Life is a Team game

Hello fuzzbutts,

I’ve been seeing a lot of lonely people lately. I’ve also seen others who have friends but apparently don’t even like them. Always complaining or being exhausted by relentless drama. Especially given the current atmosphere lately and how many people seem to be losing “friendships” due to differences of beliefs, it’s easy to feel lonely and isolated. So there’s people playing the game of life solo and others are playing with a bunch of toxic randos.

Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact we need others. Yes, it’s important to be able to be on your own and satisfied with your own company. Absolutely. On the other hand, it’s also important to be around those who will help you grow and motivate you to do better!

So today’s post is to have you evaluate your relationships or what you’re doing right now and start exploring some more. It doesn’t even have to be in this fandom! Try to find a community interested in the same things as you that also motivates you to be a better you. I met an artist recently and suddenly I found myself way more motivated to do even more art practice. I also dipped back from some relationships that were draining me. Is there anyone you know who inspires and motivates you? Is there an interest you have and a community around that will get you more active?

Look for the qualities you want in your own life and look around for those who are already there or interested in doing the same thing! Your path to growth will be accelerated by having others help keep you going!

Working with Passion

Hello fuzzbutts!

“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Mark Twain

It’s a nice sentiment and something a lot of people I’ve met are looking for. They have a specific thing they want to do with their lives. If you can just find that one job, everything will be smooth sailing and you’ll wake up every morning with the joy of going to work and no stress. Young minds can’t help but think about the eventual day they don’t have to deal with work

Unfortunately, life rarely works out like that for anyone. Work is work, and fun is fun. You can work in an industry that has meaning and purpose related to your goals, but your activities at work may not be anything you hoped for. Worse, some people convert their passion into their job, like art, and it ends up becoming a dreary existence as well. So how do you navigate this? Well, like the rest of life’s choices, you have to strike a balance or separate the two entirely.

Your job is just something you have a skill in and can make money from (science, accounting, art, organization, whatever). If you can’t find a way to get a job more related to your passion, then it’s time to work hard and play hard. Take the job and do it well. After work, it’s time to get moving on your passions. Like animals? Spend off-work hours volunteering at the humane society or donating to a conservation cause you care the most about. What about art? Fund your life with your job and work on your art at home. Want to travel? Save up those vacation days and pack those bags.

It’s hard sometimes when people try to work their passion and it ends up failing on them in an identity-crushing way. All that effort for their passion and the work turned out to be WORK! Work will always be work. I enjoy science but it’s not like I enjoy washing glassware half the day or seeing bad data pop out of the instrumentation. So I just do the job and do it well. After that, I can take time at the Food Bank to volunteer and help the less fortunate. I use some of my income and put it toward veterans too. Those are things that would be harder to accomplish if I was always looking around for a better job or some mysterious position somewhere in the universe where I’m incredibly fulfilled by a job that also doesn’t stress me out.

My advice for all fuzzbutts is: Take the check from whatever job you have, lousy or not, and use the other 72 hours (168hrs in a week, minus 40 for work and 56 for sleep) for your passion and things that help you experience purpose and meaning in your life.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Actually Picking the Goals

Hello Fuzzbutts!

Today, we’ll go over goals. I’ve gone over SMART goals and how to design them. However, you can’t set a SMART goal if you don’t even know what it even is that you should work toward. So here are some steps to follow to give yourself some direction.

First, jot down a list of things you would like to do. Write ALL of it down, regardless of any hindering thoughts that come up. We’re going to refine this list. So try to get anything from 5-10 things you’d like to do. No judgements here.

Once you have your list, you’ve probably noticed a couple of things that really stick out from the rest. Think it over and consider the options on your paper. Now you have a couple of goals to set up.

Don’t know where to start? Google it! There’s tons of resources out there to give you an idea of what you have to start with. From there, it’s time to design a SMART goal around that. Want to start a garden? Design where it will go, what you want to grow, and what you need to buy to make it happen. Want to learn Blender? Find a tutorial and then proceed to make a goal around that (The Donut Challenge). Follow SMART principles and you’ll reach those goals.

