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Steve_A's avatar

Becoming strict on myself?

Asked by Steve_A (5120points) January 8th, 2010

Well, in my other question a little while ago I was talking about my little sister, and little brother moving in with grandma and after talks with her and social worker it seems things are going to work out.

I will still live in the area if anything comes to happen I am not far away, but after some thinking I do believe you were correct in saying I need to build myself.

Now my main question is how do I become different?

I want to explain that I feel average at best, and rather inferior.So I have been thinking of cutting off ALMOST all connections and to put simply all bull shit aside.

Only 3 things will I focus on Work, School , Music. The end.And I plan to have music on the back burner while I earn something in Science via college. Since I have decided I need a cushion or back up.

I have plans to make a clock schedule where I always have a timer set, 30 mins practice, study , this or that. No time will go to waste anymore!

I also have plans to further cut out all excess things, like large cell phone bills,eating-out,internet,TV, basically only essentials.

I may keep a laptop since I play to give the computer and other things to my siblings.I enjoy recording my music though.

I guess this may seem extreme? But in the last years while worrying about my siblings, I myself have became lazy and complacent. Pathetic.And I can ONLY blame myself.

I was hoping the fine people at fluther as they have helped me before can give me some thoughts or ideals on changing one’s self. I want a new Steve!

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7 Answers

wonderingwhy's avatar

Not my area of expertise as I tend to shy away from strict schedules; but I commend you on your intentions. Be sure to keep a lid on your sense of self doubt/blame, they can be powerful motivating factors when controlled but can have the opposite effect if they gain control of you. I’ve always found it good to remind myself from time to time that my choices have brought me where I am as much any circumstance and it will be my choices that lead me where I want to go. Remember you are in control. Don’t forget to reward yourself from time to time, particularly when overcoming difficult or conflicting tasks. It will help reinforce your effort and attitude. Be prepared for failure, it will happen, just don’t stop and dwell on it – learn from it and move forward towards your goals. Be sure to take a second and embrace the moment as well, stop and recognize that your are accomplishing something even if it’s just research for a class, a menial task for your job, or rote practice for your music. It can go a long way to keeping your mindset positive and providing a sense of fulfillment.

Best of luck to you, I hope your commitment is rewarded.

wundayatta's avatar

You are probably setting yourself up for failure. You are setting so many high goals at the same time, and you will fail at doing it all, and then beat yourself up and throw yourself in the garbage heap. Who knows? You might even self medicate.

Pick one goal—maybe reducing cell phone use. Do that for three months, and then pick another goal. Say working on scheduling your studying and practicing time. But do the scheduling in little chunks—like maybe once or twice a week at first, and then ramp up if you can succeed at once or twice.

Gradually let yourself take on more and more, but only if you succeed at something before. Otherwise you are almost certain to guarantee yourself failure. Of course, maybe you want to fail in order to give yourself an excuse to totally go downhill.

Also, if you continue to blame yourself, you will drive yourself downhill—possibly into a depression so deep, you might not survive it. “Blame” and “lazy” and “complacence” are just words. They are just judgments. You don’t have to feel like you have to do anything about them. You can just notice them from a distance. They don’t really apply to you. They are just thoughts. Let them go. Focus on being who you are at this moment and doing what you are doing at this moment, whether it is music or studying or whatever. Stop trying to control the future. The future will happen, often irrespective of your efforts. If you stop trying, then you can start being, and being is what brings people what they need.

marinelife's avatar

You are setting extreme goals for yourself and a major lifestyle change. It will be difficult to make all of that happen at once.

The most important thing will be to cut yourself some slack if you don’t succeed at all of it at once. Schedule time with your siblings and time for a physical and mental break for yourself in too.

CMaz's avatar

@Steve_A – You go for it! Sounds like a plan/goal to pursue.

You have the rest of your life to cut yourself some slack.

Cruiser's avatar

Big changes are easy to make but hard to sustain. You may want to start with just a few changes you feel you will be able to commit to and once you are consistent, build from there. Your idea of a strict schedule is a good starting point and simplifying your life makes a lot of sense to! Keep the music going as it will be a creative outlet you will need to help clear your head so you can focus on your tasks at hand. You seem to have the right ideas…go for it and good luck your siblings will be proud of you!

Siren's avatar

Having a priority list is a great start. You may not always be able to stick to it every day, but if you become more or less consistent, you should see a lot of progress in your efforts. And, it will make you feel empowered as well as confident to keep going. So go for it!

[Edit] Okay, I read your list more thoroughly, and I agree with @Daloon that it is a bit too strict and you may end up setting yourself up for failure. I suggest just picking the top 3 things in the day you want to accomplish and get them done. Don’t put yourself on a timer, unless that really helps you. Baby steps may work better

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

When I was your age, setting a clock-type schedule was exactly what I did. A rule that I used was that anything I start I must finish. I had zero social life and expenses were not an issue. I had to divide up my day into intellectual and physical activities to avoid burnout. I had completed a dual degree program by the time I was 18, but it left me depressed and apathetic. I had left myself no time for other interests, carrying a two-course overload year-round for four years. I had thrown away the physical activities I loved to achieve a purely academic goal.

In grad school, I intentionally slowed down to a normal course load and forced running, shooting and skiing back into my life. I had a tendency to focus on one task at a time to the complete exclusion of everything else, so forcing myself onto a clock-type schedule was necesaary. It wasn’t until over 30 years later that I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrme (autism), which explained why I required the externally applied structure.

Having no social life and a compulsion to finish tasks immediately did have its benefits. While everybody else was going nuts the week before finals, I was goofing off on the track or on the range.

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