Sunday, January 22, 2012

Change Everything

I have been really struggling with getting a lot of different things done for several months now and I have been really frustrated over what to do about them.  I would try different tactics like rearranging my day to see if I could do better and still nothing seemed to work for me.  My husband would remind me that a lot of it was the depression and the medication which would make me feel a little better, but I was still really bothered that I wasn't doing things that I actually wanted to do.  Then I came across the article "Brother, I'm Committed," by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf in the July 2011 Ensign.  I found the following quote particularly inspiring:

There is a difference between intention and action. Those who only intend to commit may find excuses at every turn. Those who truly commit face their challenges squarely and say to themselves, “Yes, that would be a very good reason to delay, but I made covenants, and so I will do what I have committed to do.” They search the scriptures and earnestly seek the guidance of their Father in Heaven. They accept and magnify their Church callings. They attend their meetings. They do their home or visiting teaching.

It was that first sentence the stuck in my mind, "there is a difference between intention and action."  Yes, I understand that depression can completely squash motivation, but what I was struggling with felt like it was more than that.  I had great intentions, but my problem was the action.  So for several days I had the thought of "intention vs. action" running through my head.  Then earlier this week as I was thinking about all the things that weren't working for me, I decided to write them down.  I looked at my list which was compiled of simple things like doing the dishes, writing in my journal (which I love to do but still was having a hard time getting it done) and so on, and thought to myself "change everything."

I'm not really sure where that thought came from, but I realized that I was trying to force things that weren't working for me any more.  Even though I had been writing in my journal every day for over 4 years doesn't mean I have to keep doing it that same way.  So I took my list of things that weren't working for me and I decided to change how I was doing them.  Some items required a new goal, for example, with the dishes, making sure I have an empty dishwasher in the morning, then a clean sink at night was a first step. 

Another step was to completely change how I was doing some things, which for me, turned out to be using the ipad that my husband gave to me for Christmas.  I searched and found apps to replace some of the things I was struggling with such as a journal app (which is pretty cool, I can add pictures, music to express how I felt that day, etc.).  I found a finance app that pulls in all my bank information which I was having a really hard time staying on top.  I don't have to enter anything, it does it for me.  My husband is always saying "work smarter, not harder" and I felt like that was what I was doing with my list of things that weren't working for me.  I was find easier ways to accomplish them instead of sticking with the old way.  I have all the apps that I use daily on the first page, the ones I use occasionally on the next page and the ones I use rarely on the last page.  This way when I turn it on I see things that need my attention today and everything I need (my scriptures, journal, fitness data, reminder list, calendar, etc) is all in one place.  So far, it is working great!
  
A few days later my daughter was really having a hard time getting her room clean and as I was talking to her about it I told her how I "changed everything" and maybe we needed to do that for her too.  We started on her closet, we pulled everything out and started over.  She is what I call a "visual" organizer.  She likes to see where everything is.  She is also a "dropper," you know, drops everything where she is.  So we fixed her closet so that it was more suitable to her style of "dropping."  We moved her laundry basket out where it was more convenient for her to drop things into.  She loves socks and never wears matching socks (just who she is) so we put a basket in the bottom of her closet so she can just drop them in.  Hopefully this new system will work better for her, it may need some tweaking, but the key was to change it so that it functions the way she functions.

Then we moved to her vanity area.  She had a rolling cart with drawers full of craft items and I decided we should empty it and change it to hold all of her vanity stuff, so we completely reorganized that area. This is how her vanity area looks now.  The rolling cart has tools (like curling irons, etc.) in the bottom drawer, nail stuff in the next drawer, extra lotions and things in the next, head bands in the next and other hairs stuff (like bobbby pins, pony tailers, etc) in the top drawer.  The drawer of the vanity itself has 3 compartments so we put her make-up in there divided by lips, eyes and face.  Then we took a small shelf to the left of the vanity and put only jewelry on it.  It took us all day, but it was so worth it. Her room had been set up for a tween, but she is a Senior in high school this year and preparing for college and she really needed a room that was more set up for a young woman.   I think it turned out great!

So what did I learn, well, that when I feel like thinks aren't working either I need to make a new goal to accomplish it, such as with the dishes, or I just need to change it completely.  Just because I like a certain way of doing something or that it has worked in the past, doesn't mean it needs to stay that way.  I'm so excited about my new way of doing things!

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