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!

Being Responsible by Avoiding Responsibilities!

Hello fuzzbutts!

How’s your plate looking lately? Got enough things to do? You sure? Are you able to handle all of it? Maybe there’s one or two things too many and they’re slipping off the plate. It’s fallen off the plate like a tasty meatball that rolled off the spaghetti and now is sitting on the floor, making you feel bad as you consider whether or not to pick it up again.

Let’s face it. We can get over our heads. We have some time, volunteer for something, and then it becomes a bigger project than we planned on. We see some fun thing we want to try (me and my 3d printing) and takes that on. Before we are even finished with that, we pick something else we like! Finally, our homes fill up with unfinished projects that each nag at us whenever we’re home, sometimes things for other people with a deadline approaching! We meant well but there’s just too much going on now!

Well there’s only a few things you can try to fix the situation. One of which is hammering down and focusing on your work so you can fulfill some of those responsibilities and catch up with everything else. However, that doesn’t do any good if you end up volunteering for something else so soon. There will always be something.

Everyone wants to feel wanted or appreciated. People come to you as the fixer and you’re always available to lend a hand. You love to feel useful and help out. Even worse, if you say No to them, you’ll be letting them down and they’ll be miserable!

It’s irresponsible to take on too much responsibility. There. I told you. You want to help but you can’t. You have way too many things on your plate already. Taking on this new thing is going to just make things worse which leads to you wanting to be helpful or make up for the issue. Just stop. You have enough to worry about.

So what do we do? Well if you find yourself with too many responsibilities, you need to stop yourself and check your list of tasks. Prioritize them as needed. If it’s not in your top three things to get done, consider dumping it entirely. Do you REALLY need to do that thing? Just wipe it off the list and then come back to it later if it’s still bugging you. Sometimes I still think about 3D printing stuff. However, in the grand list of stuff I’d like to do or am doing, that ranks too far down for it to warrant serious consideration.

Next up, get used to saying No¬†to new responsibilities. You might have a little free time but that doesn’t mean you can dedicate yourself to a whole new project. If it was something that was going to go smoothly, they wouldn’t have asked for your help to begin with! Let others handle their responsibilities and you handle your own. If you do finally reach the point where you don’t have anything to do, congratulations! You’re the only person in the world to be in that situation! Then go ahead and offer to help out.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Giving Back Time!

Hi Fuzzbutts!

One thing I keep seeing fuzzbutts post are things involving being a victim or sad or something terrible that has happened in their lives. It gets depressing when you see so many people losing it on Twitter or other social media (mostly Twitter). Sometimes it can be a true cry for help and other times people just wallow. Part of it is a lack of personal goals and productively working toward meaningful ends. Another part is that we can get stuck in our own heads. I have my own problems and therefore, how do I help others? If you don’t address your issues properly, you just end up stuck, focused on yourself and not getting any better.

Unless you’re the worst off person in the world, you have something to offer others. If you have a talent, like drawing or crochet, make a gift for somebody you life. If you have means, help out a friend or check out GoFundMe to see if there’s somebody you’d like to just help. Have some time? Volunteer for something to help out. I started volunteering at the Food Bank for the past few months. I sign up for a shift (no hourly commitment like other organizations), show up, get assigned some very simple work, and stick to it for a couple of hours. At the end, the organizer announces how much work was done and how many people we helped in that one shift. It does give the warm and fuzzies to be around so many people doing good, regardless of the reason they’re volunteering!

This isn’t some miracle cure for fixing your own feelings. Your feelings are the result of a bunch of factors that each need to be addressed. However, getting out of yourself and helping others is just one thing you can do to help yourself and improve your own life. You may even find yourself having an attitude of gratitude. So look into yourself for something you might like to do for others and give it a try.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Recognizing Your Emotions

Hi Fuzzbutts!

Have you had a day recently where you wandered around feeling stressed? How about just angry where everybody got on your nerves? Well that’s normal, depending on all sorts of factors going on. Could just be a lack of sleep. Could be a lot of stuff has gone wrong and you’re feeling frustrated. The first trick is to catch yourself when you feel this way. Once you catch yourself, tell yourself how you feel.

This has been helpful this week and last for me. There have been a couple of days where this wuff didn’t sleep well. I’d go to work and find things just getting on my nerves or I just feel like I don’t have the patience for certain things. So what do I do? Analyze how I feel. Is anyone actually doing anything different? Why am I reacting so differently? “I’m tired and irritable. I need a nap.” was all I needed to say to myself and I felt better instantly. I knew what was going on with me and what was affecting my emotions and just knowing that gave me way more patience when dealing with others. I was tired but at least people didn’t bother me as much.

I had another time when things kept breaking down or not working. I’m sitting there, doing everything right, from my point of view, and things still went wrong. After a few hours of that, it was clear I was feeling stressed. “I’m frustrated and stressed out.” and suddenly I felt more clear. Things were still broken but I was able to let it go and sort out everything that had been done and other options to try.

