33 minutes | Jan 22nd 2019

How to Make Good on Your Resolutions

Episode Details

Air date: January 22, 2019

Guest: Ariana Sheehan

Runtime: 32 minutes, 53 seconds

Summary: In the fourth episode of Season 2 and the first of 2019, Jen welcomes back Ariana Sheehan to speak about her resolution successes and misses from 2018. What made the exercise better than previous years? And what did she learn about making as a result?

Links of Interest: What I Made This Month

From the transcript: “And now I’d like to tell you about something I made this month. Since the winter months turn so many of us into homebodies, I’ve been spending so much more time on the living room carpet with my kids. This means making bracelets, train track villages, puzzles, and countless abstract art pieces. Sometimes the making shifts to the kitchen and my kids help me with a simple meal or a few loaves of sourdough bread. I’m proud of how creative they are and I love watching them beam after a project is completed. They challenge me to suppress my perfectionist brain and find joy in making for making’s sake.”

Episode Transcript Introduction

Hello, and welcome to “How to Make a Memory,” the show that explores the items we make for one another and how they impact our relationships. My name is Jen Tierney and for this episode, one of my favorite guests from Season 1 is back to give us an update on her resolutions from 2018 and what she learned along the way. Ariana reached out to me just before Christmas and we made some time during the last week of 2018 to talk about goal setting for the coming year and her previous resolution successes. 

Conversation

Jen
I was really thrilled that you reached out to me because I’ve had a couple folks from like my childhood who I’ve tried to reel in, and like they’re all excited to be on and to talk to me. And then they just flake out. And so I’m just like, oh, you’re back. This is great. Perfect.

Ariana
I’m back because I’m so proud of how I did with my resolutions this year.

Jen
I’m so glad you’re I mean, that’s so nice. Because I try really hard to be proud of what I accomplished each year, even though it isn’t like all the things I wanted to do mostly because I overextend myself. So it’s nice to hear that you did well!

Every year, I enter into the exercise of setting resolutions with all of the best intentions. But by February, I’ve either forgotten or given up on them. Ariana had my attention. What had been the secret to her success last year?

Ariana
So it’s so funny because in preparation for this, I was talking to my friend, I actually had – I know we talked last time about I had a notebook that I wrote down my resolutions. And I truly believe this made the difference because all year – a couple of times, I went back to the page and looked at them, but I remembered what I wrote down. So I reviewed with my friend in preparation for this. And he laughed because I was like, 50/50, but he was like, Ariana, the ones that you missed, like they should be lower weighted than the ones that you hit. So this year, I think that’s what I’m going to do. I think I’m going to assign points to each resolution. And like not folding my laundry should not weigh as much as like completing graduate classes.

Jen
Yes, of course. 

Ariana’s reasoning makes so much sense here. This is something I’ve known for a long time – the act of writing something down helps with our ability to recall and understand information. So no wonder this was part of her success last year. And I love the idea of weighting goals. It gives you more control and decision-making power throughout the year without leading to a feeling of defeat. 

In order to better understand where and how Ariana succeeded through the past year, I asked her to recount the resolutions that she told us about in her first episode on the show a year ago.

Ariana
Sure. So I broke up my resolutions into professional resolutions and personal resolutions. For professional ones, they wouldn’t even make sense if I shared them with you guys. Other than one of them, which actually was a big one, which was to become a better public speaker. And I’m often in front of a room full of people. And I really struggle with kind of getting in a groove of talking about things like I know what I’m talking about when I actually do. So I’ve picked up some strategies throughout the year. Namely, this is a good one for all of you who have to deal with this challenge, asking the crowd a question to kick it off. Whether it’s like an icebreaker or, you know, “what do you think about this thing we’re talking about?” and get a couple of answers. And then that little period where people are answering you can take a breath and catch yourself. I’ve done that. It’s worked. I’ve become a better public speaker. Some of my personal one’s – a big one that I really have not overcome yet is to look at things more positive first. I’m… I’m a pessimist. And it’s hard to just kind of, you know, not jump to the negative conclusion. And I was still struggling with that. So not there yet. And a couple other big ones were to explore adjunct teaching. I explored and then later on the list, I realized and then added to it that to become an adjunct teacher in my area, you really need a master’s degree. So I had on here, number seven, take at least one master’s course, to help lead to goal three eventually, and I completed a whole semester of them.

