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!
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!
One thing I think a lot of us could work on some more is getting outside more often. It’s not the common furry that goes out and about to try new things or see new places. I’m very guilty of this, myself. I’m not even talking about in-suit. I just mean going out. The world around you can be fascinating and beautiful. So why not explore and see if there’s anything out there?
Well, I’m not really into just going out on my own so I started inviting friends. They’ve been working on their own levels of fitness and they were open to hanging out and going for walks around some of the areas none of us really checked out. Top of a mountain that people walk up regularly or a long trail that ends in a waterfall. It’s all enjoyable and you’ll hopefully feel a sense of accomplishment that you finally did something like that. Go with friends. An 8-mile hike might feel pretty daunting by yourself but friends make it amazing and fun. So look up some trails and interesting areas around your place and invite your pals to go with you!
Another thing I might try experimenting with is leading a group. Once I feel comfortable checking out a lot of these hikes and trails, I might start inviting more and more furries and make it a furmeet type of thing, only health-helping.
Good luck fuzzbutts!
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!
Today I wanted to let you know that it’s important to go over your goals and why you’re going for them even after you’ve been working on them for a while!
On my last post, I put up an example of sorting myself out with RP. The thing I didn’t actually expect was the sudden rush of motivation and a renewed sense of “Finish those darn tails!” That inspired this post!
Sometimes, as you work real hard on something, you might remember a little bit of the why but the negatives start to outweigh the positives. This is the resistance that starts to slow you down and makes it tough to finish. When it starts to get pretty heavy and you have trouble finishing these tasks, you should pause and review. Imagine you quit your goal already and now you’re reviewing whether or not to make it a goal again.
If you were to continue working on this goal, weigh your why against the actions you need to finish and what the problems are that you’re going to have to overcome to finish the goal. In the tails example, I already put a lot of work into it so there’s definitely not as much work left compared to when I first started. I also wanted to finish just from the sheer amount of work I already invested into it (not the best reason), and the money I can make from selling the finished tails. I also realized I was actually putting off my own goal by focusing on other stuff but still feeling guilty for putting it off at all. Actually writing this out and getting my head on straight again was like breaking through a wall I had unknowingly built. Once I was through that, the work came easy again.
So try it with your own goals if you notice you’re not doing as well as you can. Maybe you just need a refreshing on the pros and cons of your goals to get you moving again!
Good luck fuzzbutts!
I realize I’ve had a couple posts about separating yourself from toxic people or anyone who doesn’t support your goals and dreams. So why not talk about the converse? Time to start finding those with similar interests and goals and hooking together with them!
Want to build fursuits? Start interacting with fursuit makers or others who want to build them. Want to draw more? Start trying to talk with other artists or, if possible, stream with artists who do similar artwork as you. If you actually end up having a couple of fans who appreciate your work, try to be available to them since their encouragement will help fuel your desire to practice and improve.
So how do we find these people? Naturally, don’t aim for the top. If you try jumping straight as a beginner to going for those like MixedCandy or MadeFurYou fursuit builders, they’re probably swamped with people already talking to them before some rando emails asking to be a friend. Same for artists like Strype or Blotch or whoever. Nope! So where do you go?
There’s groups all over the place. Multiple telegram groups for fursuit builders and artists. Multiple places to find the types of people you can interact with. Keep in mind you have to interact with them. You won’t get a whole bunch of reward from groups you don’t contribute to or be active with. Want to meet more furries, look up local meets or maybe even start your own to bring them around. Want to be more active, there’s tons of groups out there for that, whether it’s light or heavy training. Writing workshops, skill development, whatever it is. You can meet people who will help you along toward your goals.
Again, it’s necessary to vet these people too. Join an art group where everyone seems to be negative or your feel like your work gets more hate than constructive critique? Dump them and find a better group. Joining a walking club but nobody is friendly and takes it more like a job than a chance to be healthier? Dump them. You have to find people who resonate with your core values and motivate you to work toward your goals.
Good luck out there, fuzzbutts!
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!
How did it go this week for you? Pretty good? Did it drag on and on and on? Desperate for the weekend? What about your work? Has the fire gone out and you’re just rolling with the flow while being bored or just hating it? How about anything else like these drawing habits I’m trying to build? You just sit there, despising it but unable to make a change. You need that job! You need that income! Maybe it’s not even that there’s anything in particular to hate about your job but you’re just bored now.
It can be very frustrating to feel this way in your day-to-day life. The fire just… went out. Now you’re miserable and just there.
When this happens, it’s important to find meaning in what you’re doing. I work in a lab and now I handle the operations side of things. I don’t go into the lab anymore to do all the sample prep or even analyze the data. It drove me crazy for a while since now my job went from being active and walking around to just sitting at my desk and sending tons of emails to coworkers or vendors. However, that ended when I decided to focus on my new purpose and why it was important. My job is to ensure everyone else can get their jobs done. I go from my own little bubble or preparing stuff to actually helping my coworkers do better. I also get to call the shots on how to arrange things in our laboratory now. Anything that can be done to optimize somebody’s work or the space? Boom. That’s this wuff’s call now. Sure it can feel a bit slow as I wait for emails or for other people to make certain big budget decisions but it’s still fun.
Your job has a meaning to it. If not some nebulous great reason in the universe, then remember you go to that job to fund *blank* or so you can get *blank* job later. If you can’t do it, then maybe start looking around for something else.
I get that I used a job as an example but this still applies to new habits you want to cultivate. Remind yourself why you’re working on this habit and why it’s important to you. Remind yourself why you’re building new skills!
Good luck, fuzzbutts!
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!
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!