The TAIL Principle

Hello fuzzbutts!

We’re well into February now and I hope you’ve all been able to keep up with your SMART goals! Now would be a great time to check in on your progress and review how you’re doing! If you’re not accomplishing or at least making progress on the things you set out to do, you need to look at the reasons why. Is it your fault? Is it something else? Did somebody else do something? I have good and bad news for you. The bad news is that you’re ultimately responsible for how you end up. The good news is you can fix it! You can fix it by adopting the TAIL principle.

TAIL stands for Taking Accountability In Life. That makes taking on the mindset that you are ultimately the one who is responsible for what you want. If your life isn’t where you want it, you have the power to adjust and choose what to do with it. The pandemic throw off your plans last year which is why you didn’t do anything? Well if you make yourself accountable for your own life, there’s probably all sorts of ways to adapt your plans or pivot into something that would be more productive rather than locking yourself down with nothing to do but catch up on your game library or Netflix queue.

Unfortunately, this mindset isn’t easy. “Well I would study but my roommate makes too much noise! I was going to exercise but I can’t go outside now. I just don’t have time.” are all thoughts that make it easy for us to stop doing anything. You can overcome these issues but you have to find the solutions by sitting down and thinking about it. Solutions like “I’ll wear headphones and listen to something helpful while I study. I’ll look up some indoor exercises just so I can get a workout in. I should look at what I do after work and see if there’s anything I can cut so I can work on my goal.”

This doesn’t just apply to your goals, this applies to everything in life. Are you going to be in charge of how you feel or are you going to let others affect your mood? Something big happens that ruins the goal you were trying to accomplish like an accident or health issue. Are you going to suddenly stagnate or are you going to find a new way to live? Is there more you can do at work to avoid the obvious problems you can see coming down the line?

You’ll notice your life feels much more in control when you increase your responsibility for yourself and become accountable for your actions and how you’re leading your life. Start with small things and you’ll soon find yourself taking ownership of larger things within your control. You can’t control everything outside but you can control how you respond to those things.

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!

The Responsibility Question

Hi furries!

Had a pretty rough day recently when I found out there weren’t going to be any annual bonuses for anyone for 2018. The company didn’t meet its goals and funding is in bad shape. It’s easy to look around and wonder “Who is responsible for this?” when the real question is “What was I responsible for and is there a way for me to fix it?”

Was there anything I could have done? Maybe. I was already going outside the scope of my job description and then also assisting others in their projects to increase productivity around the lab. There’s times I could have done more but that’s about it now. Would this have added up to millions of dollars shortfall? Well no. I’m pretty great but not THAT great. So maybe there’s nothing I could do on my end to make up for that. Is there a way for me to fix it for them? Well not really that either.

So, after being a little down in the dumps about it, the responsibility question got deeper and I looked for what I am responsible for. I AM responsible for how I feel in my reaction to this news. I could feel down or I could put that energy to something useful. I AM responsible for picking my work. I could feel stuck and cheated or I could put more effort into looking for a new job. I AM responsible for where I work. So many people stay around SoCal expecting to find high-power jobs but if I want to be able to own a home and set down roots, I either have to move to a different state for work or find a second source of income here.

Asking these questions helps me re-align with my goals and come up with new ideas for plans and ways to keep moving ahead in my life. While I consider the options for myself, I want you to review everything and imagine you could take responsibility for some situation you’re in. If you can’t take responsibility for everything, identify what you can be responsible for.

Good luck, furries!