Jen
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa,

Ariana
Yeah, really never thought I would do that when I made this list last year.

This made me stop and think for a few minutes. How many times have we all done this very thing? Created a goal for ourselves and then wildly exceeded it. I’m sure that I do this regularly, but I don’t even realize it. Without writing down and revisiting my original goals, how am I to remember a year later that I exceeded my original plan? So much changes in a year, including our expectations for ourselves and our goals.

Ariana
And then I have one – since I revisited this list this weekend – I have one that I’m actually going to chip away at today. Which is, when I was in the hospital and I lost my baby, I was given this box. I can’t exactly remember what it’s called. I want to say it’s just called the Memory Box. And in this box were a lot of little trinkets and handmade things. Some things were more meaningful than others, but there were little like bracelet and candles and all this stuff. So I have on here, “Make something with Zoe, my daughter, for the baby boxes for Albany Med Infant Ward.”

Jen
Oh, that’s great.

Ariana 
So today. We’re going to make little bracelets.

Jen
Yeah.

Ariana
You want to hear about the small ones?

Jen
Yes, yes, sure. Of course.

Ariana
Uh, buy less coffee: Fail, fail. Be less fat: for a few weeks, I was 10 pounds down. Those were the big small ones. Oh, bring lunch to work more and not buy it. I failed at that too.

Jen
But I mean, you tracked them all. And the ones that you failed at, if you really feel like, “I gotta get this right,” it’ll go on the list next year. And if you’re like, “No, that was a dumb one. I don’t need that in my life.” Then it just goes away.

Ariana
Yeah, funny you should say that, because I have started my list for this year. And I have re-added some of them. But I’ve made a little twist. So, “be less fat.” Instead of “be less fat” again, I have “no eating after 7pm. Except on Friday nights. Because everyone needs a treat.”

Jen
Of course. Of course.

Ariana 
Yes. Or like, “Don’t quit school, even when you want to.”

Jen
Yes, yep.

Ariana
Drink more water is on my list every single year. And I think like everybody’s list.

Before our conversation moved too far along, I wanted to go back to something Ariana had said a few minutes earlier. As someone who is constantly struggling to balance the pessimistic and optimistic voices in my head, I wanted to dig a little deeper into Ariana’s self-proclaimed pessimistic nature.

Jen
You were saying that you have an issue being more positive. And it’s funny because, you’re… The way that you present – the way that you speak, all that comes off very positive. So it’s funny that what’s hiding below the surface is a pessimist. Who’s just got a smile on.

Ariana
Yeah, so you know what? I get to the positive. Positive is the destination. But the journey is mostly negative, or at least starts negative. So like, here’s an example. Like, I hear good news, right? Say, I got like, a promotion or, I don’t know, something exciting happening for my kid. I start with like, “but what about?” you know? So, I don’t know, I think I just want to start with the positive if I can. But I don’t know if a cheetah changes its spots.

Jen
I know, I think this is the case for a lot people. My boss and I, we commiserate over having this very specific, fun character trait which is suffering from imposter syndrome. And he’s like, you know, a 45 year old man who’s the CTO of a major company, and very successful and I’m… I mean, I’m nothing to sneeze at. I run information security at a very successful company, and I know what I’m doing, but because both of us are sort of, like, self taught over time, in the things that we are professional at, we constantly feel like, “Is this real? Are you sure I should get promoted right now? I don’t know.”

Ariana 
Mostly. That’s how I feel too. Like, something’s not real.

