Doing things differently.
Yesterday, I caught myself mid-thought trying to reinforce a belief that is no longer serving me.
It goes something along the lines of, “If I just focus on getting these things done now, then I’ll be able to schedule in downtime later.”
Within the micro of my daily life this wouldn’t have set off any alarms. Delayed gratification has its benefits and, what’s more, this way of thinking has allowed me to create clearer boundaries between work time and downtime.
Within the macro of my life, however, this is absolutely a problem.
It is a problem because I’ve been working this past year on not stretching myself too thin. On giving myself the space and support I need to process my anger and past trauma.
On creating a container that allows me to enjoy life.
And in order for me to have a different experience of life moving forward, I need to do things differently.
Which is uncomfortable and necessary.
So, here are some of the things I’m intentionally doing—or trying to do—differently now:
Prioritizing downtime. This means not working on the weekends and taking longer breaks at regular intervals.
Letting the systems and structures I set up help me make decisions. Before I buy something, I look at my budget. Before I keep pushing forward with work, I look at my calendar to see when the last break I had was.
Creating clearer professional boundaries.
Prioritizing writing a daily blog.
Allowing for some space in my schedule for new collaborations and creative ideas to come alive. This means not maxing out my calendar when I have the option to do so.
Making decisions based on what is going to allow me to do the work that I want to do and not based on financial gain alone.*
*I have worked hard to get to a place where this is possible and am privileged to be able to do the work that I do. This is not the case for everyone and sometimes financial gain is a very real and urgent need. There’s no shame in that. And when you get to a place where you have the choice, I hope you choose to make your art.
The most different thing I did this year, however, was to get help from other people along the way. I didn’t decide one day to create this change and then go out and make it happen.
I had coaches and peers and all manner of support to make doing things differently possible. I started budgeting using this great app. I moved home—at 30—so I could pay off my debt and have access to the healthcare I needed to finally be able to take care of my physical, mental, and emotional health in a consistent way.
This is the single most impactful choice that I made.
If you only want to focus on doing one thing differently in the coming year, do this and the rest will take care of itself.
So, what are you doing differently?