I have really good intentions.

Fantastic intentions, really. I intend to do and see and say and write amazing things. I intend to create meaningful art and beautiful objects I can be proud of. I intend to better my health and appearance and habits.

Every day, multiple times a day, my internal dialogue goes something like this:

“Today, I’m going to clean my room. I have to.”
“Today, I’ll start on that skirt I’ve been meaning to make for months.”
“Today, I’ll start a habit of writing every day.”
“Today, I’ll keep myself from spending money on coffee and unneeded snacks.”
“Today, I’ll do better.”
“Today, I’ll make a change.”
“It’ll start today.”

And somehow, despite all of these hopeful, determined affirmations….I never get it done. I’ve yet to figure out why. I’m tempted, of course, to say that I don’t accomplish these things because I’m a lazy failure. That I don’t have any sort of work ethic, as I’ve been told before. That I’m easily distracted . That I don’t want success deeply enough.

These might all be true. Or, maybe, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ve been making these daily goals for so long, they’re essentially habit. They’ve become moreso calming mantras than real ‘to-do’s. If I think about the state of my room and get anxious, I reassure myself that tonight it will be cleaned. If I think that my chance of having a writing career are slipping away with every day that I avoid the keyboard, I remember that I will totally be making progress on my novel tonight. Without ever meaning to, I’ve come to self-comfort and cope with my anxiety by reminding myself that a small failure is not the end of the world, that hiccups do not lead to catastrophic meltdowns. If I frame it like this, I can actually be proud of myself for quietly remembering that I have endless potential.

The problem, of course, comes in finding a way to productivity around this ingrained coping mechanism. Finding a way to motivate myself to clean my room, write, create instead of just calmly remembering that I will get to it “eventually” is the largest hurdle I see in front of myself at age 22. Relatively speaking…it’s not the worst obstacle to face at this stumbling, awkward point in my life. But then, looking at things too relatively is what induces this inertia in the first place.

I don’t even have a poignant ending to this tiny, frustrating word-spill. I don’t know how to fix myself. I don’t know what kind of motivator or new outlook I need to develop to turn my intentions into actions. I just don’t know. I can tell myself not to worry, that I’ll figure out how to get past this someday…but will I? My bedroom is still a mess.

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