Jen
Yes, yeah, “I’m dreaming this, how could anybody be paying me to do this silly thing?” or you know, “how can I actually be good at this thing that’s really important.”

Ariana 
Yeah, you know, for 2019, one of my resolutions is to do the Miracle Morning a couple of times, at least. Do you know about that?

Jen
I do not. Tell me all about it.

Ariana 
Wow. So I have a very successful friend. She like switched careers and went into real estate. And now she has her own… I don’t know what you call it in real estate. Agency? Firm? But she has a beautiful office and tons of agents and all this stuff. And I said, like, “How do you do all this?” And she said, “I do Miracle Morning.” And I said, “Is that something you made up?” But it’s a thing, you can do Google it and there’s stuff you could buy, too, of course. But I actually wrote it down in another one of my resolutions for 2019. I started dot journaling and it’s life changing. So wonderful. But I’ve got a whole page dedicated to this, hoping that I do it someday. So the premise is that you wake up and you don’t start your day on your phone, you do six minutes worth of things that like, just like, charge you up for the day, right? I hope to try this. I probably won’t do it every day. If I’m being realistic. But a couple times a week would be a nice way to wake up.

Jen
I find like one of my big things for this year is I really, really, really want to plug my phone in at night at like, 8pm in the kitchen and walk away. I find myself at like, 10:30 at night (way past when I should be asleep) and I’m on my phone playing like Candy Crush. What?! And my excuse is, “This is relaxing to me. And I’m just letting my brain wind down.” But like, no, read some John Green or something, Jen. You don’t need to be putting all of that outrageous output straight into your eyeballs.

Ariana
Yeah, I actually, for school, did a lot of reading this year about how if you’re using your phone before you’re going to sleep, it’s affecting your sleep.

Jen
I wish that I could figure out a way to like permanently divorce myself from the phone for certain periods of time. And I have yet to figure out how to do it. I mean, we’ll see maybe this is my year.

Ariana
This is your year, I can advise you to start a little bit small. I had an assignment for a week to give up something on my phone. The examples were give up Snapchat or Instagram. And I was like, “Eh, I don’t really care that much about Snapchat and Instagram. So I decided to give up my phone. I gave it up before 8 and after 6. I just didn’t use my phone. And it was amazing. Like, it was amazing. Because I was still able to go on it when I needed to. for work during the day. And I slept so much better. My head was clearer. But then I never continued it after that week.

Jen
It’s hard. So when you say “I don’t want to eat after 7pm” (and you’ve probably heard of this), but there’s intermittent fasting is based on you know, like start eating later in the morning and finish up eating earlier in the evening. So that the window of time that you’re eating in is like eight hours or 10 hours or whatever. But it’s kind of similar to your technology diet.

Ariana
Yeah, I like that. Technology Diet.

Jen
So we talked about why you were successful this year, which was because you wrote everything down. Did we cover all of your resolutions for this coming year?

Ariana 
I don’t have a lot of the huge ones written yet. I’m kind of trying to develop them. But I’ll show you – not that everyone else will be able to see – but like, this is my page, my spread in my dot journal that I’m working on.

Jen
Oh, very nice!

Ariana
Keeping up with this thing is a resolution. But I’ve been doing well. I’ve had it for like two weeks now. And I love – I don’t know how I heard about it, but I love doing it. It’s like a really nice outlet for being organized, but being a little creative, too.

