I hope you noticed my cool one-piece sweatpants ROMPER and not the dirty clothes on my floor, or unmade bed in my photo. LOL! JK. IDC. This is a perfect picture of me living my life with anxiety. It means clothes on the floor, and more comfy clothes than dress up clothes. This is how I cope. I am learning how to live alongside my anxiety, and live fully.
Despite my anxiety, I do ALL THE THINGS. It’s taken me a while to build into all of this but here is my list. I mom, church, write toward publication, blog, YouTube, Tweet, FB, sell athleticwear. I have a website, and I actually DO have a social life, exercise routine, and have time for the hubs, and cleaning. Y’all, it’s a lot. I do all the things, but I do them all with a lot of anxiety. Sometimes, my anxiety drives these things and I DO experience a crash. It’s getting better, though!
I have figured out a system. It’s a method. There is a method to this madness. It’s called grace and planning, and more grace, and more planning. Sometimes it’s called wearing a sweatpants romper and faking period cramps so I can hide in my bed… But, let’s not focus on the latter, not today.
Goal setting and planning help me RELIEVE my anxieties and help me to achieve what I want.
I am aware that this all sounds heinous. Sounds like a big hunk of, “Yeah, right. I barely remember to brush my teeth or what day I last washed my hair.” It sounds like, “Um, okay. Maybe if my crippling anxiety didn’t hinder me from planning anything in the first place.”
All I have to say is, “Me too.”
My anxiety is REAL and gets real heavy. That is where the grace comes in. I get the whole YOLO thing, and I can appreciate it for what it is, because yes, our days are numbered. However, I would rather die tomorrow NOT hating myself for not getting things done today, than die feeling like I have regret for what I didn’t achieve. If I don’t get these things done (aside from caring for my kids I always have to do that. No excuses), but everything else, sometimes, it HAS to WAIT, and it’s okay. I can’t predict when things go awry, but I can plan, and in the plan, make room for grace.
Also, goal setting helps me know where I am going. I don’t always know what to expect, but having a plan reduces my anxiety for the things that I do anticipate.
Goal setting helps me feel in control when I feel out of control. Somethings we don’t have ANY control over, but I always have complete control in where I am at, where I am going, and how I can get “there” wherever “there” is. Even if I have to modify or reconfigure a plan or two, it’s easier, sometimes, to build from what you have than to build with nothing. If I treat my goals like a foundation and not a finish line, then I can feel less anxious when things don’t work out perfectly, or adversity happens, which it always does.
I set short term goals, like my shopping list for the day, or the times of meetings etc. I also set long term goals. I think the biggest, most helpful habit I have built is not waiting until “Monday” to set goals. I look at where I am now, today, and I figure out a realistic timeline for what I need to get done. I haven’t updated my YouTube channel in over a year. I plan to do that next month. I could have started in the new year, in January, and had new content, but I just didn’t have time. So, May it is. It’s okay. My world is not on fire.
I also set goals, and sometimes they don’t happen. I wanted to be finished my next novel and be in the final stages of editing it right now. That didn’t happen. I set that goal and had to put it aside. Right now, I am working on a poetry project. I want to finish the novel SO BAD. But, I don’t have time, so I started a side project until I know I will have a few hours a day to devote to the novel. It will get done. Just not right now.
Lastly, I DON’T get up at 4am anymore. When I wrote my first book, I rushed. I wanted to finish it SO badly that I got up every day at 4am and I wrote. I did it again for my second novel ( I queried it and did not self-pub it, so it is NOT available and is tabled for now). I tried to do it again with TWO babies during a pandemic and, y’all, I almost killed myself from exhaustion. If 4am is your jam, then you “Go Glen Coco.” (If you got that reference we are hereby BFF’s)
I write when I can. I remember almost nothing, and use Alexa’s remind feature for mostly everything. I make lists and set alarms. I ask for help, and advice. I go to therapy, and I make charts. I have people I workout with so I have people to be accountable to if I don’t show up. I involve people in my goals, and people show up for it, sometimes more often than I do!
Does that give you anxiety just thinking about it? ME TOO. That’s why I don’t think. I just do. I just go. I have to do things scared. I have to do things when I am unsure. I have to do things when I can’t breathe. I have to do things despite myself. I will hold myself back from nearly EVERYTHING if I let me. So, goal setting helps me counter act myself. It’s a proactive solution. I have to get ahead of myself so I can cheer me on to “keep going. You are almost there.”
Lastly, we can do hard things. Is it hard? Yup. But, we can do hard things. We can.
You don’t have to! But, you can.
I hope my fellow anxious Annie’s and nervous Nelly’s find this and feel motivated. You might feel like crawling under a rock and eating Cheetos. I don’t blame you. I do most days too. We do what we can.