I barely did anything on my goals list, but today I’m happy. I spent time with my son, and that is the most important thing right now. He is almost 6 years old and soon he won’t want to spend time with me. He will be off with his friends or holed up in his room all day.

So the moral of this story is spend time with your kids while they still want to spend time with you.

Also, nature is healing.

Unfiltered thoughts

I have racked my brain today thinking what I should blog about, and I got nothing.

My blogs have become orchestrated symphonies, organized series, not all over the place.

You got me. I’m a phony. A liar. Pretending I’m all put together when I’m not. Or was I pretending? I’m not sure of the illusion I’m setting, I don’t know what to tell you. Would you like to know the lies I tell myself to be able to sleep? I know I don’t give back enough, but then again, I do some acts of kindness, right?

I think I have become so fixated on self improvement that I am stuck in the learning process. So many blogs I read today and podcasts I listened to. So many movies and TV shows that moved me and inspired me.

I exercised today. I brushed my teeth. I didn’t cry. I ticked off everything on my to do list. I was a tender loving mom, for the most part. I lost my cool for a couple hours today. Had a meltdown, me and my 5 year old both. Then I calmed down and was tender mom for the rest of the day.

I am 1st and foremost a mom. I get wrapped up in my reading and writing and to do lists and goals that sometimes I forget about the most important thing. To just live in the moment and enjoy it. I lived in the moment several times today. As a result, I didn’t read from “The 7 habits of highly effective people” today. Instead, I played monopoly with my son. It was nerve wrecking but fun. Every game with my son is like that. He is a silly kid. I’m dead serious, even when I play games. I don’t cheat in games or even laugh and I barely smile. Okay I do smile. I think.

For someone who is so self aware, I’m biased. I need a spectator to tell me how I am, but I also want to decide on my own. I don’t want someone to say something and lift me up or bring me down.

I’m so grateful for the life I live, that I have the time to worry about such nonsense.

I’m grateful for this blog. Sadly, I’m afraid sometimes I use it to inflate my ego and feed my self esteem, although compared to other bloggers, I’m not even a blip on the radar. But compared to me last year, I finally feel heard and understood, like my thoughts aren’t all crazy.

Everybody around me. All they care about is shopping. My passion is psychology. I think the human brain is fascinating. Yesterday I was reading about whole brain theory and how we each use a dominant half but if we learn to tap into the other half more often, we would be more creative and balanced.

Boy would I love to be stable and balanced. Tell you a secret? Part of me wants to be liked by everyone. The other part of me knows this is people pleasing and wrong and that I should just be myself, but what if myself is everchanging.

I feel like I have changed a lot in some ways over the years, but nevertheless I’m exactly the same. How is that even possible?!

Tell you what? I’m happy. Right now. This moment (no guarantee what rabbit hole I’ll go down in later) I have my husband, my son, my family, my health. I have so much. I am so much. At that note, I’ll go to sleep before I start overthinking again.

Resolving anxiety: finding your security, finding your freedom (repost from Remindful UK)

We all want to be secure. But we also want freedom. An inability to manage transition between these two extremes is the basis for much anxiety.

Resolving anxiety: finding your security, finding your freedom

Yoga ๐Ÿง˜โ€โ™‚๏ธ in session

I’ve talked about yoga a while ago, and it is something that I haven’t done in a while.

Recently, though, I’ve been doing yoga instead of those very light workouts, and it has really helped me. I just finished a yoga workout and I had to share my experience.

It may have a temporary effect, but it’s totally worth it. I feel like when I’m doing yoga, I get this momentary peace where I can feel my muscles relax (something my muscles rarely do).

Motherhood has turned me into a very neurotic person, but when I’m doing yoga (like really doing yoga not attempting to do yoga while I yell at my 5 year old to leave me alone) I feel so peaceful.

For 7 minutes, I’m not thinking about my to do list, or my problems, or worries. I’m just stretching my muscles.

I don’t do those crazy yoga poses either. I have bad knees and a bad left foot, so my movements are limited. These are totally doable moves and they are so relaxing. It’s basically stretching.

I use the application I mentioned in my previous yoga blog. Click here to read it.

I even downloaded another yoga app for my 5 year old so he doesn’t feel left out.

So yeah, do yoga.

Start feeling zen, even if it’s just for 7 minutes a day. You deserve a break from social media and the craziness in the world.

The problem with having too many goals

I have a problem. I get really excited for self improvement, so I download so many ebooks and apps and podcasts, then when I get all over the place, I get really overwhelmed and I give up.

The funny thing is that 10 years ago, I took a course in Goal Setting. I still have the papers from the course (though I never reread them). I think I even got a certificate for attendance, but I have no idea where I put it.

The 1st rule to goal setting is writing your goals down. So I did that just now, and I was shocked by how many things I’m working on right now. No wonder I feel overwhelmed.

There are so many things I’m trying to do and so many things I’m trying to improve all at once, it’s scary!

But I decided to try to focus on a few at a time. I won’t share my goals here because I recently watched a youtube video that said that statistics say that when you talk about your goals, you’re less likely to achieve them, and if you know me, you know I take the internet at face value, so let’s see what happens. I’ll check in about this on December 1st. Remind me in the comments if I forget, as I probably will.

So whatever you’re working on, write your goals down, don’t work on too many goals at a time, and check in with yourself every month to see how much you have accomplished of your goals. Also a good idea is to categorize your goals (I love categorizing) into health, work, hobbies, spiritual, family, social, etc.