Jen
Yep, I heard about dot journals sometime this year towards maybe like April. And I did really well for about three months. I like really kept up with it. And it was good. But the problem was, is that like, my brain really wanted to have a very specific format that I followed. And the amount of time it took me to craft that layout every week, every month, every you know, just took so much time that I was like, “I’m spending more time setting up the stupid thing that actually writing in it” and that’s what killed it for me. So. But for Christmas, my husband got me a Rocket Book. I don’t know if you’ve heard of these things. But they’re – so it’s, it’s formatted just like a dot journal where it’s just, you know, dots on a page. But it’s made – the paper is made out of a polymer. And it comes with like a special pen that basically, like the ink isn’t like standard pen ink, it adheres to the page. So it wipes off with water, like a whiteboard would. But it’s not a whiteboard. It’s like a polymer. And so you write in it, you write down your like your rapid logging, or whatever you’re going to do for like your dot journal, or you just take notes at work or whatever. And then you take a picture of it with your phone and it transcribes it and emails it to you.

Ariana
How do I not know about this!?

Jen
It’s amazing – Rocket Book. There’s a couple different variations of it. But I think Rocket Book is the most famous one, it’s called the, the one that I have is called the Everlast. They also have the Wave. And the wave – if you want to erase it, you throw it in the microwave.

Ariana 
What?!

Jen
I know it’s crazy.

Ariana
How? Why?

Jen
I know, I was like, “all right, so…”. But this one, you just wipe it off with like a microfiber towel with some water on it. And you’re like, good to go. And it’s nice. I’ve been using it for a couple days. And like, I always feel like this week between Christmas and New Year’s is sort of like the Bermuda Triangle of my life. Because I don’t want to start anything. Because its only a week. And like if I fail, I don’t want that to be a bad start to the year. So I sort of just let this week like, whatever is going to happen happens. And then on the first I’m like, “Okay, I’ve got my bullet journal. And I’m going to do my diet.”

Ariana
Yeah. So this week for me, this is the week I figure it out, right? This is the week I figure out what I want to do next year. So my thing I’ve been thinking for a while though, my like theme of the year if there is one. So last year’s theme was like, get educated more or and then educate others. This year’s theme, I realized that – and I’ve done this probably my whole life – But this year, I really realized how much I do that I don’t want to do. So the mantra of the year is “If it’s not for me, find a way out and find a way out fast.” Obviously, with the exception, of like you have to do things for other people. Your family and your loved ones. But there are just, you know, there’s parties I go to, I don’t want to go to. There’s networking events I go to, I don’t want to go to. There are trips I take that I don’t want to take and things like that. I just don’t say no. And I’m sure a lot of people go through this.

A lot of people DO go through this. And I’m one of them. Saying “no” is something I’ve struggled with my entire life. It’s a quality that comes along with social anxiety, being a people pleaser, or type A personalities. Not saying “no” can put you into impossible situations that can compound depression and make you feel unnecessarily guilty. This can all come back to setting appropriate expectations and setting realistic goals.

Jen
Yes, I forget when it was, but last year, at some point I had fallen into like real bad depression. Worse depression than I had faced any other time before. Even with the postpartum depression I had. And almost everyone in my life had like, separate from one another – like, they don’t know one another – But everybody had like said to me at essentially the same time, “You’re doing too much, you’re just so overextended, you don’t have any time to just like, let your brain be quiet.” And so my husband and I sat down and he helped me. He was just like, “I’m just gonna make a list of everything I know you do. And then I’m going to write down what I think isn’t serving you at all. And if you disagree, that’s fine. But let’s sit down and look at all.” And he wrote down like a bunch of things and the things that he thought just weren’t giving me anything. I was like, “But if I didn’t do this, these people would be so sad.” Like, that was always my response, like, “these people would be so disappointed that I’m not helping any more – than I’m not participating anymore.” And he was like, “What is wrong with you? Just get out, get out.” And it took a long time. It took the rest of the year. Like, the last thing that I got out of wasn’t until like November. But I was very lucky that like two other women happened to join the group and I was able to be like, “Hey, do you want to take over this job I’ve been doing in this group? Because I really don’t have time to do it anymore. And there are two of you!” And it made me- It got rid of the guilt, because I’ve just pushed it on to somebody else and I didn’t have to feel like it wasn’t going to get done. So that made it a lot easier.

