Welcome to the 24th issue of Inward Ventures, where I share what I’m working on and tinkering with. I offer thoughts and ideas that I encounter in my continuing quest for self-improvement, productivity, and education for myself and my coaching clients. I strive to excel in my writing, creativity, and, well… LIFE. Thanks for being here. Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks.
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What do I write about?
I write about things that come up for clients and friends, from emailed questions, or I pick one of the many random thoughts that course through my brain every day.
Today’s writing is the random thought kind. I want to explain why I think tinkering is important, so much so that’s it’s up in my bio above. #notthatyouasked
Get it together, sis.
You might think because I’m writing a newsletter that I have my shit together.
You would be wrong.
I most certainly do NOT have my shit together. I think it’s safe to say that NO ONE has their shit together; we just *think* everyone else does.
I’ve come to accept this truism, and it’s been liberating. Lemme ‘splain.
Knowing that I’m a work in progress gives me the freedom to experiment, change my mind about concepts, and try different tweaks. If they don’t work, all is not lost. I don’t give up on the project/task/person. Because I view it as an experiment of sorts, I can alter my take with a different perspective or tactic.
I’m always tinkering with something. Fiddling around, as mom would say, ⬅⬅ She’s the source of my creative DNA. Thanks, Mumma! ✍🏼
my morning routine
my writing schedule
my exercise routine
I’ve come to realize that the reason why many people fail (myself included!) is we think it’s a one-and-done effort.
We pick our project/habit/behavior change and begin to implement it. Things go well for a while, then life happens, whammo! It’s a goat rodeo.
We fall off the wagon and decide:
therapy isn’t for us 😱
we can’t quit sugar
staying sober is impossible 🤷♀️
it’s too hard to diet
we’ll work on our art when we retire 💀
there’s no point in getting a degree at this point in our careers
exercising daily is for people who have no lives 😂
there’s no time for self-care
It all goes out the window. Feeling like a failure, you resign yourself to “I can’t do this! It just doesn’t work for me.”
Well, sure. That ONE WAY that you tried (perhaps multiple times, but the SAME.WAY) didn’t work for you.
But Aileen! I’ve tried to quit sniffing glue countless times! I just can’t!
I tried starting a diet, exercise, meditation, journaling, breatharianism SO.MANY.TIMES and I can’t do it for more than 4 days!
Eff Warby Parker and Caddis
If you borrow my $12.99 readers from CVS and look at things the way I do, you might see that you’ll have a more realistic and potentially helpful POV if you add to those sentences.
“I can’t do this *that way*. The way it’s structured doesn’t work for me now.”
Ahhhhhhhh. See what ya did there?
You acknowledge there’s more than one way of doing things, gasp! (It’s taken 49 years for me to accept this, LOL) Other possibilities might work. This line of thinking also highlights this lil tidbit: that attempt doesn’t work for you NOW. Pssst! But it could happen in the future, under different circumstances. 😎
Begging the Question
So what can you change, tweak, tinker with?
The point of all this is that I don’t have my shit together in a fixed state.
It’s always evolving. I’m always tinkering. (not constantly, mind you, I don’t flip things around every day 😂 While I may appear unstable via my musings, I am reliable and consistent IRL. If I’m going to switch things up, I let a week or month go by before changing anything.)
I just settled on a new workout sched. It WAS 3 x week full-body and 3 times a week of conditioning. Long gone are the days of daily cardio, sweaty ass long runs early on Saturday mornings. Now, I walk every day, lift 5 days a week, and just 2 days of conditioning. OK, FINE, I’LL CALL IT CARDIO FOR YOU FOLKS IN THE BACK.
Could I do more? Of course! But in this discovery process, which is really what this tinkering amounts to, I’ve found that consistency is what matters most. To stick to it, I have to do the same time every day. With my new work and school schedule, my old MWF schedule wasn’t happening. I gotta go with the flow and do what works for me. I’ve been experimenting for so long now, I really know myself well. If you’re new to this idea of tinkering, you may not realize you have certain preferences and styles, having just done the same ole, same ole because that’s what someone else did, and you’re copying them, rather than doing what works for YOU.
STOP. Insomnia Time.
I was inconsistent with taking melatonin before bed until I realized that I forgot it because I had it with all my other supplements in the kitchen drawer. I moved it to my bedside and tah-dah! Daily compliance. Hat tip to Dorota for my melatonin. Damn, did I really resist this for so long?
I didn’t give up on taking it. I didn’t think, why am I such an asshole about taking this pill? OR What’s wrong with me? OR Do I have early dementia?!
Not to say I haven’t ever said those things to myself. Just not in THIS instance!
Sometimes I’ll *stop* a supplement and see if that indeed is what’s causing a perceived effect. In this most recent experiment, I definitely benefit from melatonin. 3mg is too little, 9mg is too much. ZERO is painful. A’ight, I’ve done my Goldilocks experiment and will resume the jussssst right dose of 6mg TONIGHT.
Because, as Mumma would say in that firm but loving voice of hers, as she tucked us in early the night before an eventful day, TOMORROW IS A BIG DAY. YOU NEED YOUR REST. And tomorrow IS a big day. But that’s another story for another day. ❤
The point is, when you fuck up with a new habit or routine, don’t give up. If your schedule changes, if new commitments crop up, if if if if……
Put it someplace else.
Cut it in half.
Rearrange it, do it at a new time.
eliminate it, and see if it was even working/worth the effort
Why do you think you have to meditate for 20 minutes first thing in the morning, atop a beautifully tufted silk pillow in double lotus position? There’s no rules! You can meditate for 2 minutes while you’re reheating food in the microwave. Feels impossible to write down ten things you’re grateful for? C’mon, don’t let that stop you. Compose a mental gratitude list when waiting in line somewhere (instead of checking your phone) or just do what I do every morning and say “thank you” as soon as you realize you’re awake. #gratitudeunlocked
Whatcha got for me? Please hit reply or comment below; I’ll gladly respond in more detail. As always, I promise to do whatever I can to be there for you and support you. HIT.ME.UP. I mean it! 🙌
Need an accountability partner? Writing (or working out or WHATEVER?) lemme know 😍 I trade daily word counts; it’s quick, fun, and motivating, I promise!
As always, THANK YOU ~ for reading, sharing, and commenting.