Category Archives: Creativity and Goal Setting

30-Day Overcoming Procrastination Challenge: Complete!

Kick procrastination in the ass with a 30-day Overcoming Procrastination Challenge! … [Photo by Pedro da Silva]

Today marks day 30 of my 30-Day Overcoming Procrastination Challenge. I’m happy to report that I didn’t miss out on any days during this challenge and thus successfully completed this challenge. Woohoo!

As a brief recap, our monthly challenge in CGC for June (2019) was focused on overcoming procrastination. In terms of my specific participation in this challenge, I committed to working on some item from the the long list of items I had been procrastinating on each day in June. Success!

My biggest wins from this challenge have been:

  • Finally getting everything in place for my local Nevada driver’s license, and then going to the DMV and getting that handled
  • Getting an eye exam (after going without one for something like 7 years, I think?) and then picking out new glasses with my updated Rx
  • Random decluttering and organizing
  • Getting my email inbox clean and down to zero
  • Working down a big backlog of mending that I neglected over the years… I mended so many leggings (and more)! It’s a nice feeling to fix something that wasn’t being used as a result of tears and/or holes.
  • Three blog posts (including this one!)

I still have items on my to-do list that I haven’t yet gotten to during this month, but that’s okay. My challenge wasn’t to complete everything on that list, but rather to work on something on that list each day – which I did. Yay!

I’m really glad I participated in this challenge. It helped to foster a sense of accomplishment and positive, forward-motion momentum. And, I’m pleased to say, I’m quite confident that I will continue to work on that list (although perhaps at a slightly more relaxed pace than before). Eventually (and hopefully sooner vs later), everything on that list will get done! πŸ˜€

Participating in this challenge also serves as a great reminder to self that says: Yes! I am indeed capable of getting shit done! RAWR!

One thing I’ve noticed, though: Even though I know I’m very capable of committing to challenges and taking action each day, I still have a tendency to put off taking such actions towards the end of the day, or even before bed. This isn’t 100% consistent, mind you. It’s simply a tendency.

For example, today also marks a cool accomplishment: 18 continuous/consecutive months of daily yoga practice – via practicing a Yoga with Adriene YouTube video every single day. Another woohoo! is in order, I believe! (Or, as I have also been known to say: Woot woot! πŸ˜‰ ) So that’s rad and awesome too, right?

BUT… despite having installed this daily yoga habit, it seems I’ve also installed the tendency of often fitting in my daily yoga video/practice at the end of the day before going to bed. Is that bad?

Mind you, many times I’ve done my daily yoga in the morning. I’ve frequently done it before making dinner, as well. And many, many other times, I’ve done it before bed. (…Which I rather like, actually. I find yoga to be relaxing and it’s a nice way to end my day. )

That aside, I also think it’d be awesome if I actually got in the habit of exercising at the top of my day (or maybe even doing yoga before lunch) instead of fortifying my tendency to get my daily “must-dos” done at the end of the day. Because if I continue the general habit of doing my daily yoga at the end of the day, it also tends to translate to me going to bed later than I’d prefer. (I used to be quite the night owl – and still am to a lesser extent. But I’ve noticed I tend to feel much better rested and energized when I go to sleep earlier, and then get up earlier as a result.)

The issue, I believe, is that I tend to prioritize other actions, such as: work, cleaning/dishes, cooking and meal prep, spending time with Steve (we love doing things together), and sometimes spending too much time getting lost down the rabbit hole of various social media. Why? I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense.

The only answer that I can think of that does make sense is that I almost feel obligated to put work and other chores/tasks first in my day, as if they should be my priority. Work and chores, etc, are almost like assignments of sorts; their handling and completion is expected of me. And so it would make sense that I’d seek to fulfill others’ expectations of me first before tending to my own needs and desire.

When I take a moment to reflect on my prioritization, it really does make a lot of sense to make my own wants and needs – my own health, energy, and happiness – my priority. Because once that’s in place, handling work and other tasks are likely flow with more ease. That makes sense too, doesn’t it?

I’m going to consider doing a challenge where I fit in some daily exercise in the morning each day. It doesn’t have to be yoga specifically. It could be a walk, a short HIIT session on the elliptical, or maybe even some squats or some kind of simple strength training. I think that’d be an excellent habit to get into.

I’m not entirely sure if I want to commit a morning-exercise challenge for July, however, as I’ll be traveling and vacationing for close to half the month. And I really like the idea of relaxing and taking it easy in the mornings during these vacation days.

Either way, I think I’d like to do some type of challenge for July – but exactly what it would entail, I’m not yet quite sure. …Hmmm.

I’m going to think about it. I’ll share my decision in my next post!

I encourage you to come up with and execute your own monthly challenges! Experiment! See what direction it leads you. And if you’d like some structure, accountability, and support in this area, consider joining CGC. πŸ˜‰ (Although, the next registration window won’t be open until around April of next year.)

Have you, dear reader, previously participated in any 30-day challenges? If so, which ones? What results did you get? I’d love to hear about it! <3

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Addendum: For anyone who was curious, the challenges I had set for myself for July were to work extensively on a writing/editing project during the first half of the month, as well as ensuring I consumed some daily greens whilst traveling. Both challenges yielded great results! Woot woot!!

Creativity, Transparency & Courage

This above all: To thine own self be true. – William Shakespear … [Photo by Matthias Wagner]

Next month, I’m planning to go to my hometown of Winnipeg to visit friends, family, and take in some of the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival. I’m quite looking forward to it!