Ariana 
Yeah, I hem and haw about everything. Like, you were talking about how you could work from home but you don’t. I have the same situation. I’m a remote employee with the luxury of an office that I go to almost every single day.

Jen
Oh wow.

Ariana
Every morning, I hem and haw, “Do I go in today? Do I not go in today?” And it’s things like that. That like I’m going in for other people to see me and be able to ask me questions and stuff. So lots of things like that that I want to curb this year.

If any of that resonated with you, I challenge you to add this resolution to your list for 2019 and every year until you’ve broken this habit. Get comfortable saying “no” to the tasks and commitments that don’t serve you. If something doesn’t bring you any value or it stops having the value that it once did, then find a way to considerately back out. 

Ariana
A funny one on here – only funny because of what we’re doing – is “Use my podcast mic that I bought and use never at least once for something”. So here we are, it’s not even January 1st. Bam!

Jen
Yeah, done!

Ariana 
Done! “Touch phone less while driving.” I’m not gonna go out there and say I text while driving. But I do. I touch it. I pick it up. I look at the time. I just like – I have Android Auto in my car. My car is brand new this year. I don’t need to touch my phone. I need to stop. “Work from home more” actually is on here. I just noticed.

Jen
Yeah, there you go.

Ariana 
“Purge more [dot dot dot] from my life and my closet.” So I have clothes I know I can get rid of. But just like along with the “If it’s not for me, get out of it.” I have, you know, maybe friendships or just like people in my life that maybe don’t need to be as much in my life or, you know, just things like that. That like, just be done.

Jen
Yeah, you’re spending too much bandwidth on them. Sure.

Ariana 
Okay. So I didn’t really notice until my husband said something. But I drink a lot of soda. Like, a lot. I kind of always have. But he recently was like, you’re drinking a lot of soda lately. Like, more than my “a lot.” So I have “Make soda drinking at meals the exception, not the rule.” So the biggest resolution that I have written so far is to start writing the beginnings of a book.

Jen
Alright!

Ariana is really speaking my language here. This is a resolution I’ve had in the past. And I’ve watched it evolve over time to meet my changing life. I loved seeing this parallel in our lives and my own success makes me anxious to see how Ariana will achieve this in her life and what the end result will look like. Having read some of her public musings in the past, I know that she is a phenomenal writer. 

Ariana 
For 2018, one of my like, professional/personal goals was to find a way to be more creative with a professional-ish thing. And so I don’t do a lot of writing at work. But I wanted to be something of a writer when I started my career. And as I worked all year to kind of find a creative outlet it ended up not professional as much as a personal outlet. I did more writing personally. And I’ve always thought it would be cool to write a book kind of like, I don’t know if you’ve read Amy Schumer book?

Jen
I haven’t yet. Yeah, I’d like to read it.

Ariana 
So, I have “Finish [reading] a book” is on here.

Jen
Yeah.

Ariana 
But what I like about her book is, she’s obviously hilarious. But it’s not even necessarily like a hilarious book. It’s just a book that – it’s about her life. And it has, you know, funny moments and really sad moments. So I don’t think I necessarily want to write about my own life. But I’ve always thought it’d be cool to write a book that is a little blend of funny and sad because I think that encompasses me pretty well. So I just want to start it. All I’m going to commit to for 2019 is write a page, a chapter, a something. Start it. So that it’s on the path to becoming a thing someday.