If you fall out of love with your idea, you still have your big list of interests from the first step to review and try something else!

Good luck Fuzzbutts!

Expectations vs You

Hello Fuzzbutts,

Hope you’re all doing well! Feeling good? Keeping yourself grounded? Maybe you’re a little stressed out because of everything around you or maybe your goals aren’t coming to fruition. It might be your expectations are off and the difference between expectation and reality is what’s driving you crazy.

Say you wanted to lose 100 lbs in a year. That’s almost 10 lbs a month. If you’ve never lost more than 4 pounds so far, is it reasonable to expect yourself to double that? Maybe. Maybe not. However, if you’re halfway through the year and you’ve lost maybe 20 lbs, you’re going to find yourself very frustrated that you’re not on track. You’ve made great progress, just not at the timetable you’re expecting. If you had been better about your expectations though and said 50 pounds, you’d still feel pretty good halfway through the year if you lost the same 20 lbs.

I also see a lot of people putting expectations on others or even the entire world. They expect others to behave a certain way or think a certain way. If it doesn’t happen, it really ends up bothering them. It would be like me saying “I expect everyone to be productive” and then getting angrier every time I see somebody wasting away all their time (there’s a lot of them). It doesn’t do me any good to put those expectations on others and it only results in feeling bad. There are certain behaviors that should be expected like not expecting a stranger to randomly run up to you screaming, sure. However, we have to be reasonable in what we expect of ourselves and others. Often times, it just means lowering expectations.

I hope you start to analyze your own expectations of yourself and others. Are your goals and responsibilities actually reasonable or are you expecting too much (or too little!). Are you putting expectations on others and becoming frustrated when they don’t live up to them? Reassess how you think when it comes to things like this and hopefully you’ll find the peace of mind you need when everything around you seems to be failing.

Sometimes there’s no plan. Sometimes you don’t need one.

Hello fuzzbutts!

I hope you’ve all been doing well in these crazy times. I had a little bit of a scare almost a couple of weeks ago which turned out to be food poisoning and a few days off from work. Considering how many of those symptoms match the virus, work asked me to stay home until I could get over it and get a test. However, your productive wuff is doing fine now and has been busy.

The time off came off at a crazy time. I was in the process of shifting into a new position at work, taking over a new space to arrange and help get another building set up. So when I returned to work, there was a lot to do and quite a bit to get caught up on. As much as I love my checklists and planning, I had plenty of tasks in front of me, my coworkers were swamped with their own responsibilities, and I was told “Do whatever you can.”

So what did I do? Anything I could! I looked through the supplies, wrote down a quick list of things I could get, and raided the old building for anything I could find to bring over. There wasn’t even enough time to count or calculate how much stuff I needed. I just went in, grabbed handfuls of whatever, loaded messes of boxes, carted things back and forth to get it done. More people came at me asking if we had this or that. We didn’t, of course. Did I make a huge list and plan to make the most efficient trip like a disciplined wuff? Nope! Time was more important for each case so I’d go over, grab what was needed, and rush back.

As chaotic as it was, it was still a blast. I love organizing spaces and supporting others so the new position feels good. I came in without a plan and there just wasn’t time to get a plan in place. When you have a big task in front of you and no time to plan it out, all you can do is pick out some piece and get it done as quick as you can. Then continue to take it bit by bit until it’s done. As the dust settles, other things will make themselves apparent and you’ll hopefully have more time to plan those out.

Just don’t lock yourself into feeling like you ALWAYS have to plan everything. You’ll end up paralyzing yourself when sometimes you just need to get to work. With enough experience, you’ll be able to make a quick decision about whether it’s a “planning” or a “doing” task and I hope you can start getting things done!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Keep Working Toward Something

Hello Fuzzbutts!

Things have started to settle around me in certain aspects of my life as I get ready for my new job at the same place, feeling comfortable at my place, grew out a quarantine beard, and started growing succulents to green up my home. I’m still drawing a bit but I caught myself spending too much time on video games again. It’s a constant struggle, especially when you have friends you enjoy playing with.

