So through this program I am taking, each week there are different tasks to accomplish so that I can build the toolkit that I need to be successful in accomplishing my goals.
For the last four years I have been focused on two very specific goals:
- Build Loud Mouth Brown Girl, purely because it gives me a sense of purpose and control in a world that has taught me that I did not have much control while I was growing up. Forcing myself to create a foundation of stability.
- Focus on my mental health so that I can go back into the world as a “success story”, instead of another statistic on the spectrum of mental health.
I have finally decided to give me permission to address my mental health, but rather than focusing on taking pills, meditating, exercising, or doing stuff that is on the never ending piles of “lists of ways to deal with depression, anxiety, and PTSD,” I am learning that by focusing on my work, I become mentally, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, stronger.
When I put effort into building LMBG I feel like I have accomplished something for the day, but I also recognize that it’s okay to give myself space now to focus on the other areas of my life. And I know this may seem backwards to some people, but a lot of this website is about getting all the junk that has been piling up inside of my head, out of my head.
I’ve been trying to make room in my brain so that I can learn new skills, and re-learn how to use old ones that were bogged down by trauma and abuse.
Now that I have more space in my brain, it’s time to start organizing the stuff that’s left, and I’ve been afraid to do that because a lot of times “organizing your thoughts,” really means setting new goals and I have a crippling fear of failure.
That being said, the idea that I fail by not trying to succeed, is actually far more offensive to me, than failing period, and thus S.M.A.R.T goals.
Jessika recommended that I try this, and we talked about all my anxiety for an hour before she explained what it meant. To make sure that I did it right I did three things:
- I checked this article for clarification on questions I could ask myself so I could organize my thoughts.
- I wrote the questions down in one note book, and then decided that I needed to answer the questions with more detail, so I wrote them down in a second note book and went into sufficient enough detail that I know what I need to do to accomplish each of the long term AND short term goals on my list.
- I made a list of tasks that I can accomplish “today” to help set me on the path of accomplishing my long term goals.
Part of today’s goals (July 8th 2021) is to write a blog post for tomorrow (July 9th 2021), which I am doing now. After this I will go and make some online meme art to put on my various social media platforms to promote LMBG but also so that I can put some positivity into the world.
Setting small goals may seem silly to some people because they don’t have to organize every single one of their thoughts, but organizing my thoughts gives me a sense of control, and when you’re dealing with mental health issues, often times you’re SO powerless, that you’ll take any kind of control you will get.
One of the other tasks that I decided to write down for myself is to celebrate how far I have come so far.
Here’s an interesting LMBG fact, as of today there have been 16,773 hits on this website in the last four years that I have been building it. A long term goal is to hit 20,000 views on this website by January 31st of 2022.
I am only a few thousand views away, which means that this is an obtainable goal, it’s not impossible, and it feels pretty good to know that one day I am going to be jumping up and down about the fact that this website will have been viewed 20,000 times.
I am excited about that, and again, when we’re dealing with mental health issues, we need things to be excited about. So much of our lives are filled with what could happen, what might happen, what should happen, what isn’t happening, and a lot of times all those are negatives.
We get terrified of moving forward because we’ve seen what happens when we feel we’ve crossed a line, or hit the ledge, and been thrown or fallen off.
Setting these goals is putting me in this mode of “okay TODAY I have been productive.” Your S.M.A.R.T goals will absolutely be different than mine are, but that doesn’t make them any less important.
Today I realized that I am “here.” Four years ago when I started this website I said to myself “we’ll see where we get when we get where we are going.” Well THIS place, THIS blog post is the place that I was driving to, and now that I’m here there is a certain extent of “holy fucking shit, I made it.”
I am a little shell shocked because I’ve never put this much attention into anything that I have ever done before. I’ve never really accomplished goals that I set for myself and that’s largely because I had these huge visions of what I wanted, but I didn’t know how to break them down into small easier chunks to swallow.
Now that I’ve done this once, and now that I have a wide and varied selection of goals, choosing and picking which ones mean the most to me “right now, in this moment,” make my future goals easier to accept and therefore hopefully accomplish.
I am sharing this with you for two totally seperate purposes:
- Yes it creates great content for the website
- It gives me the opportunity to put what I am doing on the record so that I continue to be accountable and make sure that if I said it, then I did the work to make it happen.
I don’t to be the kind of person who says she is going to do anything, but then doesn’t actually do it, because to my mind, what good is putting yourself out there into the world if you aren’t being your most honest and authentic self?
It’s not easy to tell people that you’re living in a storm of chaos and misery, but I will admit, it feels good to be able to say “see humans? I am moving forward even though so many of you are trying to hold me back.”
I’ve been struggling with what “moving forward” looks like, and now that I have set these “S.M.A.R.T Goals” I can add things to the list that I want to accomplish.
I made sure to decide that I am going to do a 4 day a week work week, but I am going to get to that in another post because…more content, see what I did there?
Sending all my love,
Devon J Hall