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!

Wednesday Tailtip: Your “why” can change!

Good morning fuzzbutts!

Sometimes you have a good reason for setting a goal. You pick something you want to work on and you know exactly what the goal of it is and why you want to do it. You get that motivation for a while and you keep at it. Yet your discipline and motivation fails at some point and you stop working on it as much as you did. Eventually, you stop working on it entirely. You know why you should do it. The why is still there. However, it’s not enough to keep you going! What a predicament, furry friends!

I went through this recently. I’ve had piles of fur and sewing materials for a long time now. YEARS! I bought the fur to make tails or to make paws and fursuit stuff and then poof. Poof. Making paws was too hard. Making tails didn’t pay enough. Still, despite one of my earlier posts to declutter and get rid of stuff, I couldn’t bring myself to toss out hundreds of dollars in fur. There’s still value in making tails, even if it won’t replace my job. So the fur sat, me without enough motivation to finish using up the fur and selling it. I know my why was “make money” but that’s not good enough. So what changed?

I moved into a much smaller room from my apartment. 900 sqft of stuff crammed into less than 250. That wasn’t quite enough to get rid of the fur so it sat in the corner by my window. However, it’s August and there’s a heatwave now and no AC where I live. It’s affecting my sleep because it’s so warm at night. So what do I want now? A standing, portable AC unit to hook into the window and cool down my room. What do I need for it? I have the money already. What I don’t have is space in front my window. I can’t shove the fur into another spot because there’s no space. If I want that AC unit and to cool down and feel better overall, I need to start burning through that fur or get rid of it.

I can’t say that’s the only reason I’m able to work on this. I had found already that I can draw in the mornings. I’m lazy after work and it’s hard to work on my goals. So now my goal is to work on the fur in the mornings. It’s easy. I can dedicate a whole two hours before the gym and before work to just sew tails. In two days I was able to hand-sew a tail and a half when it didn’t feel like work at all. The “making money” will be a side effect of me selling these tails after they are finished.

Is “I want an AC unit in my room” some grand nebulous goal to motivate you? Maybe not you but it’s working for me! Your why doesn’t matter as long as it gets your tail moving toward your goal and getting things done. After that, what else is there for me to do? Once the fur is gone, maybe it’ll go back to purely drawing or maybe I have another short-term goal to work on. We’ll have to see! In the meantime, understand why you want to do something and don’t be afraid of changing your “why” as long as it gets you going.

Good luck 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!

Time to get up early!

Hello fuzzbutts!

This title is a doozy for many of you! Just hear me out first!

I know in my previous posts from a couple months ago, I said I just wake up, eat breakfast, clean up, etc etc and then go to work. Well, the more I’ve explored my mornings, the more I realized these are great times to be productive!

After a day of work, you might be feeling rather drained. That’s one of the reasons I try to keep my workouts to the mornings since I’d rather avoid traffic and I’m usually tired at the end of the day. Waking up earlier gives me the time I need to do that!

After realizing how much better it was to have time for a workout, I expanded my idea to include other activities. What about a little mindfulness meditation to relax? Maybe squeeze in some time to read!

“I can’t wake up early. I’m not a morning person.” you say, still cuddling your blanket while you stand at the cash register buying coffee. “Nonsense!” I say. Anyone can be a morning person. It just takes a little work to get used to it. So how do I do it? No you won’t just be able to go to sleep earlier since it’s not really your schedule.

Wake up earlier than you want to by about 30 minutes. It’ll be difficult but you’ll survive. Go about your day as normal while enjoying that extra 30 minutes in the morning to make progress in whatever you want. Go about your day and then go to sleep a little earlier. Good chance it’ll be easier to sleep early this time around. Continue to inch yourself along until you’re waking up at the desired time.

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!

Wednesday Tailtip: Instant pot

Hello Fuzzbutts!

As a follow-up to a previous tailtip about meal prep, I wanted to give a quick tip on my favorite way to meal prep: I bought an instant pot.

My multi-function 8-in-1 cooker has all kinds of functions. I can make rice, yogurt, slow cook foods, and program how I want it cooked. I love it because I can throw stuff into it in the morning, set the timer, and it’s kept warm after the programmed time and I have everything ready when I’m home! I also use it on Sundays where I throw enough food into it to prepare all my lunches for the week.

Mine was around ~$80 so it wasn’t a huge investment but it has made my life much easier. Hopefully you’ll also learn how to eat healthier as you search up tons of recipes online. Good luck!

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!

Wednesday Tailtip: Meal Prep!

Hey Fuzzbutts!

Got another tailtip for you this week. If you work a regular job, picking your lunch every day can get annoying and difficult if you can’t decide what you want or don’t have leftovers. Rather than drain your brain, cook up enough food on Sunday to last you until Friday for lunch!

There’s only a couple of requirements. Whatever you cook still needs to be edible on Friday. Also, you need to cook enough that you’re not starving at work! It will take a little testing and adjusting to figure out how much you eat but once you figure it out on a regular basis, then you’re all set!

As a general health tip, try to adjust your mindset when it comes to food. Treat food only as fuel and nutrition. It’s great to have tasty awesome food sometimes but sometimes you get bored if you eat the same thing all week. Accept the fact that food is fuel and getting bored isn’t an issue as long as you understand you’re eating for survival. Hopefully, you’ll also eat healthier!

Wednesday Tailtips for Productivity and Life Management!

Hello fuzzies!

It occurred to me that I have lots of small tips that don’t really work to stretch into a lengthy post on Saturdays. So I figured why not do more than just a weekly post? I’ll start posting on Wednesdays with my own personal mini-tips on how to keep productive. I’ll recommend apps or gadgets or techniques that I use. I don’t have any sponsors so I’m not getting anything out of recommending this stuff except the satisfaction of knowing I’m helping others.

So here’s my first tip:

To manage my finances without having to always check the banks, I keep my banking information compiled into an app called Mint which I keep on my phone. This app is managed by Intuit (the ones behind TurboTax) so you know it’s secure. You just connect your various accounts to this app and you can set budgets for the different kinds of spending you do. You can’t transfer money or anything through this app but it gives you, at a glance, the status of your bank accounts and your spending. I feel like whenever I start to consider how my spending has been for the month, I can just pop up this app and see. Less things on your mind means more focus on the things you want to work on!