I did a little self-assessment and things are starting to reach a new baseline for me. Not really a ton going on aside from drawing so some of my energy has been going back to video games. Video games tend to be my default for when I’m either in a lousy mood or just don’t have anything else to do. So when I noticed I was just fooling around with a ton of games, I realized I needed somewhere else to direct my energy.

So I’m still working toward my goals but it was time to develop new things. One of which, related to my new plants, is decorating my place. I enjoy a very minimal space but I would like more artwork and ways to make things nicer since it became too boring. Next, pick up some fun little model kits and put stuff together with my hands. Anything else? Well going back to the gym would be nice. The work gym shut down so now I have to find a regular gym since those have opened, at least. None open yet but I do plan on joining a Jiu-Jitsu school. I’d like to keep building up my strength further and try not to stay as focused as I have been on cardio so I want real weights.

So there’s a couple of things I can start doing. Step up my fitness some more, work on models, design and decorate my home.

There’s a lot of science out there that if you want to improve your quality of life, you need to start setting goals and working toward something. Here’s a fun article to read up a bit more about it! The Science and Psychology of Goal-Setting 101. So try to take a look at your life and the things you’re up to lately and decide what matters for your quality of life. Hopefully you find something you’d like to work on and, once you complete those goals, pick something else to move toward like learning another language or picking up a new skill!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

So where are you?

We’re about halfway through the year so I thought it would be a nice time to check in with yourself. You should be doing this more often than twice a year but there’s a little something in your brain that gets triggered when you reach the halfway point. Similar to when we’re about to start the new year and everyone wants to make resolutions. We set some goals earlier and we need to stay on top of it. It’s not really any different than if you work somewhere that requires annual goals. You assess the goals and see where you are with your progress and if anything should be changed.

So feel free to pull out a piece of paper and a pencil and then look over your goals. First thing to check is whether or not you already accomplished the goal! Yes? Hopefully you already checked it off. Do you want to take that goal further? Reach your goal of 30 pushups in one go? Why not step it up to 40 or 50? Draw something that reached a new record in your favorites count? Why not keep up the drawing and work toward a new personal best? So if you’re done with the goal, cross it off and focus on the rest. If you want to do more with that goal, time to step up and make another plan for it.

What if you didn’t finish the goal? That’s fine! You got time. First, check in with your progress. Did you make enough progress? Are you on track to finish the goal in your time-frame? That’s fine. Even if you miss the time by a little bit, you’re still going to reach that goal. Seriously, though, try to get it done on time.

So you didn’t finish the goal and your progress is…. lacking? Nonexistent? Absent? Some other term to reflect that you made next to no progress? Well if you haven’t been working on it, just take it off the list. No reason to guilt yourself over not doing it if you’re not interested in it right now. Free up the mental space for the other goals you have.

So get started on some self-review and check over your goals and how you’re doing. If you don’t have any goals on your radar right now, time to come up with some!

Good luck, Fuzzbutts!

Time to Think

Hello fuzzbutts!

With everything going on and the urge to stay productive, it’s sometimes difficult to slow down and come up with another plan. Currently, there’s two things. One, what to write for this blog. Second, how to decorate my home since I feel like it’s not quite comfy enough.

The underlying problem when it comes to this stuff is that it takes focused thinking. It’s easy to consider something and be like “Oh yeah I should spiff up the living room,” or “I need to come up with topics to post about,” and nothing happens. Not really something to set up with a SMART goal but it takes effort. So what now?

It’s surprising how much we think about something we¬†should do which is something that may not be as important as your other priorities. If it sticks in your brain, though, you need to focus and take care of it. I can’t decorate my condo if I’m not actually stopping and planning how I want it to look! I can’t keep up the blog if I don’t sit down and actually come up with specific topics for the blog!

