Inspired to Stabilize
By: Kryss Jobes
So, this year I want to make changes in how I live my life. For the past few years, I have told myself I will do this, but it never lasts. It is all too easy to get distracted and put off important tasks, or to miss one day and let yourself become utterly discouraged. Once this happens, it can be nearly impossible to recover.
There are things I have dreamed of since I was a kid. You know, having a family, nice house, stable finances, dream job— the things everyone wants in some way or fashion. I have a family and a nice enough house, but I’ve always let mental illness get in my way of everything else. It has sometimes even gotten in the way of taking care of my family and house. There was always something else I’d rather be doing. These activities included hanging out with people I called friends, reading (not that that is a bad alternative), zoning out in video games, or TV. If I wasn’t doing any of those things, I would just waste countless hours staring at my computer screen, scrolling through Facebook, and chatting with people online.
I wanted to be a writer, but I always gave up too easily on my work, or I would just not work on it at all. I wanted things around the house to be neat and clean, but I could never bring myself to get it done. I wanted to be financially stable, or as close to it as possible, but I constantly wasted money on impulse buys and going out. To make matters even worse, I got into the terrible habit of pawning things to earn money. It was a vicious cycle.
My family and finances suffered greatly from my detached mania. I hated who I was and what I was doing. Unfortunately, all I could do was watch helplessly as this other part of me destroyed everything. I’ve finally managed to regain control though, and I am determined to keep that control. Through a stroke of luck and determination to be as responsible as possible (I did splurge a little), I managed to drag us almost completely out of debt. And so far, for the most part, my budgeting system for staying caught up has worked. I am still living paycheck to paycheck, but the money is lasting longer and some of it even manages to be saved.
For this year, I want to keep up the work I am doing with the budgeting, of course. But I also want to get my house in order and I want to take my writing more seriously. These are daunting tasks, but I think I have found a way to keep up with them without being overwhelmed. Though I still expect there will be days where it is all too much for me to handle, I will take on those days as they come. Until then, I am using a planner that I found to help me stay on task. It has monthly, weekly, and daily sections, which allows me to break things down and still see the big picture. It is aimed to help people lead a more productive life.
In the monthly section there is space to list goals, distractions to avoid, wins for the month, and insights gained. In the weekly section you can review the previous week while planning for the upcoming week. Again there is a section for wins, things you will do to make the week great, and what you are looking forward to. It even has a section where you can list new things you want to learn, projects you want to work on, and goals you want to accomplish.
The daily section is what it all comes down to. What are you grateful for? What are you excited for? What are your affirmations, focus, and exercise for the day? What are your daily priorities? What is your schedule like and what tasks must get done? The daily section has a place for all of that, as well as a place for an end of the day review. I got very lucky on the timing of my planner. So everything starts on the first day of the year, month, and week (I count Sunday as the first day of the week). I am really looking forward to using this planner/journal every day, working harder to get my life in order, being healthier and accomplishing more with my time. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the New Year. I won’t say it is a new me though. It is the same me, just a more stable me.