The biggest barrier I face in doing anything significant is "being overwhelmed." It dogs me in business, art, sometimes in relationships, and it's also been the biggest outstanding obstacle to resolutions.
It's clear that I can do some pretty impressive shit (Satirical Politics, CFS referendum, Transition, Art, Writing, The Switch) and most this means engaging in giant complex tasks. So how do I beat the inertia and fear? Breaking things down into manageable steps, and pushing what can be done later completely off of my plate for today, and next week or next month, and as long as it takes to just concentrate on the stuff in front of me.
So the idea here is to keep it simple and high-priority.
I divide the year up into ten parts. It's a kind of astronomy meets traditional calendar religion meets film kind of thing (if you get the last reference, you're my kind of people!). And I use this to incrementally increase my targets.
1. Jan 1st thru Imbolc
2. Imbolc thru Equinox (Ostara)
3. Ostara thru Beltane
4. Beltane thru Solstice (Litha)
5. (break) Midsummer thru July 1st - time to reflect, alter and reconsider
6. July 1st thru Lammas
7. Lammas thru The Equinox (Mabon)
8. Mabon thru Samhaine
9. Samhaine thru Yule
10. (break) Yule thru January 1st
I have four resolutions and three of them have incremental benchmarks. Each "tenth," I pick two targets to move their benchmark up a notch. This gives me a little wiggle room in case things prove challenging.
1. Pack a Lunch
I've done a pretty good job of becoming frugal over the last few years. I can live well for not a lot of money. But I spend money eating out when I don't need to - and when I don't want to. Now, when I'm eating at home, I can cook like a champ. But I don't take it with me. Time to do better.
Goal: Pack a lunch. As in a meal. Not just a granola bar.
Benchmarks: 1x/week, 2x/week, 3x/week
2. Get up and go Outside
My mental health, sleep and pretty much everything else improve when I get up and go outside within an hour of waking for at least thirty minutes. If you are not a home-based entrepreneur (or parent), you may not realize that you can get up at a reasonable hour and have what looks like a productive day on paper without leaving your house until after dark. This is not good for me. I get cranky and weird. So, I need to fix this.
Goal: Get up and go outside within one hour waking, staying outside for at least half an hour.
Benchmarks: 3x/week, 4x/week, 5x/week
3. Analog Hour
This one's about mindfulness, relaxation and all kinds of good stuff. I can pull this off in transit. I can do it socially. But I'm not good at being on my own. Instead, I have an ingrained habit of staring at a screen. It started in my youth as a way of disassociating. At the time, it might have been a good idea seeing as the combination of bullying and dysphoria drives other people trans to worse ends. Still, it needs to go.
Goal: Spend one hour on my own with the computer closed. Not screwing around on my phone. Not watching TV. No "screen time." Unless it's dialing a phone for a nice chat.
Benchmarks: 2x/week, 3x/week, 4x/week
4. Actor's Accountability
This is all the rage among actors, as self-directed professionals (that are known to be a little... flaky). You meet. You plan. You do better. And if you don't, you know it probably was outside of your reasonable locus of control.
Goal: Every month, I will meet with other actors to plan out career foundational. The first month will be setting up the meeting.
Benchmarks: There's only one.
After recovering from neckstrain from hell, I have found that oneofhte muscles in my arm is partially paralyzed. It's weak and inhabiting my ability to do stuff. This probably comes from interactions with someone I used to date. It might from the time I got thrown at that play party in 2010 - the time I was saved from breaking my neck (or, indirectly, getting irradiated at Fukushima) because I turned my arm into an "S" shape? Well, I also hit my head, which snapped my neck back, but I didn't think about it at the time. Or it might have been more recent - from picking up my date and wanting to free up one hand if you get my drift, and just carrying too much load. The leading hypothesis is that my vertebrae are probably sandwiching a nerve - it's hard dot tell. On reflection, it's most likely a bit of both.
Also: my posture sucks. I don't want to wind up in a hunch when I'm eighty. And I look great when my posture is good.
The rule then: pick one: when on my cellphone / checking email / checking my reflection or seeing my shadow - I check my posture.
2. Don't lend money
Because it leads to having got ask for it back and/or never getting it back. I don't think that I've got the money back on a single one of the loans I've given out in the last two years. I kept a spreadsheet of all the money I leant out - it's a on the level of "rent." This has got to stop. There are other ways I can support people.
There will have to be exceptions - picking up lunch this time, covering a car rental (and of course, just giving people objects, services or money is fine). But anything involving other people and the words "pay you back later" need to be small, and never in doubt as to if/when they'll be paid back.
These are important, but, in the interests of not feeling overwhelmed, didn't make the cut. I will revisit these later:
1. Spend time in an altered head-space pursuing personal development. Doesn't matter what it is - it could be meditation, or character work, or booze, or sensory deprivation. Whatever.
2. Specific acting skill development
3. Studying second language