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.

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!

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!

Reviewing the Pomodoro Technique

Hello fuzzbutts!

So I’ve been trying the Pomodoro technique some more lately. As a refresher, the Pomodoro timer relies on a 25-minute set of focused work, whether it be studying or working on a task, then a 5-minute break. Rinse, repeat as needed. It sounds interesting-taking a task at a moderate pace with specific time constraints so you know how long you’ll spend. It helps against things like procrastination when you’re thinking about the billion other things you can work on. Just 30 minutes and I’m done. If you’re still feeling good at the end of your break, you can go for another round!

So what do I like about the Pomodoro technique?

First, it’s simple. You can get a timer (or an app) and just turn it on once you’re ready to begin your task. 25 minutes tends to fly by pretty fast once you get started. You can schedule it ahead of time and you’ll be able to finally tackle those tasks with focused work. If you prefer structure, this would be very helpful for you.

What don’t I like about it?

Well, it can feel very unnatural as you get to work. If you get into the task pretty deep, you can reach the famous Flow State. The last thing you feel like doing once the timer goes off is actually stop! You’ve got your groove going, you’re accomplishing stuff! So maybe you end up ditching the Pomodoro technique anyway to keep working. Or maybe you follow the Pomodoro, grudgingly stopping, taking a breath, and then try to dive right back in. Maybe you’ll hit it with gusto or you blew the flow state and can’t quite get back into it.

So what’s the verdict?

The Pomodoro technique works for anything you don’t actually want to do. Always procrastinating something? Use Pomodoro. Dreading studying for a test? Use Pomodoro. What about things you want to do? Just do them! You like drawing? Drop Pomodoro and just draw. Hate drawing hands and want to get better? Use Pomodoro. It’s just a matter of discovering what is difficult for you and using the Pomodoro technique to help you overcome it. If 25 minutes seems too short, you can always increase the work time.

So start experimenting with it and see where you might be able to make more progress!

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

The Daily Tickets!

Hello Fuzzbutts!

Today I wanted to give a technique I used to start developing some of the positive habits I have now. It works by giving you a series of small wins every day which keep you motivated and on your way!

I made a bunch of tickets for myself. I leave space for the date and 3 more spaces for 3 tasks. These 3 tasks are things I want to get done THAT DAY.

Three whole tasks?

Yes. However, these tasks could be anything that moves me toward my ideal self. If I feel like my kitchen is becoming a mess, I put “Clean Kitchen” as one of my goals. It doesn’t have to sparkle when I’m done, just to have things put away or cleaned out of the sink!

I have a bunch of physical copies of books I know I want to offload. So I put down “Read 30 pages” which is a reasonable amount of reading. It’s not trying to destroy the book in one sitting but it’s inching along toward finishing the books!

These tasks are meant to be reasonable for 1 day of work. Sometimes you can put in one pretty big thing with a couple of small tasks.

So now…

Start every morning by filling out a ticket with all three tasks you want to complete for that day. Don’t bother pre-filling them out for the week or anything. Just think about that one day and fill it out. Then, as you complete the tasks, write a check mark. It gives a pleasant little satisfaction. When you check off all three tasks, write something encouraging on it like “Victory!” or “I did it!” Save the tickets and watch the pile of them grow!

Eventually, some of those repetitive tasks will become habits and you’ll do them automatically!

Hope this helps so whip up some tickets and fill them out and get productive!

Fitness and Your Fursona

Hello Fuzzbutts!

This time around, I’m going to touch on a sore spot for many furries. As I write this, I feel some tension rising up. Anyway, there’s been a pretty negative stereotype surrounding furries (among many) and that is our fitness. Fine, we’re not alone among fandoms that have a reputation for being husky. I’m still talking about physical size, not the perfect fursona (ahem!).

“Hey Wuffles! It’s shallow to talk about physical appearance!” somebody yells from the audience in the dark. I agree that physical looks aren’t everything when it comes to many aspects of life. However, in a fandom where most tend to represent themselves as supermodel fuzzbutt versions of themselves, it’s still worth bringing up.

I want you to be healthy.

I’m emphasizing that. Also, being more healthy leads to more productivity! There’s all kinds of benefits to being healthy: more overall energy, better sleep, reduced stress, blah blah. You can see how those effects would also help you pursue your goals and make you more productive. You know these things. You’ve been hit over the head with it in the media and from others. For whatever reason, most furries don’t do a great job taking care of themselves for the sake of personal health and the listed benefits. So I want to propose a new idea.

Become your fursona.

“Uhh… my fursona is an anthropomorphic purple cat.” you say, considering what my angle is. Well of course you’re not going to become a cat. However, what is your fursona’s body type compared to yours? Is your fursona  svelte, athletic, maybe even a body builder while your own body is doughy or borderline obese? Treat your fursona as the ideal you can become rather than as an escape from daily life. You made your fursona the way you did because there was something in them you wanted to be, starting from personality and right down to their physical traits (maybe vice versa). You may not be able to become your fursona exactly, but you can bring yourself closer. Plan a goal around becoming your fursona.

Start light.

Changing your mindset about your fursona will help you begin a new journey. You may want to rush out the door and go full beast mode at the gym or on a trail. If you haven’t been working out, start slow. I’ve used a machine that worked my inner thighs (think thigh master-style) and it felt fine and I crushed it. For the next few days, I walked funny and was dreadfully sore. Don’t do that. Start easy on yourself, get an understanding of your body, and then build yourself up. You’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll be working toward your goals of becoming the best YOU that you can be.

Get a friend who will support you or maybe even join you on your workouts. I wasn’t too serious about working out until I started going with a friend. This may be another friend test too. Beware of those “friends” who might try to talk you out of improving your health and overall life. I’ve never met anyone who told their true friends that getting healthier was unnecessary. Don’t let anyone hold you back from making yourself a better fuzzbutt.

I hope this was inspiring and helpful to you. I truly wish for the best in your daily lives. Good luck out there, Fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Stop and Assess!

Hi Fuzzbutts!

This week I wanted to give you a tip that will keep you aware and moving toward your goals. It’s actually very simple but it’s hard to remember!

Throughout your day, whether it’s at work or home, I want you to just pause. Just stop whatever you’re doing for a few seconds and ask yourself “Is what I am doing helping me toward my goals?”

It’s a powerful question when we stop to think about it. Sometimes we might just be lounging with Netflix. If your goal is to become a potato, then you’ll answer the question positively. If whatever you’re doing isn’t help you toward your goals, then figure out what is the next step you need to move toward your goals. Maybe you’re using the distraction as a way to procrastinate because of some fears in your back of your mind. Recognize your thoughts and actions and then get to work.

Now, sometimes it’s helpful to be a slothy furry. You’ve had a nasty day or you went through a lot and are just exhausted. It’s alright to be tired and to use certain opportunities to recharge. However, you know you best. Are you seriously in need of a recharge or are you just putting off your future? Even if you are tired, think about one tiny thing you could do today to move you toward your goal.

It’s not the easiest habit to stop whatever you’re doing and ask yourself this question but, once you do, you’ll become much more aware of your mind and where you are with your life. Good luck, fuzzbutts!