Measuring progress

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I'm a list maker and a list lover. I totally make lists with things I have already done just so I can get that little dopamine rush from checking the box next to it. Make To Do List? Done! 
I also have this need to feel like at the end of each day I've accomplished some stuff (and by "end of the day," I mean 3pm when my kids get off the bus, and by "stuff," I mean something more productive than sitting around in my PJs watching Friends re-runs all day).

So, something that I am really struggling with right now is the fact that lots of the things that I want to do involve some serious time investment before I can really check a box next to them. I'm learning new skills, I'm researching options for how to proceed with projects, I'm spending 5 hours assembling a single bookshelf from IKEA. (true story).

I honestly think I may have even posted about this before, but obviously I need the reminder: I need to start breaking down my goals into bite size chunks that I CAN check off a list, and I need to accept time invested as progress. Instead of actual tasks, I'm trying to look at my progress in terms of time invested, that way I can see that yes I AM working towards the goal. I may not have a finished product yet, but I spent a lot of time working on things that get me closer to that product.  I'm very results oriented, but I'm learning that rushing the process only produces crappy results, and taking my time will be worth it. Instead of seeing that I'm not done yet, I need to see that I'm working really hard to get there and I'm learning a ton along the way.

Truthfully, it is frustrating, and I'm still having a hard time breaking some of my goals into bite sized chunks. Or, once I start to break down the goal, I see how many scary things are between me and that goal, and it's easier for me to just erase the entire concept off my list entirely than face a list of 37 things, most of which I don't know how to do. But, I am determined to not be paralyzed by overwhelm anymore. If I really think about it, some of the things that I want to do, I've wanted to do for a long time, but I've used the same excuses over and over again for why I can't proceed and I've allowed myself to get hung up at the same road blocks every time. I'm making progress one teeny tiny check mark at a time, and for me, that's the only way to do it.


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