Jen
Yeah, no, it’s not a bad idea. I had a few years where I’ve had resolutions to write books. I’ve finished – I’ve finished one. But it was like, it needs like 30 rounds of editing, you know? It’s like the first first draft. But that was what I wanted to do. I was like, “Yes, I’ve written my, you know, my 70,000 words. And I feel good about it. It’s – We’re good.” And having some sort of easily achievable goal, when it comes to writing, especially writing – because it requires such a habitual commitment to do it in a long term, big project capacity. And that’s one of the things I learned from doing it is like, you have to do it every single day, or else, it’s just, you know. So doing something where you’re collecting, like, maybe shorter stories, things like that. Where you could do it like in your dot journal that is much more manageable. And then over time, you sort of see the bigger story emerging. I think that I initially had wanted to make a book for my kids, or a collection of like, family stories. And then I realized, like, “I’m never going to do that. I could do a podcast. I could totally sit down and talk to other people for an hour, and like, put together episodes.” And so that’s sort of like – the book idea kind of morphed into this, because it was just more manageable for me. And I love writing. I just think that a conversation doesn’t have to be perfect to be good and to be enjoyable to listen to. A book pretty much needs to be perfect.

Ariana 
Yeah, that’s tough with podcast nowadays. It’s like, there’s so much out there. And I don’t know, it’s so funny, though. I, when I talk to people about podcasting, what they listen to, the most popular ones are the ones that are imperfect. A little bit.

Jen
Yeah, that’s what I think drew me to it is that there’s sort of like a special sauce that you bring to a podcast. It doesn’t have to be perfectly audio engineered. And it doesn’t have to have like celebrity guests. And it doesn’t have to be all those big top tier things. As long as it has like, some heart and some honesty, and you can basically hear everyone who’s speaking. Then you’re pretty good. Then I think it’s pretty good. And I think that what really helps is that this year, I’m hoping to hit 10,000 listeners. like a total of 10,000 downloads, not listeners. And like, that’s my big, my big podcast goal. Because right now, I’m like, just under 5000. And I’m like, oh, if I could get, you know, if I could hit that goal this year, that would be great. But like, that’s like, nothing. There are people who have 100,000 listeners to each episode.

Ariana
Yeah, you know what? Something I’ve learned about resolutions, and to that point, is that you have to set them realistic. Because if every resolution is impossible, then they won’t ever motivate you to keep going.

Jen
No, it’s true. And, and it will, it will make you feel badly about yourself. And I think that you already probably feel badly about the things you’re putting on your resolution list. You know, like, don’t make the whole process make you feel bad! Have something in there that gives you something back.

Ariana
Yeah, yeah. Like, I felt so great that I have knocked any of them off my list last year. And I remembered what they were because I wrote them down. It’s all a cycle of making yourself feel good about what you’re doing, and make you feel like you’re moving in a forward direction.

So that’s it. The recipe to successful resolutions. Write them down. Make sure they are realistic. Remind yourself of how awesome you are when you succeed and even when you miss the mark. So what has Ariana learned this past year? What did this exercise teach her about making and its importance in her life?

Ariana
I think in general, there’s just like, so much done for us nowadays, right? So I was thinking about this when Christmas shopping, actually. I know myself and a lot of other people barely went to stores for Christmas. It was all Amazon packages at my doorstep. And I just feel like – I know, for myself, part of why I wanted to go back to school last year is I feel like I’ve kind of lost touch of having my hands in things, right? So making or making anything really that wasn’t on a computer. So that was part of my – I wanted to handcraft a thing with my daughter for other people. I wanted to make more of an education in my mind, not just like, quick google answers for things that I didn’t know. So I feel like we’ve lost touch of what it is to actually like create and make and have something that we’ve really built from nothing. And I think it’s more gratifying then a lot of what we’ve got going on all of our lives. So when it comes to resolutions, I think making a resolution – like, figuring out how you make them in a way that you’ll remember them and do them, is important. And it might not be writing it down for everyone. Maybe it’s actually – you’re talking about how podcasts came out of wanting to write. Maybe it’s recording them. Like, recording a mantra or an affirmation for yourself. Like, “do this, do this, do this.” Just listening to it. That’d be a cool way to try making a resolution.

Jen
Yeah, if you have one really big one, and you wake up every morning, listening to yourself… remind yourself of this big thing that you want to accomplish. I’m sure there are plenty of people who would do it that way. It seems very effective.

