Friends will keep you moving!

Good morning!

It’s been about 3 weeks now since adopting a new workout routine and it’s been awesome to be doing it with friends again. For those who don’t know (which might be all of you), I used to follow a strict and rigorous workout routine with my best friend. We’d meet up at 6AM at the gym, Monday thru Friday, and crank out a muscle group for an hour with a bit of cardio to begin with. I gained about 30 pounds over a year and I was in the best shape ever. However, he eventually moved out of state and I suddenly found it much harder to get to the gym and keep it up. You’d think doing it for a couple of years would’ve locked it in as a habit! The best I could do was light maintenance just so I dont fall apart. However, like plenty of others for other types of tasks, I sometimes need that extra motivator of having a friend handy to boost me further.

Friends motivate each other by keeping each other accountable! You all decide to work out? Great! One of you doesn’t feel like it one day? Those other two will get you into the gym! Plus, nobody wants to look like the flake so you’ll keep yourself moving in order to keep from being the weak link. On top of that, your friends know how you’ve been doing lately so they’ll also keep you from taking things too easy. You probably aren’t going to get away with doing a session of light stretching when your friends are right there hitting the weights and panting up a storm!

It’s not just the gym. Develop an art jam schedule with friends and show up to draw or write or whatever. As long as your group, whether it’s 2 people or 4 (I’ll explain that a little further down), contains a person or two who is feeling dedicated that day, you stand a greater chance of continuing and succeeding. At the very least, it gets you to show up and spend the time on the topic, skill, or whatever it is you need to work on.

So why do I mention 2 or 4 people? Well, unless you’re leading the group and they’re all depending on you, it will become easy to fade into the background with a larger group. You stop showing up and the group carries on without you and, because they may not miss you as much, any guilt about the situation is reduced and the entire point of you joining the group fades away. Sometimes a fuzzbutt requires a little more intimacy rather than just feeling like a face in a crowd.

I’ll end with how my new workout habit is performed with friends who live as far as Europe! Does not apply to everyone but we have VR! We log into VRChat together, find a certain place called the Squat Gym, and do a bunch of squats togethers! It’s gamified and I spend a little time coaching my friends! They’re so eager to get into better shape that I can’t get away with taking a day off. The squats have expanded to other calisthenics (since working with weights in VR is hard) like pushups or sit-ups and we drive each other to perform better. Reminders in the morning on our workout days also mentally prepare us to get together! It’s just fun and we spend time lounging and chilling out afterward, getting in some good social time after the workout. I hope to keep this going longer and I hope you can find a way to get your friends together and motivate each other to develop yourself!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

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!

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!

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!

Intermittent Fasting to Productivity

Hello fuzzbutts!

Hope you’re doing well! I had an extremely busy and difficult week. Next month doesn’t look like it’ll be any better. When this happens, it becomes easy to want to retreat. You do your work, have a hard time, and go home to put on your potato fursuit and binge some Netflix. Who wants to be productive when you’ve been running ragged? You can push yourself to be productive for a bit but it’s easy to burn out too. So how do you maintain productivity and avoid the burn-out blues?

You’ve heard of intermittent fasting, right? There’s different ways but it’s essentially changing your diet so you’re fasting at some point. It may involve skipping a meal every day. Sometimes you eat normal one day and then you do a 24-hour fast. There’s several methods. I’ll leave the rest of the research up to you as far as any health benefits (it’s interesting). What does this have to do with productivity? Maybe you’ve already guessed.

If there’s something specific you do that isn’t productive, it’s good to take a break from it. Likewise, if you’re so productive you’re leaving a fiery trail behind you, it’s ok to slow yourself down and take a break. Maybe you need a compromise on both.

For me, it tends to be video games. I come home, pop on a chat with friends, and play some games either to stream to them or to play with them. Then I lay my head down and don’t feel so great about how I spent my time. Sometimes I come home, spend a bunch of time working on something and when it’s time for bed, I still feel wound up like I can’t relax. When I catch myself feeling these ways, it’s time to figure out what to do. If I find I’m spending too much time playing, I’ll stop myself from gaming. That doesn’t mean I force myself to work on goals. If I stop gaming, maybe I’ll write a blog post or clean my kitchen or handle some other business that’s been in my brain. Likewise, if my brain is running on empty, I’ll hold off drawing or an online course. Either way, the important thing is moderation and keeping some control over your behavior and brain.

Is there something you do that you spend way too much time on and avoid your goals? Try just saying “tomorrow I won’t touch X” and avoid doing that thing. Finding yourself burning out? Before you do, say “tomorrow I won’t do Y” and give yourself a break. Take a little of the routine out of your life and try doing something new or at least avoid the usual things. If you always binge some Netflix when you take a break, do something else like read something fun or just chill out with friends.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Fall off the wagon? Time to get back on!

Hello fuzzbutts!

How’re those good habits coming along? Start drawing more? Eating better? Exercising more? All those good things? Did life get in the way?

Sometimes you’re eating better and then the convenience of lousy or fast food overtakes your new habit again and you’re back to eating some terrible food. You got active and healthier but then you got sick and had to stop. You’re all better now but it’s hard to start again and you feel like you’re starting from scratch again.

Well I have good news! Just because a good habit (or anything replacing a bad habit) has stopped doesn’t mean you’re starting from scratch again! Stopped exercising? You’re still healthier than you used to be and you know what to do the next time you hit the gym. Stopped drawing? Well all those extra hours or days of experience you built up before you stopped still have you as a better artist than before you got into the habit.

Imagine how awful it would be if you stopped drawing for a month and suddenly all your ability devolved to how good you were when you were 3Ick! 

