BYOH: Build Your Own Happiness or How to hack your own happiness buttons.
Today, the topic is about not taking yourself too seriously.
I have a bad habit of taking myself too seriously. I get teased for it, a lot. Sometimes, I need to take certain things, seriously, because not doing so is an affront to my own well-being. But, there are times when even I have to step back and say, “What the heck!”
A case in point, is this very blog. I committed to blogging every single day, no matter what. I tried it for about a month and got severely burned out. Normally, at that point (on other blogs) I might have just put the blog on a break, and then neglected its care and feeding. This time, I did take a step back and decided to find another way to cut myself some slack.
I set up a spreadsheet of days to blog, giving myself a light blogging day, where I simply make a standard repeat post and post to Pinterest. I also set myself drop-dead time to “post it or forget it”. That is, if a post (or posts) are not written/prepared by a certain time on certain days, then I can “forget” about posting for that period. I do not permit myself to squirrel away a new time (I tried that and it interfered with other things I had going on and felt like too much pressure and I could smell the impending burn-out).
For instance, I did not finish my Friday posts, on time, last week, so my blog was a post short. I did plan to get back to it, but, circumstances, beyond my control made it impossible. On top of that, due to the same circumstances (I was stuck at work, doing an, unheard of, double-shift), I was unable to make my Saturday/Sunday post deadline. I considered knuckling under and just doing it, even if it meant crossing over into other plans, but those plans are important too, so I decided to let the blog sit hungry for a couple of days. The serious side of me is bothered by this, but the side of me that is trying to take it easy on myself is trying to come to terms with the idea that “I am only one person, my blog isn’t saving the world; it’s just not that great, so get over myself, my regular readers will keep checking in, regardless, and when they do, they will eventually find freshly squeezed content and they won’t fret one bit.”
I try to do this at my day job, as well. As much as I would love to show that I am “so great at my job” and stay as late, as I can get away with, to prove it, I have to set myself a drop-dead time to stop taking in new work, for myself, and let someone else do the work, instead. I wasn’t always like this. I always seem to bite off more than I can chew, so, knowing this about myself, I had to set a limit. I still do over-work, sometimes, but it’s more reasonable than it used to be. I used to easily stay, up to three hours past my schedule, now I’ve cut myself down to one hour and even then, it’s maybe once or twice a month, not all of the time.
The best ways to push your happiness buttons; take it easy on yourself and not take yourself too seriously, include 1) Setting priorities (only do what is absolutely necessary), 2) Set a schedule (and stick to it), and 3) Give yourself permission to drop (or rather, put down) the ball, especially, if you have done your best on 1) and 2). You’re only one person with two hands. The world won’t end because you had to take a break.
Feel free, to visit my Facebook page and tell me what kind of things that you do to push your own happiness buttons or drop a line in the comments section. I would really love to hear from you.