New Series: A Year of Daily Accomplishments

Yesterday, I did a bunch of chores I didn’t feel like doing. Housekeeping isn’t something I do well, but I made some effort and I got a few things done.

It didn’t feel like I did nearly enough. There was more I wanted done and I didn’t do it. This made me feel terrible about myself.

I didn’t give myself any slack for how incredibly tired I was, or how much my back was bothering me. My only thoughts were, “I find this hard, and the fact of finding this hard is a sign of how flawed, damaged, and worthless I am.”

The challenge of unloading the car after returning from the beach trip and doing a few tasks around the house was unnecessarily tangled with emotions and judgment.

I didn’t feel pride in having gotten anything done. I felt disgusted that it was difficult to do those few things and that I didn’t accomplish more than I did.

This year, I’m going to practice changing this unhealthy mindset.

Instead of judging myself for what I do not do, and calling myself lazy, a slob, disorganized, stupid, and so on, I’m going to direct my focus towards things I’ve done that make me feel proud.

I’m going to attempt to think less about what I failed to do.

My hope is by doing this, I’ll get in the habit of thinking more highly of myself.

“We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same.” – Pema Chodron

Would you please consider joining me in this? Every morning, we can think of something we did the day before that we’re proud of.

It’s possible it will be something that someone else might sneer at and think of as a basic task, not a big accomplishment. Let’s not think about that. If the task was meaningful to us, perhaps we should own that.

Taking yesterday as an example… If I try to think about what I did yesterday, rather than what I didn’t do, I can come up with the following:

  1. Safely drove home from the beach (Beach trip: Last day)
  2. Started implementing tactics from Unfuck Your Habitat:
    1. Unloaded the car and unpacked right away
    2. Set a timer for 20 minutes and did as much to clear off the dining room table during that time as possible
    3. Moved the stack of unopened mail from the hidden spot under the coffee table to the dining room table
  3. Downloaded and configured the Tody Home Cleaning app
  4. Showered
  5. Ate a healthy dinner
  6. Prepped my breakfast for today
  7. Didn’t watch TV; read a book instead
  8. Went to bed on time

Seen through a different lens, the list of things I got done almost looks impressive.

Small things like the items on that list are worthy of congratulations.

All things considered, yesterday was only a medium level of difficulty to manage. There will be days, I’m sure, when my depression will get hold of me. My biggest accomplishment on those horribly hard days might be that I somehow summon the energy and motivation to eat a meal. So be it. On those days, I will cheer myself on for having eaten.

This year, I will practice not judging myself for being challenged by the things that are hard for me, and to embrace who I am and what I am able to do.

I don’t yet know what my accomplishments will be today. So far, just being on a good path towards getting to work on time feels worthy of a large trophy. If I also manage to get myself to the supermarket after work and to make the veggie-filled dinner I know my body needs, I will be extra proud of myself.

And if I don’t manage to get that done, because the first day back at work after a number of days off exhausted me too much for that to be possible, so be it. I will do all I am able and I will be proud of what I accomplish.

What did you do yesterday that you were proud of?

What are your thoughts on this post?

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