Goal Check in

Hello fuzzbutts!

This week I wanted us all to check in on how we’re doing with our goals! If you were around or scrolled back enough to some of the early posts in this blog, you might remember me going through the process of writing down a smart goal. That goal was to draw something good enough for 30 faves on furaffinity within 6 months. With the mid-September deadline looming closer, it’s time to see how I’ve been doing!

Close but not quite yet. My most popular image in those six months is a recent one that, at the time of this post, has 28 faves. There’s a chance this still might hit 30 before the deadline but I’m having fun with drawing on my tablet so there’s no reason to quit. Besides! If I quit after 30 likes, then what was the point of making this a serious goal that I care about?

The Review

Let’s go over how I’ve done with an honest self-assessment on how hard I worked toward this goal. Could it have gone better? Yeah. The whole moving back in with family thing definitely impacted my ability to sit down and draw. Even then, however, I wasn’t the greatest at sitting down after work and drawing either. I usually left work with very little motivation to do stuff so I wasn’t fulfilling my “Draw X hours per week” action item.

So what didn’t work? Waiting until after work. What does work? Drawing in the morning before I hit the gym and then go to work. My mind is in such a better place in the mornings that I can accomplish it. Also, streaming online with friends is a good way to keep me drawing since I don’t want to be the furst to cut out of the stream and I like chatting with pals (partially solving my laziness issues after work). Also, drawing with my new Huion GT-220 has felt much less frustrating than previous tablets and even better than sketching in a notepad since I can zoom in and make endless lines until I have the one I want as opposed to erasing like crazy and risking ruining the rest of the image.

So I still have time to draw up some art to reach my goal. In the meantime, I’ve posted up much more art than I have in previous years, I’ve gotten many new followers, I have a better relationship with my artist friends who I hang with more now, and I know myself better in how I operate effectively.

So do your own self-reviews, check your goals, and see how you can do better!

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!

You don’t have to “earn” everything

Hi fuzzbutts!

In the pursuit of decluttering and trying not to bring more stuff into my home, I decided to make mini goals for myself before I bring in new stuff. However, I realized earlier this week that it doesn’t always make sense.

I wanted a graphics tablet. For those who don’t know, it’s a tablet you plug into your computer and you can draw on the screen. Cheap tablets that I’ve had before require you to draw on a blank surface while staring at the monitor. This tablet displays everything you’re drawing and you can draw right on it. Lovely.

So I set a mini goal. If I could do 5 sketches with a pencil within a month, I’ll buy the tablet. It would be a good reward and I would prove to myself that this was important to me.

Well that was the equivalent of saying you want to pour a concrete driveway but “I’ll pour and mix half of the driveway by hand to prove I’m serious before I just buy a cement mixer to do the job.”

Realizing this, I bought the tablet. As soon as I got it, I was off to the races, drawing rapidly and streaming it and streaming with friends and chatting furry stuff while I drew! It was easy to do. I loved the work I completed on the tablet and I’m excited to do more and draw with friends.

The mini goal to prove I was serious was actually more of an obstacle I was throwing up in front of myself to buy a tool I know I wanted and could really use. So this week’s lesson is that if there is a certain tool you know will help you along toward your big goals (me drawing more and getting more followers and faves) then you should help yourself to it. Remember, though, to seriously consider if that thing is actually going to help you. Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!

Good enough just isn’t, sorry!

Good morning fuzzbutts!

Sorry for the delay this week. Have you ever acid-washed a pool? I have.

Earlier this week I got into a discussion with somebody who wanted to announce to everyone, including you, that you are good enough and don’t have to worry about changing. For those of you who read my blog, you know I consider that heresy for anyone looking to do more and better in their lives.

“Good enough” in my opinion, is a level of dissatisfaction that somebody considers less painful/more comfortable than sticking to your goal. It’s trying to go from 240lbs to 170lbs but stopping at 200 because you really want that burger and you hate going to the gym. 200 lbs is “good enough.” It’s trying to draw artwork at a level like Strype and then stopping at the sketch phase because shading is hard or you don’t want to learn to color or refine your raw sketch. Your raw sketch is “good enough.” It’s settling for a job because a promotion or your dream job requires you to go to school or get some extra training. Because of the extra unpaid work involved in advancing your career, your current job is “good enough.”

Everyone wants to consider themselves extraordinary in some way. I mean look at your fursona! You love being unique! So become extraordinary! Good enough is just settling for less. Don’t become “good enough.”

I’m not saying to be dissatisfied with your life all the time. Celebrate the advancements and small victories you achieve. Just don’t settle at a level that isn’t your actual goal. Keep working hard and push yourself to levels that you only dream about.

Good luck, Fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Motivational Videos?!

Hello fuzzbutts!

I hope this blog has been helping you and others to avoid living in mediocrity and, instead, has been helping you grow and focus on your life’s path. This week’s tailtip is to check out youtube. There’s all kinds of tutorials and things to learn, but sometimes it helps just to get inspired in general. Motivation is a bad girlfriend or boyfriend but think of these videos as one of the few things you can do to get that significant other to show up for a little while.

So here’s the tip: Go on YouTube, search for “Motivational video” and you’ll come up with channels and channels of videos and collections of motivational speeches and successful people giving insight and thoughts that you can use to push yourself more. The more you listen to these, the greater the chance you’ll hear something that resonates with you and gets you motivated to get stuff done!

Love you all and good luck, fuzzbutts!

Being a Responsible Wuff

Hello fuzzbutts!

I know the title says a responsible wuff but this applies to any species who wants to be responsible. Be a responsible mew, a responsible water fox, a responsible moo, whatever. Today’s lesson on productivity is about being in control of yourself and doing the right things. Even when all your furends are at Comic-Con International right now when you could’ve been there.

