Where Did That List Go?

Wise mind where are you?!? I have seemed to have lost you somewhere between being extremely impulsive and feeling scared to engage. As I sit here, scratch my head and re-read my January 2020 Blog ‘ I am my 2020 to-do list’ I wonder… where the heck did that list go?

Ugh, I know I know… how can I shape this avoidant behavior? Yes, COVID happened. Yes, the gyms closed. Yes, there were a lot of changes in 2020. However, my willfulness is in my control and my control ONLY. It has come to this… I need to do a missing links analysis of my behavior. Those of you that are in the DBT skills group, have been in a DBT skills group, or are a DBT therapist you know all too well what I am talking about.

So I ask myself…

1. Did I know what effective behavior was needed or expected (what skills homework was given, what skills to use, etc.)? Hmmm… well YES, I knew exactly what my 2020 to-do list was I outlined it very well, I had wanted to focus on my ABC PLEASE skill.

2. If yes to Question 1, ask was I willing to do the needed or expected effective behavior? Well…YES, I was willing to increase my skill usage. Did my emotion mind ignite some willfulness in me at times…? Of course.

3. If yes to Question 2, ask did the thought of doing the needed or expected effective behavior ever enter my mind? Heck yes, it entered my mind and often as quickly as it entered it left. Those mindfulness skills would have been helpful.

4. If yes to Question 3, ask what got in the way of me doing the needed or expected effective behavior right away? Ideas might include putting it off, continuing to procrastinate…..YUP, not being in the mood….YES SIRRRRR, forgetting how to do what was needed…. Occasionally, thinking that no one would care anyway (or no one would find out)… No one would find out this can be my little secret, and so on.

Now I am left to do some problem-solving. What got in the way and how can I shape my behavior? Some examples of things I could do would include setting a reward for doing what is expected, practicing opposite action, or doing pros and cons.

I know life is its own to-do list that keeps changing. Just because my life is changing and the world around me is changing does not mean I can make excuses and be willful towards reaching my goals. Pros and cons help me see how my avoidant behavior only increases my emotional suffering. Whether I am focusing on my self-care with PLEASE, building mastery over tasks, or engaging in pleasant activities with family and friends – I can see the long term benefits when my 2020 to-do list becomes my focus.

I need to continue to act opposite to my avoidant behavior and engage fully in my to-do list. I am in control. I know these things. I know the consequences, I know the benefits, and I know if I am willful I stay stuck and miserable. My problem-solving solution for my 2020 to-do list is to decrease willfulness, focus on pros and cons, and acting opposite.

Oh the truth is the only person that can hold you down
Is the one you staring at in the mirror
So I say spread your wings just
Spread your wings and fly away and fly away – Fly Away by Fia

Where Did That List Go?

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