Being at the Fringe Threatre Festival is going to be interesting since I haven’t performed in nearly two years. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about that. When I take in live theatre, I tend to start thinking about diving into creating a new show and performing again. That said, I don’t really have a burning desire to get back on the stage again and perform. …Well, not really, but maybe a little? It’s complicated – but I’ll try to explain what I mean.

When I sit down and think about it, it seems to me that acting for the sake of acting and getting deep into a role has never really been, shall I say, my impetus for getting involved in theatre. I don’t think it was ever my true desire to be an actress. I just sort of fell into it, and then went along for the ride. And I’m glad I did, because I believe it to be a very important part of my life journey!

I think one of the reasons I was was whisked away by theatre was because I desired to prove to myself that it was something I was capable of. I shied away from the stage and certainly experienced varying levels of stage fright. Yet despite that, I still had a calling to be on stage. And so, I answered that call and sought to be the kind of person who would overcome that fear – or, at the very least, feel the fear and do it anyway.

I love theatre as an art form as a whole, but I can’t say I was ever truly in love with the acting / performance facet more than all the other aspects of theatre. I was initially much more drawn to directing and design in addition to playwriting. Theatre was to become my preferred medium of expression by creating, producing, and performing my own independent plays.

Sometimes I find myself missing the process of creating a play and bringing it into the world, sharing it with people, and interacting with an audience. I like knowing that I’ve made an impact on someone else’s life. I’m not sure if I’ve given up on my past theatre career just yet. (Although it hasn’t really been that much of a career for the past 8 years or so, since I haven’t been deeply involved in it for quite some time.) Even so, I’m simultaneously a bit reluctant to get back into it.

My last show, which I only performed in one city, was vastly underdeveloped by the time opening came around, and of course I bombed my opening performance and got a horrendous review based on that horrendous opening show. That’s been a pattern I’ve had for a while:

  • Have lofty ambitions for a show.
  • Book a slot in Fringe festivals when the play is merely an idea.
  • Work on creating the show for the booked performances… but then inevitably get stuck in the creative process.
  • Fall WAY behind schedule because I hold myself to really high expectations and get overly critical of everything I write.
  • Scramble to get the show ready, somehow, in time for the pre-scheduled performance date so that I don’t have to bear the embarrassment of cancelling the show and losing all the money I had already invested in festival fees and props and costume pieces and advertising, etc.
  • Focus way too much on the production details (like sound, costume, poster and flyer design, etc.) because I find that part so much easier and more grounding than the difficult process of trying to be a creative genius and prove to the world that I have something important to say. Plus, it makes me feel like I’m actually making progress and being productive.
  • Calm myself down from stressing myself out (like you wouldn’t believe) and somehow pull a performance out of my ass on opening night.
  • Kick myself over and over post-opening-night show for missing various key points that I had intended to make due to getting too nervous (not to mention being underprepared.)
  • Get depressed about the inevitable review from that horrendous premiere performance. (I’ve almost always had the wondrous ‘luck’ of having a reviewer attend the very first performance EVER of a new production or at a theatre festival… and of course the very first performance rarely goes according to plan.)
  • Try to continually improve and tweak the show throughout its entire run.
  • Stress myself out during the festival.
  • Mop up my splattered self-esteem (and you can image how much of a mess it can get when one’s own grandmother expresses disappointment over that bad aforementioned review and refused to see one’s show because of it).
  • Reassure myself that I’m capable of so much better.
  • Remind myself that, although the show was vastly underprepared and nowhere near my initial vision and ambition, it was still something that many people were touched by (at least as the show continued to improve).
  • Tell myself that there’s no way I can let that be my last production because if I were ever to “retire” (so to speak), my ego wants to go out with a bang. i.e. a show that’s garnered tons of praise and wonderful reviews.

… And that pretty much brings us back to the present – or, to just under two years ago when my last show wrapped up at the end of July, 2017. I’ve had too many of these frustrating experience, and I know I’m to blame. You’d think I’d learn. Maybe I’m fearful of trying again because I’m fearful of repeating the same dreadful pattern. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking about it every so often.

Now and then I’ll find myself thinking about potential show ideas that I could, just maybe, attempt for next time. Although next time I want to ensure that I’m beyond prepared. That would certainly be a refreshing breath of air!

One of the show ideas I’ve tossed around in my head involves a format I’ve never done in my life, and it sort of terrifies me: Portray myself on stage. Not a character, not a work of fiction. Portray my real self and share stories about life. Share my actual thoughts and fears and demons. You can see why this might terrify me.

Part of me desperately wants to attempt this type of show. I’ve never done anything like it, ever. I have no idea if it’d be any good. Have I even led an interesting enough life to warrant such a show? But the very fact that this scares me tells me that I should probably explore it.

If I did a show based on my life (it’d be a storytelling style play, I believe), I ask myself if I’d have the courage to be blatantly transparent about my self and my life. I truly want to. But would I have the balls to do that if I knew my family would be there in the audience?

Ultimately, I’m pretty sure this is something I’d like to explore. I don’t have a specific idea as of for the theme I’d want to explore for this type of show (aside from daring myself to be as authentic and transparent as I could be), nor for the stories I would share. But it’s definitely something that’s been on my mind, and I’m so curious to discover what kind of show I’d come up with if I were to pursue this idea.

I suppose I could consider this bog post as a means of “leaning into it” – “it” being the idea for this storytelling show in which I’d portray my unabashed and unadulterated self. Hmmm…

How comfortable are you in sharing your true self with the world? What stories would you be afraid or nervous to tell? What kind of stories do you think others would relate to best? …And especially: What kind of stories would you love to hear? <3

This above all: To thine own self be true.

― William Shakespeare