I have been struggling lately to use my time to do the things that I aspire to do with my time. Instead I squander my time on the enjoyable activities (e.g. binge watching Veronica Mars) because, dang it, I deserve to pamper myself.
But if you do it all the time, it’s no longer pampering. It’s avoidance, and the excuse to not get things done. So instead at the end of the day I feel lazy and guilty, rather than pampered. I’ve the sneaky feeling the depression I’ve recently begun treatment for is encouraging me in the desire to not do much, but also then jumping in with the guilt when I listen to it.
So, in an effort to get things done, I sat down with my sister, and came up with a list of small goals, and awarded each goal a point level. Some items are worth 1 point, and are daily – like brushing my teeth in the morning, and putting the dirty clothes in the hamper before bed. Some are worth more points, and are done less frequently, such as 5 points for cooking dinner (with the goal of 3 times a week), or the weekly “Seek out quiet time” for 15 points.
The final kind of points are the stacking ones. One example is “30 minutes writing related activity – daily” – the first time in a week (Monday – Sunday) that I do this, I get 3 points. The second time I get 6 points, and the third, 9, and so on.
The other side of that is the rewards. Once I earn a certain number of points, I get to trade them in for rewards. I have started a list of what the rewards look like, from the “$1 store item” level when I need a quick boost, to a trip to the spa. My sister has even offered to have “mystery” prizes, where she tells me the point value, and if I want, I can spend my points on what she feels is an appropriate level reward – great for the times when I feel the system is getting dull / when I convince myself I’m no longer in the rewards I’d set because, let’s face it, lazy is easier.
So that is my current plan to do the things that I think will, ultimately, make me a happier person, and figure out how to make the time for the things that I feel are important, rather than seeking the easy way out.
Starting my third week as of this past Monday, and I am already going to spend the first 100 points I earned to get some temporary tattoos I found on eBay.