- June 9th, 2016
So. Self-improvement. It's a big word, and I've always imagined it to be this big thing. Self-improvement meant transformation. It meant that geeky girl getting the makeover. It meant the Biggest Loser. It meant me becoming someone and something else, because who I was wasn't good enough.
I still don't think I'm good enough, in a lot of ways. But I've realized that trying to drastically transform myself generally makes things go drastically back to the way they were. So now I'm thinking of self-improvement as the little things. Small improvements that maybe, potentially, could mean things in my life improving overall, but even if they don't, they'll probably make my life better. I do have big things I want to change about my life and myself, but I'm not sure I'm ready to tackle them just yet.
So here are the things I want to improve about my life. And I'll be posting once every couple weeks to discuss my progress, add some things that need improvement, subtract some things that maybe I've changed my mind about improving, etc.
The Little Things:
- Fitness - So I consider myself to be physically fit. My weight has not fluctuated drastically since I was in the 10th grade. I joke about how people always tell me that I've lost weight as a compliment, but I literally have not gained or lost a pound. However, high school-me was playing tennis every single day from summer to fall, and in the winter and spring I would be dancing multiple times a week. College-me still dances, but only during the semesters. Plus, my stamina has always been terrible, and I want to be able to perform a full 8-minute Bollywood set with a smile still glued on my face by the end of it.
How I am going to improve this: I've begun doing the Seven-Minute Workout every few days, and for now I want to increase that to once a day once my foot heals up. My heel's been hurting every time I put pressure on it, but I went to the doctor today, and I know that it's going to be fine in a few days.
-Writing - So this could be considered a big thing, but I'm forcing it to be a little thing so that I actually do it. I've been working on my novel for almost a year now, and it's survived multiple computer failures, semesters of hell, and internships. I haven't been able to give it my full attention since last summer when I was taking creative writing classes, but recently, I haven't even touched it. It's a matter of a combination of writer's block, not having MS Word on this computer, and being in too many places at once and not uploading the files onto Google Drive. Also, I keep second-guessing my main character and her backstory.
How I am going to improve this: I am going to pledge to write 1400 words a week, which is only 200 words a day. It's doable, and it's entirely within my capabilities. And I'm promising to have the word count by the end of the week so that even if I can't find time to write one day, I can still make it up the next day. Additionally, I'm going to begin brainstorming article ideas, because I gotta get ish published if I wanna be taken seriously as a writer. I also have to stop using words like "gotta," "ish," and "wanna," I suppose. This blog will probably also help me out in writing.
-Organization - I am not a very organized person. I feel like I've gotten better at this over the years, but I still have a tendency to forget things and not show up to things or do things I'm supposed to do. I've gotten planners and tried a lot of things, but none of it has stuck.
How I am going to improve this: I think I need a planner that is flexible enough that I can turn it into whatever I want or need for the day. I don't tend to have routines that repeat daily or even weekly, and I need something that suits this. I have a lot going on and I need to write it down. I also need to learn to forgive myself when I don't touch my planner for a week. Because what happens is that I don't touch it for a week, and then I feel like the whole thing's shot and I live a disorganized life another few weeks because I feel like I've failed at using a planner and it's never going to work, and then I start all over. Maybe I'll try bullet journaling, but it seems like a lot of work. I'm not sure what's going to work yet, but a regular old planner worked for me for a few months this past semester, so I might give that a go again.
The Big Things:
-Flakiness - So I'm a bit of a croissant. I'm incredibly flaky but I've got a wonderful, soft, tasty inside that just makes you like me anyway. (I have to give credit for that joke to Franky, my fave.) I'm terrible at making and keeping plans, finishing things for myself or others, and just being a functional human being.
How I am going to improve this: Communicating and saying no when I know something's not possible. I am an idealist, and I plan like one. Ideally, I'd be able to do everything there is to do in New York City within a day. Ideally, I'd also be able to clone myself into multiple bodies to be able to do and experience these things. But I can't do those things, and I need to stop saying yes with a smile on my face when I really mean no. Also, I need to be able to cancel plans without getting nervous about it or just not showing up without prior notice. It's rude and I need to remember that being nervous about making that phone call to cancel plans is a lot nicer than being nervous about not showing up and wondering if that friend will ever want to hang out with you again.
-Stubbornness - I'm a stubborn sonuvabitch. When I was two years old, my mom was trying to feed me a grape after dinner, and I didn't want it. She still put it in my mouth. The next morning, the grape was still there. A few days ago, a dish left in the sink ended in an epic argument that both my mom and I regret.
How I am going to improve this: I have no idea. I think I'm most stubborn when someone is disagreeing with me about something and when there's something bigger going on. So maybe I just have to remember to scale my stubbornness and weigh it next to the problem that is actually in front of me and at hand. I may not be able to stop reacting badly, but maybe I'll be able to react the correct amount based on how large or small the problem is.
-Lying - I tend to lie to myself when things are going wrong. I tell myself that they're not going wrong. Or even if I know perfectly well that they're going wrong, I tend to lie to everyone around me and pretend everything is going swimmingly. I've gotten a little too good at it. Nobody seems to suspect a thing when I'm at my worst. And if I know that someone will, I avoid them at all costs as much as humanly possible.
How I am going to improve this: Trust. I feel like I fail myself a lot of the time, which is why I lie to myself even when I know I'm lying to myself. I also don't trust others with my feelings and my secrets. I know there are at least a couple people in this world that I can trust, and I just have to be less flaky about my friendships with them and communicate on a regular basis.
-Overall Mental Health - I haven't been happy in a while. And I know this, because I've been happy before and I remember what it's like. I'm not sure if I'm depressed or not, but I know that my mental health has taken a beating the last couple years and I've been avoiding confronting it.
How I am going to improve this: If, by the end of the summer, I don't feel like I've made enough improvement by myself, I'm going to go to a counsellor, or maybe a therapist. Even if I do improve, I think I probably should because I've been feeling crappy for a while and have been avoiding this feeling for a while. However, it's all about the little things, right? These next two weeks, I'm assigning myself the job of creating achievable goals that I can feel good about.
I've been thinking about making a post like this, a committment like this, for a while. However, I was spurred into doing this after watching the Parks and Rec episode where Leslie and Ben get married. It's gorgeous and made me feel all the good things and made me wish that I had a Ben for my Leslie. But then I remembered, I'm not Leslie yet. Not that I necessarily want to be a neurotic binder-making overly-loving freak, but I'm not the me I want to be yet. I'm not the me that I want my true love to meet. I need to learn how to be the best version of myself. I know that it's a never-ending process, but I think I'm ready to begin that journey.
I'll see you in two weeks.