So, since you were closer to your ideal life before, you just need to pick up the ball and run with it again. Resume working on those skills! Keep working on losing that weight! You’re further along than you think and you already did the hard work of starting the first time. Starting it up again will be easier this time. So dust off that list of good habits you stopped working on and give it another go!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Random Acts of Love

Hello fuzzbutts!

Tonight I wanted to talk about something I’ve been doing recently. Lately, I finally decided to take the pressure off myself as far as dating and enjoy my own company more while spending less time stressing about romance or being on the numerous apps I used. I noticed a shift in myself as I actually felt much more relaxed than I have in a while. More than that, I’ve found myself spreading this energy out to those around me and I feel like it’s been good for me and the responses I get make me feel even better.

Know anyone who creates? I happen to have friends who make a lot of art and also follow a ton of talented artists I’ve never spoken to. I happen to like their art. So why not tell them it’s great? Heck, if I get more than 20 favorites on a piece of art, I feel awesome. I feel even more awesome when people actually comment something positive on the piece. So how would they feel if I sent them a direct note? So that’s what I’ve been doing- Emailing, direct messaging, or noting the artists and creators once in a while that I appreciate their work and just how I think they’re so talented and amazing.

It’s a small gesture. It’s extremely small for something in a fandom where the content creators are really what drives the furry fandom. I feel the love of furry art, fursuits, and other media is what bring us furries together. The artistic world is full of self-doubt so you never know when an artist is feeling a little self-conscious or down on their abilities. So let them know you appreciate their work and how you feel about what they produce.

As a disclaimer, do not do this AND THEN ASK FOR SOMETHING. Nobody likes feeling manipulated and it undoes any good feeling the artist was getting from your compliment. It’s just a bad move and it’s not cool. Send a genuine compliment and just let them know you like their art.

Book Recommendation: The 12-Week Year

Hello fuzzbutts!

I wanted to drop another book on you all! I’ll summarize the gist of it and you can decide if it’s worth looking into for more details! I think it’s actually very useful and I’ve been trying to incorporate it into my life.

So it’s the start of the year (or end of another) and you come up with big goals for the year. Tons of things you want to improve or get done. You then live your life and realize it’s late October and you’ve done next to nothing. Suddenly there’s no time to get it all finished and you feel guilty for not taking steps toward your dreams. You push it off for next year and fall into the same trap.

The problem with goals for the year is that you have a whole year to do them. You lose a sense of urgency when it comes to working on them and so it falls to the wayside as you try to keep up with life.  You beat yourself up over it and regret the entire year because of how little you accomplished of the things that truly matter to you.

The idea of the 12-week year is to set your goals for every 3 months. I’ve discussed ideas like this before but this book really boils it down. By setting yourself up for 3 months, you can still set substantial goals for yourself. It’s also short-term enough that it’ll stay in your mind that you need to work on it (Write them on a white board to help!).

I just barely covered the main point of the book and book contains a lot of details and ways to think about this. So go read The 12 Week Year !

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Organize that Desk!

Hello fuzzbutts!

Sorry for the delay again. I recently started a new job and that has been eating up my time lately as I try to get up to speed as quickly as possible. The good news is I finally made it to the big leagues as far as my career is concerned. Onward to today’s topic!

So in my eternal quest to clean and minimize, I eventually get everything off the floor to wonder if I actually set everything onto my desk. Random tools from when I opened up my computer, sewing needles and thread, canned air, folded pieces of paper beyond numbering. I have a massive pile of random things and trash!

Once the trash was all cleared off, I went ahead and decided to look through the drawers. Well that shattered my illusion that I had everything in order. I’m a productive wuff, not the cleanest wuff. Sometimes, that’s just how wuffs are.

So even if it takes time, it’s important to go through your desk and work spaces and make sure you have everything you need and put the rest into its proper place (or the trash). Removing all that clutter makes it easier to find the things you need at your desk. Do you really need 5 sets of post-it notes? Maybe just keep one and put the rest somewhere out of the way. Also, keeping that fork at your desk for a prolonged period of time after eating that ramen noodle cup is kinda gross. Go wash that.

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Knocking out those negative voices!

Rawr! Intense wuff!

So yesterday morning I looked up the obstacle course and some of it looks intense! Of course, my brain did what many brains might do- tell me I couldn’t do it. I see something that looks awkward or I haven’t done before and a powerful voice in my head says “You should quit. That’s too much. You aren’t ready for that.” And then builds onto my anxiety. Before I began to imitate the cowardly lion, I caught myself and realized my brain was trying to push me right back into my safe bubble. It’s an obstacle course full of people I don’t know! So what if I end up looking silly on some of them and doing the penalty burpees? As difficult as some of it looks, there’s no realistic reason to expect to get hurt!

Even when you think rationally, your mind can still build those feelings of anxiety or other issues. One way of dealing with it is channeling that energy. Being anxious just keeps you stressed so turn that energy into something else! By imagining the negative voice as a separate entity from myself, I can see it as something to be irritated by, converting that anxiety into annoyance which is something I can work with.

You’re not prepared enough.” POW! I’m going to lay out what I’m going to wear. “You don’t know how to do that! You’ve never done that before!” KABOOM! I’m going to try! Not like there’s a bunch of places with a hanging rope I can practice climbing. I can at least watch videos to learn what the technique is supposed to be so I can try when I get there. “You’re not strong enough.” BIFF! I’m way stronger than I was and I’ve never tested myself before so what do you know about what I can and can’t do? “It’s going to go badly.” WHACK! It won’t but even if it does, I can always sign up for another one and train more with a better idea of what I need to work on!

So yeah. My own technique is to make the negative voice something separate you can fight against. Channel the energy into something you can use like developing plans or working harder toward your goals!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!