I recently discovered the delightful, whimsical, and encouraging art of Jackie of chibird.com. I love her messages of taking good care of yourself, and treating yourself with gentleness and compassion.
This is yesterday's post about progress. Being productive and making progress can look so differently for each of us depending on so many things.
Are you struggling with feeling "productive" or making progress right now? What's your definition of "productive"? And does that definition fit with what's going on, the stage of life you're in, and the emotional weight that you're carrying?
According to this New York Times article, we're more likely to NOT hear what those closest to us are really saying because we think we already know what they are going to say. Ouch.
Linking to Episode #2 of Laura Tremaine’s 10 Things To Tell You podcast titled: Are You Lonely?
Are you lonely? What a great question to ask yourself, your partner, or your friends.
Admitting and identifying a problem is a first step to finding a solution. Being honest about if you’re feeling lonely and disconnected from others may be the beginning of finding new or deeper connections.
Is there someone that you can ask, “Are you lonely?”
If someone asked you, “Are you lonely?” how would you respond?
Taking a look at this infographic can help us assess how we're doing in terms of caring for our mental health. Which of these are you doing well with? Which ones could use some more attention?
How was August for you? Are you ready to head into the fall?
I've read some great articles this month. Here they are:
This Woman Quit Dating Apps and Decided to Meet Men IRL, and It Changed Everything
"The more comfortable I became talking to everyone, the more confidence I gained talking to men. I began living openly, boldly, and unapologetically."
How To Make Friends, According to Science
"A recent study out of the University of Kansas found that it takes about 50 hours of socializing to go from acquaintance to casual friend, an additional 40 hours to become a “real” friend, and a total of 200 hours to become a close friend."
The New, Supremely Satisfying Way I End My Day.
"What helps me to keep on keepin' on is to truly give myself credit for the things I get done each day—both personally and professionally. And to that end, I've developed an auspicious habit: I write a to-do list in reverse at the end of the day."
How was the month of June for you?
For this Round-Up, I have all podcasts for you:
This American Life Episode #339: Heartbreak. “Partly today, we have an anatomy of the completely contradictory feelings that are part of a breakup. I think that’s what makes it such a special and particularly cursed state.”
Smartest Person in the Room Episode #29: When A Black Person Says It's About Race. “The divide between black and white America has never felt greater. Is reconciliation possible? In this series, we’re exploring how to cross the divide.”
The Lazy Genius Episode #58: The Lazy Genius Morning Routine. “How do we develop a morning routine? Maybe not quite what you expect. Have a listen, and create mornings that make you feel like yourself.”
Welcome to spring! Here are some resources that caught my eye this month. All are related to knowing yourself better.
In this post:
Ever think about journaling as a way to be in touch with what you're learning, how you're growing, and what you're struggling with? In this article by Michael Hyatt, he provides a simple journal template with eight questions that can make the journaling process easier.
In podcast episode #45, the Lazy Genius talks all about setting goals based on the person that you want to become. It's a short episode (13 minutes) but it's packed with stuff to think about.
In her book, Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything, Anne Bogel gives us an overview of eight different personality frameworks. In a conversational, memoir-ish way, she explains how each of the frameworks help us know ourselves better. If you'd like to dip your toe into personality types, this is an easy way to figure out where you might want to start.
Happy March! This is a round-up of what has caught my eye (and ear) this past month.
In Nir Eyal’s article, Happiness Hack: This One Ritual Made Me Much Happier, he writes about how having good friends is crucial for your mental and physical health. Intentionally maintaining friendships keeps them alive. If friendships aren’t maintained, Eyal writes: “This is how friendships die- they starve to death.” His solution? A “kibbutz” style friendship.
Were you ever taught about how to make a friend? How do we learn this? The Lazy Genius Episode #13: The Lazy Genius Makes a Friend is a very short introduction on the basics of making a friend.
In Better Than Before, Gretchen Rubin writes about how we can develop healthy habits and eliminate the negative habits. She writes about the importance of knowing yourself and how you work, and how knowing this will help make or break these habits. She combines research and personal stories into a very readable, practical, and motivating book.
It’s January, the time of New Year’s resolutions and believing that we can make positive changes in who we are and how we live. January is also the time of the NFL playoffs which means that the Super Bowl is just around the corner (February 4!). What do New Year’s resolutions and the Super Bowl have in common? The game of football might actually hold a lesson for us about how to make progress with those New Year’s resolutions.
First, a football primer. If you don’t know much about football, here are the very basics. The overall goal is to out-score your opponent, and the primary means of doing this is by making touchdowns (you can also score with field goals, safeties, two-point conversions, and PATs, but we’ll save those for another time). A touchdown is made when a team gets the ball to the opponent’s end of the field (called the end zone).
But a touchdown isn’t accomplished all at one time (usually). A team has four tries to move the ball ten yards (a football field is 100 yards long). This can be done by throwing the ball or running it. If a team isn’t successful in gaining ten yards, the other team gets the ball. However, if a team does move the ball ten yards within its four chances of doing so, it has completed what’s called a “first down.” Then the team has another four chances to move the ball yet another ten yards.
Continuing to make first downs will move you across the field and closer to making a touchdown. Whenever a team makes a first down, its fans will celebrate because it means the team is making progress. The team hasn’t scored a touchdown yet, but it’s getting closer, and it hasn’t given up the ball to its opponent just yet.
If a football team tried to make a touchdown every chance it got, they probably wouldn’t have much success. Sometimes there are big plays in football, but most of the time, the focus is just on getting the next first down. The team just looks at the next ten yards that they need to cover.
How does this relate to New Year’s resolutions? Common resolutions revolve around learning something new, losing weight, finishing a project, or achieving a big goal. Usually, these goals aren’t easy or met all at once. If they were, we probably would have achieved them by now.
If we think about accomplishing a goal, say learning a new language, it might sound daunting and overwhelming. Where do you start? But just as the game of football is made up of first downs and moving across the field yard by yard, the goal of learning a language is also made up of smaller actions and steps that finally lead us to feeling functional or comfortable speaking another language. Learning a language is made up of studying one new vocabulary word at a time, spending 20-minutes looking at grammar rules, listening to a language podcast in the car, finding a conversation partner to meet up with for an hour each week.
So what does football teach us about goals? To break it down. Break larger goals down into manageable chunks. How you can focus on the very next step that will move you closer to your goal? What will it take to get you to your next first down? Consider making a plan involving smaller, concrete goals that you can work toward, and how you will celebrate each of these "first downs" on your way to achieving your "touchdown" goal.
I’m Elaine Gee-Wong and I'm a therapist with a private practice in Santa Clara, CA.
Any information or advice on this website is for informational purposes only, and should not take the place of information or care provided to you by your physicians, medical, or mental health care professionals.