Ariana
I’m actually thinking about trying, though, my friend’s suggestion about tiering my resolutions. Because, if the goal is to do things and feel accomplished and go forward, then I don’t want to beat myself up next year when I’ve drank no more water. I want to be like, “Okay, I didn’t drink water. I’m going to subtract two points. But I said no to 10 obligations that I would have normally said yes to. And I get 10 points back for that.”

Jen
Yeah, there you go.

Ariana
I want to celebrate starting a book and not be mad when on a Thursday I ate a pizza at 10 o’clock at night.

Jen
I think that the importance of understanding when something is going to make you more happy to do than to not do. You know? I think that that’s an important balance. Because there are plenty of times when I think to myself, “Well, would it make me happier to stick with this goal and not break it at all? Or would it make me happier to do this thing right now and give myself a bit of a pass for this one moment?” You know? And that is a slippery slope, in most situations, that turns into being on your phone at 10:30 every day playing Candy Crush. Or, I did intermittent fasting for a couple months this year and I really loved it. Because every morning I woke up hungry and when I got to eat that first meal at 10am, it was always so satisfying. It was like the best meal of my life every day. And so I think that there’s like – there are certain things about those practices that are really good but then at the same time there were days when I was like, “I really want an egg and cheese wake up wrap from dunkin donuts and I don’t want to feel badly about it.” Like “This is just what I want today!”

Ariana
I kind of think that’s key that like, not feeling too bad about it. Because like you’re not pledging these to anyone besides yourself. And it could actually, and maybe should, be a very private process. You know? Like, you don’t need to put your resolutions on Facebook, you just need to have them for yourself. And that way you’re accountable to you. But life happens. Sometimes, like unexpected things happen in a year that you can’t get to some of them and it should be okay.

Jen
Yep, there have been times when that whole process of like sharing your goals or sharing a thing that you’re doing with other people as a form of motivation for yourself – I’ve done that so many times where I’m like, “I’m embarking on this new thing that I’m doing, and it’s going to be great. And I’m going to record it here for all of you to see so that I’m accountable.” And invariably it falls away for whatever reason. And then I feel like “now everyone knows that I failed at this thing.” And like, probably no one cared in the first place, and nobody was paying that much attention. So it’s fine. But it feels that much worse. Because now it’s not just me. It’s all these other people too. I think that if you’re really well motivated by that, if that’s like a real good form of help for you, then it’s a great way to create accountability. But if you’re someone who can’t stick to things like me, you’re just creating more stress and pain for yourself.

Ariana 
Yeah, you just need to give yourself room to do the things that you want to do. Just go from there. Be more positive first.

Jen
Yes. Be more positive first and don’t set yourself up to fail.

Conclusion

So that’s the challenge this year. Be kind to yourself. Be kind when setting your expectations and goals. Be kind when things don’t go according to plan. Be kind when you need to course correct. Oh, and go read Ariana’s musings over on Medium. She is a thoughtful, brave, and passionate writer. You can find a link to that on the show notes for this episode at htmamcast.com.

And now I’d like to tell you about something I made this month. Since the winter months turn so many of us into homebodies, I’ve been spending so much more time on the living room carpet with my kids. This means making bracelets, train track villages, puzzles, and countless abstract art pieces. Sometimes the making shifts to the kitchen and my kids help me with a simple meal or a few loaves of sourdough bread. I’m proud of how creative they are and I love watching them beam after a project is completed. They challenge me to suppress my perfectionist brain and find joy in making for making’s sake. 

Well, that brings us to the end of this month’s episode. You can find show notes and other extras for all of the show’s episodes over at htmamcast.com. Find us on Instagram @howtomakeamemory. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please consider heading over to iTunes to rate and review so more folks like yourself can find the show. “How to Make a Memory” is a member of The Geekend Legion podcast network. Our logo is by Becky Carpenter, our music is by Chuck Salamone, we get system admin support from Greg Thole. Now, go make something for someone you love.