I was actually offered to borrow a ticket for today too! However, I turned it down because I already committed myself to other responsibilities and I am determined to get things done. There’s always a time for play and while Comic-Con is but once per year, I have enough going on that I just don’t feel the need to put off everything I want to do today to run around a convention floor and buy more art to put up on my crowded walls or hear about the latest exclusives.

Sometimes life is that like. You have an opportunity for fun but you’re committed. You have to be in order to reduce the distractions and get things done. Maybe if things weren’t going as well as they are for my personal goals, I’d be parading around with other fuzzbutts at the convention. That’s ok, though. When you’re working toward your goals, you’ll be tempted to suddenly push away plans. I wanted to go, sure. However, this weekend I already planned to replace a window, sell my car, and do a hundred other smaller things! I weighed the pros and cons of going to have fun and decided my future and the things I want to accomplish just can’t wait. I hope you have an attitude like that. We’ll never be perfect and fun is important to have, but keep your future in mind.

Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Rip off the bandage

Hi Fuzzbutts!

Today I wanted to tell you that it’s time to get those things done you needed to finish. Yes some of those things are the worst. Nobody would want to do them, let alone you or me. Those tasks on our list that we haven’t gotten around to are eating up space in our minds and causing us to put off the important stuff we want to do. We guilt ourselves into putting off the good things because we haven’t done the tough things.

Sometimes this can happen with work. There’s something more interesting we want to do, but we know we have some arduous or tedious task that has to get done. I want to run an experiment but I have to finish some paperwork and a report that nobody truly cares about before I can begin. So I do neither for a while. I finally get around to it when pressure begins to settle on it and then get to do the thing I actually wanted. I could have been working on this a whole week ago but put it off.

Same applies to play. We didn’t behave productively so we don’t feel good about playing video games so instead we settle on wasting time with youtube videos which we also don’t feel good about. Why not just do the productive thing which already gives a satisfying feeling after you’re done, and then have your time to play?

So today I’m telling you to prioritize again and force yourself to just do it. No motivation games here. Just pick up the pencil or whatever and just get to work. It doesn’t have to be perfect and, if you focus, you’ll get it done faster. Then you can work on the things that really matter. Good luck Fuzzbutts!

Wednesday Tailtip: Find the right Tutorials

Hello fuzzbutts!

So today, I wanted to address the whole “I need to learn X before I begin! Must research all things!”

I believe it is important to do your research to some extent. The problem is we get locked into it because we never feel ready to start. So we keep looking for all kinds of information.

For drawing, I started with How to Draw Manga books. I then followed up with looking up video tutorials and then drawing websites like Proko. Eventually, I found one set of tutorials that actually resonated with me: Mikeymegamega. He draws the art I want to do (anime female body types) and he does a great job of explaining everything. Not to mention he also reviews drawing tablets for the PC. This is where my search for learning to draw has stopped. Now I just draw and use the tutorials as a reference.

Whatever your goal may be, you’ll find almost countless resources online to guide you along. However, my point is to make sure that, as soon as you find something you resonate with, you stop the search and get to work! All the research in the world won’t matter if you’re not putting it to work!

Another note on SMART Goals!

Hello Fuzzbutts!

So it occurred to me as I’ve been trying to draw more often that I missed one aspect of smart goals. Tracking! If my goal can be achieved by drawing 4 hours a week, then I absolutely need to track how much actual time I’m spending! It’s easy to think you’re spending all that time on your goals but you might actually fall short without realizing it. By having a way to track your progress, you’ll have the motivation and awareness to increase your efforts and stay on target!

I’m trying for 4 hours a week to reach my six month goal but imagine how I would feel after 3 months and realize I only spent between 1-2 hours a week on my goal? Adjusting to 6 hours or so after 3 months would make it super hard to maintain the habit until the deadline! By watching myself and checking in on a regular basis, I can stay on task!

For tracking, I keep a whiteboard handy on my wall. I write my goal large enough that I can read it from across the room with how many hours I’ve worked on my goal. I have it right by my computer desk so I can see it as a reminder. It definitely helps me and keeps me from screwing around too much on my PC! Anything can be used as long as it works for you and you USE it. A notepad, post-it notes, etc. Just start tracking and I hope you succeed!

PS: I love hearing from you regarding your goals and what you’re doing to boost your productivity. Feel free to click on the Contact Wuffles link to the left and send me a message! Thanks!

Are you Researching too much?

Hello fuzzbutts!
Are you all set with your chosen goals and ready to get started? Have you read endless amounts of material? Do you know ALL the things you’re supposed to do? Are you finding the wealth of knowledge from the internet? Have you actually done anything yet?
If the answer to the last one is No, then you might be falling into a trap. “Well I have to know what I’m supposed to do before I do it, right?” you ask, one ear perked with mistrust. Well sure. However, there is a point where you need to actually BEGIN the tasks you need to do.
Say you want to draw better. You can read any number of articles or watch the unending list of videos to learn drawing. Even if you finish every bit of those, when the time comes down to put pencil to paper, you’ll find your skills severely lacking. That is because, in your quest to become better at drawing, you neglected to do the one thing. DRAW!
Researching a skill, whether it’s fursuit building, drawing, or even fishing, doesn’t matter if you don’t put it to actual practice. For any skill, you have to practice. Research has to be considered a supplement to your practice, not a substitute for it. You may never feel ready if you constantly doubt whether or not you know enough. In order to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to learning something, you need to start practicing those skills and learn as much as you can along the way! Good luck!