So if you catch yourself feeling terrible in one way or another, stop yourself and try to identify the specific feelings you’re having in that moment. If you can go a cat’s whisker further, try to identify WHY you feel that way. Not necessary but it all helps. So keep good track of yourself and see how you feel!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

New Year, New You?

Hello fuzzbutts,

Hope the holidays were fully of holly and jolly for you. I had a great time with my family, went back to work, and got sick from sick coworkers. Ugh! That’s always rough. I was starting to close in on a month without a post and finally have a message for you.

Have something you want to change about your life? Want to improve in some aspect of your life such as romance or hard work. Well here’s an angle you can choose to work on it.

Become somebody different.

Ok slow down. Before I get pelted with “Everyone is fine the way they are,” allow me to say this. “No. Not at all, sorry.”

If everything was already perfect you’d feel a lot better about where you are right now. So how do you become somebody else in relation to something you want to change? Still looking for that super model significant other? Are you a super model? No? Why do you set such an insane standard for somebody else when you don’t hold yourself to the same standard? So are you going to lower your standard or raise your own? Time to get fit, figure out an income, work on charisma, and become the type of person a super model might be attracted to!

Want to draw more this coming year? Want to call yourself an artist? What do artists do? They write, draw, create. Are you going to act like an artist or are you going to blow a hundred hours a day on video games or something else that isn’t helping you along? Who are some creators you respect and is there anything about them that you could try to imitate as far as their activity, personality, etc?

A lot of this sounds like “Fake it ’til you make it.” That’s actually accurate and it does work. Want to be an artist? Start making things and showing them to others. Want to improve in your relationship? Take on the qualities of somebody worthy of the kind of relationship you want and start putting yourself out there. You may feel like an impostor but it’s these kinds of things that open up the world to you and discover a lot more about yourself than you originally thought. Be you, just a different you.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

‘Tis the Season!

Another year has come and gone and here we are again. Some of our goals have been met (most of yours got done, I hope!) and some have fallen by the wayside. Some of us started with an initial vision of what we wanted and it changed. Some of us stayed the course and enjoyed the ride. A third group stayed the course and isn’t actually happy with the way the year went.

So, to quote Scott Smith of The Daily Boost podcast, “Have you done your homework?” which is to say, have you sat down and reviewed how you did? What things did you like this year? What things worked and what didn’t? Do you like the course you’re on or do you think you need to make a change? The Daily Boost asks you that question once per week. If you decide to put up a reminder on your wall and settle down once a week to review how you’re doing, that’s super effective for building the life you’re after. On the other hand, if you can just do it a few times a year, that’s also great. Many people go through their whole lives lately just existing without looking at how their lives are really going or thinking about what they want.

I don’t think New Years Resolutions (NYRs)are a great move. They tend to be “I’m going to lose some weight this year! I’m going to exercise more!” without any real plan or serious reason why. “Be healthier” sounds good. But why do you want to be healthier? To have more energy? For what? Maybe it’s to start learning to dance or just because you like the idea of becoming fit and strong? Either way, break it down to WHY you’re setting that goal. Then follow the SMART principles to set a real goal vs the usual NYRs.

There’s a reason only 8% of people actually manage to follow through on resolutions. It’s because they’re made on a whim and without a plan. You can choose to have to have a plan or you can choose to have a bad plan (NO plan is the same as a bad plan). At least if you try to make a plan and it turns out to be bad, you can try to assess and figure out what you DON’T want. The trick is to keep checking in with your life and see if it’s what you want. Hopefully you’re taking the time to figure out what you’re after and start moving toward it.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Dream BIGGER

Hello fuzzbutts!

Tonight I want to talk about your dreams. Are you living with a mentality where if you just make it through the day, you’ll have survived? If you just manage to pay one of your bills on time, that’ll be a good day? Maybe you’re lonely but you figure if nobody hates you, that’s good enough.

Bad! No! I want to reach through this screen and bat you lightly with a rolled up magazine. Your dreams are too small! Your goals are set too low! You need to think bigger.

Your life is yours. If you want to live the kind of life where anyone hears about you and goes “That’s kinda depressing,” then alright. However, if you’re reading this blog then clearly that’s not the case. I want you to be the champion of your life’s story. So here’s what you need to do.

Look at your goals and ask yourself WHY. Why is this goal important to you? What are you really trying to accomplish with this goal? If the point of your fitness goal is to become healthier, why not go for something bigger like participating in races, becoming the most fit of your friends and family? If your artistic goal is to become an artist, why not try to build a huge following to show your art off to? If you have a goal around finances, why not work toward a dream of financial independence or becoming a world traveler?

Even if you don’t reach your perfect dreams, you’ll be aiming much higher than you are right now and performing much better. Keep planning, increasing your goals, and seeing where you can go. As you notice these little improvements, I hope they give you the boost you need to keep moving and aiming higher. I would love to hear about your dreams and what you want out of life.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!