Like most of us, I’m not terribly good at keeping New Years resolutions, but I do like to know what general direction I should be sailing in.
Now 2020, quite aside from COVID events around the real world, was a pretty huge year for my imaginary Concordia’s World and I. The first of my dragons took flight and ventured out into the real world in the hopes of taking a little creative joy and imagination with them.
I took a good long objective look at what I had and hadn’t done and discovered a pattern. It’s not that I didn’t know what I was doing, but my review made it glaringly obvious.
I concluded that there was little point in getting my lovely followers excited about my latest creation in progress if you rarely get to see it completed and available in my shop in a timely fashion.
So I’ve been mulling over what needs to change? What small and incremental habits can I develop, what I can do to change my attitude, what systems I can put in place and how I can make some of the less attractive tasks seem more exciting and enticing?
This morning my brain reminded me of Mel Robins 5 second rule to help stop procrastination, but I knew it would take more than that. I need to develop better habits.
James Clear’s email arrived yesterday. The automatic habit guru says “If you genuinely care about the goal, you’ll focus on the system”.
“Improvements are only temporary until they become part of who you are……focus on the identity you want to build”.
Then, as I emptied the dishwasher whilst waiting for my morning cup of tea to brew, something I do every morning, it dawned on that emptying the dishwasher every morning had become an automatic thing to do. What James Clear calls an automatic habit.
Do I like emptying the dishwasher? No. It is simply part of a system I have adopted to get the job done. Somehow I need to adopt the same attitude, create the same automatic habits, to completing each task to finish one of my creations. This completeness includes not just the physical project, but the photographs, my descriptions, the shop listing and even the blog post I might write about it.
Sometimes, my procrastination might concern the physical project itself. So today I decided to examine my thoughts about my current creative sticking point. What can I do to release myself? What small action can I take to move towards my end goal?
My stomach began clenching and turning even as I write. I know that the next step for Luna Dragon is the resin pour.
Just to explain, if you hadn’t been following my latest creation, I decided on 2nd December to make a special dragon for a very special young man as a surprise present. As Christmas approached it became clear that the creative problems I was encountering meant it wouldn’t be finished in time. So, the young man in question was told that a gift was being made. Would he like to see it or wait? With a huge smile, having guessed that I was creating a dragon, he said “I’d like to wait please Nana”.
So here I am, Christmas over, no more excuses. It’s time to crack on with his gift.
So why the fear? I hear you ask. What’s stopping you?
Yes some of my creations have had resin bases and handles. However, these have been made by my experienced creative friend Mike, with me helping with the simple bits. We are currently in a tier 4 lockdown, so I’m on my own.
Oh for goodness sake it’s just a resin pour, how difficult can it be? But for some reason I’d been putting off this task. It’s become a creative sticking point.
Time to get a grip. Start the year as I mean to carry on. Let’s get over this hurdle. My goal is not the resin pour, it’s the look of joy on my grandsons face when he receives Luna.
One small step.
I explain my procrastination and ask Mr T to walk the dog alone so that I can get on with it.
I call my mum and wish her a happy new year.
Oh for goodness sake just get on with it!
I begin contemplating documenting this feeling, this resistance I’m experiencing. Perhaps it might help others?
This internal battle has nothing whatsoever to do with the physical act of the resin pour and everything to do with the mental blockage that’s stopping me.
One small step.
I put the crate of stuff on the table. My stomach continues to clench at what comes next.
One small step.
Change the language I’m using to talk to myself.
“I will finish this resin pour by lunchtime”.
My stomach turns. It’s okay, that’s just fear doing its thing. I stop for a moment and acknowledge the feeling.
My head begins to move past the feeling.
It’s just a resin pour.
Mike has done this, therefore so can I.
It may not go well, I may need to begin again.
It’s all part of the learning curve. I doubt that many people get their first resin pour right first go?
It’s a learning process. It’s okay to make mistakes, that how we learn.
I’m beginning to smile. I’m thinking how ridiculous it is that I’ve been worried about pouring a bit of resin.
It’s just a process after all.
If it goes wrong, it goes in the bin and I’ll start again.
My head rebels at the notion of of putting plastic in the bin. I don’t even like the idea of using plastic, of creating plastic at all.
So don’t f**k up! Comes the exasperated response in my head (apologies about the language).
Okay, here goes.
Oh just quit talking and get on with it!
Have a great new year lovely follower