So be sure to check in with yourself or the things you have going on. Carve out the time, sit down, grab a pad and paper or whatever you need to figure things out. You’re not going to get it done while working on other things or just lightly musing about it on the drive to and from work. So get focused and think hard about your subject!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Hacks for Achieving More

Hello Fuzzbutts!

What a month lately! I’m still working but wow. Lots of things going on since we’re all locked down. Odd, right? You’d think I’d be doing less when stuck at home but it’s worked out anyway. I’ve even discovered grocery delivery and I might just stick with it after everything is over. Thankfully, I have plenty of goals that just need time at home so here we are!

Sometimes when we’re home, even if we have things to do, we can let the goals slide. “I’ll take a nice little vacation and have plenty of time to draw or work on X” becomes “Where did all that time go? I didn’t do anything I said I was going to!”

How does that happen? A few reasons.

First: With nobody coming over lately, it’s easy to let the mess start to build up in your home. Socks go over the couch, counter-tops build up with pancake mix and cereal boxes. This clutter can make it difficult when you suddenly have inspiration to hammer at your goals. Now you’re trying to clean while you find your book or tablet or whatever you’re working on. Keep your space clean!

Second: You’re letting distractions get to you. You have a goal but hey, it’s lock-down time. Might as well treat it like a mini stay-cation and just do whatever you like. It won’t last forever! Working on something? Naw. What’s on Netflix? Stop that. If you don’t get to work on your goals now, how can you expect to get anything done when your life picks up again? So don’t let that be your excuse and see what you can do.

Third: Your reason isn’t strong enough. Goals are fine and meeting that goal is nice to think about. What about the work? Do you have a reason good enough to put in the work? Think about the goal, what you want by working toward it, and decide if the result is worth the effort (It usually is!).

This is just three things I could quickly think of and I hope you’re able to assess yourself right now and how you’re doing with your goals!

 

Good luck Fuzzbutts!

Game-ifying Habits?

Hello fuzzbutts,

Given the quarantine and all this going on, I noticed recently that some of my habits started to die off one by one as I grew increasingly bored and had less things to do. Exercise is tricky since my work closed their mini gym and I’m on an upper floor at home so I can’t exactly bring in a treadmill or do anything jumpy while I’m exercising. Same goes for drawing. I sometimes end up playing games way longer than I should since I practically halted work on my goals so those usual habits got rather spotty.

Given that, I realized internal motivation is at a low in my life for things I want. So back to basics! First, understanding my Why? Why did I want to build this habit again? What was the goal of doing this?

Next, I also found I wasn’t really rewarding myself for any good habits. So I worked out or I drew something. Did I give myself a treat at all? Nope! I was relying on my self-satisfaction to keep me motivated. It didn’t last for long.

But Wuffles! You’ve mentioned these things before! Yes I have. Productivity is like physical fitness. Even if you hit your target level, you have to maintain these things and it’s so easy to let things start to slide after a while. If you’re not super vigilant, you’re going to find yourself stopping once in a while to re-assess where you are and how to do better.

So now what? Well I can still go out for runs so I can look into routes in my area and just take a jog in the morning. In fact, I went today and it was nice! I can also look up “Hotel Room workout” on youtube for low-impact, quiet, and difficult workouts to complete in my home and rebuild my strength. What about drawing? Well there’s nothing special stopping me from that so it’s just a lack of drive to get it done. Well the solution for this can be lumped in with my drive to work out.

Gamifying! How does it work? Well, like any quest in an RPG game, you give yourself a task and a reward! As an example, I give myself a little credit every time I draw something to put toward a commission! I also hold myself accountable by doing things like a random raffle sketch where I put out the expectation I’m going to draw something. There’s also apps like Habitica that let you track your habits and tasks and give you points and a score! This is how things like High Scores work in arcade games. You see the progress, the numbers, and you want to keep boosting your score. It’s meaningless in the long term (like most games) so you don’t really have an incentive to cheat and boost your score in the app, but there is something in your brain that gives you a little reward when you check something off the list. So look up some apps, give them a try, add some goals and tasks and habits you want to pick up, and then see how you respond to it!

Good luck, Fuzzbutts!