Synopsis & Links
New year, new me! And by that, I mean I've changed my name, and have been going by Raine in my personal life, and now on the internet as well it seems!
Keeping New Year's resolutions has a lot less to do with willpower and resolve than it does with being realistic and setting goals you're meant to keep instead of goals that allow you to give up immediately.
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Kawai Kitsune by Kevin MacLeod
About the Ex-Gifted Podcast:
If you are a former gifted kid who grew up to struggle with basic adulting, then you need the Ex-Gifted podcast.
Host Ren Eliza talks about gifted kid burnout, and the damage that lasts long into adulthood. Damage like battered self esteem, decimated internal motivation, and a continued failure to live up to expectations even while we were placed on pedestals and alienated from our peers.
Ex-Gifted will cover failure, procrastination, imposter syndrome, and chronic anxiety and depression, and a whole lot more.
Each episode also offers suggestions to deal with your executive dysfunction in adulthood so you can rebuild the systems that allowed you to shine so brightly in childhood.
We’re making exceptional children into functional adults.
If you have a tendency to make new year's resolutions that you know you'll never keep then this is the show for you.
This is Ex-gifted.
Hello, my fine friends. It's nice to see you again. I have been radio silent across the internet for awhile. I've been in a serious transitional period in my life and what better time to get reacquainted with the real world than at the transition into a new year?
Let me start the show by introducing myself. Hi, my name is Raine. Ren was a nickname based on my birth name that I was using for a long time I still like the name and I have no problem with people referring to me as that but I always intended to choose an actual name at some point instead of just using that derivative nickname. Raine is a name that I actually started using when I was like 12 years old that is still really meaningful to me. And so I'm excited to get to use it now as my actual name.
So in my case this whole "new year new you" thing is kind of literal.
I know that for a lot of people the new year can be really tricky because we put a whole lot of pressure on it to be like the moment that I'm going to get my life together. But you know not like this moment like tomorrow. We're going to go out and party and celebrate the new year in on the 31st. And then tomorrow that's when I'm going to do it. I'm going to take charge, I'm going to get all of my goals done. But not now, tomorrow.
I can't say about you but for me the first thing tomorrow morning plans have never once in my life worked. Usually I will have either forgotten about it once I actually wake up in the morning or I will not have all of that motivational energy that I had leading up to that point.
It turns out it's actually a lot more fun to just kind of think about all of the great things you're going to do then actually put in the work to do them. And so any kind of big plans like that that require Starting the next morning and then continuing for the rest of your life. I might actually do it first thing in the morning, but even if I do actually do it, first thing in the morning, one thing I'm definitely not going to do is continue doing it the next day and the next day. And the day after that.
It has never worked out very well for me. It's even better when you make a bunch of plans like after midnight and a bottle of champagne that are going to start first thing in the morning.
In my experience anything that involves becoming a new person overnight -especially if it also comes with a hangover - it's not actually about getting my life together but just taking this opportunity that could be used for making some important and helpful changes and using it as an opportunity to like beat myself up instead.
I can do that by setting really lofty goals that require a kind of perfect adherence and failing them immediately. And then I don't actually have to worry about doing it for the whole year. I don't have to worry about changing my habits or anything I can just fail and give up and be mean to myself.
That's how I did this for many many years. Set a lofty goal. Fail it immediately. Give up. Be mean to myself. Wait for 12 months and do that again.
But I thought, you know, what if this year I instead resolved to not be mean to myself no matter what becomes of the new year?
And the really hard part there is that- if you were to join me on this quest -that you also have to not be mean to yourself if you fail at being kind to yourself.
That part is the really tricky part but it is something that I have been working on a lot lately and it's definitely possible to get to that point where you can start to notice when your brain is being mean to you for no real good reason. And instead of getting mad at yourself about being mad at yourself you can say like "Oh look I'm mad at myself. Okay, that's what I do. I know that's what I do. And That's okay."
So to be clear I'm not saying that you shouldn't set more traditional new year's resolutions. I know there are a lot of people out there who just hate new year's resolutions and will tell you that either they don't work or that you should start doing the thing immediately instead of putting it off to the future. I get that sentiment. And I think that that's probably good advice for a lot of people but I don't agree with it for someone like me.
Because there's a lot of really powerful magic for change that occurs um, around new years and other kinds of big transitions like that. The new year is a big one for me just because I love planners. If you're using a bullet journal or something you can really start it whenever. But if you're using a dated planner, you will probably start or at least have significant things happening in your planner starting January 1st.
So there's a lot of just energy around that it being a starting point. Most of the people that you're interacting with are probably thinking about it in the same way- as a starting point. Whether that's actually January 1st or the lunar new year or the solstice which is kind of my new year because I get seasonal depression and so having that point where the sun is starting to come back the days are going to lengthen is really important to me. And one of the ways that I celebrate it and acknowledge it is by thinking of that as the start of my new year.
So people think of the new year as being kind of arbitrary and it kind of is. But at the same time, your brain works in cycles and obviously the whole world works on similar cycles. The seasonal cycles are not arbitrary And the particular date might be arbitrary but the fact that the cycle is starting over again is not. That's a real thing that's happening and our brains can understand that and work within that.
There's a lot of good reason to set goals and resolutions or whatever you want to call them for the period where this cycle is starting over again. But your mind still can't just change overnight right?
So some other ideas other than just something like oh I'm going to start exercising for 30 minutes a day, five days a week - which I'm sure that a lot of people don't think that uh that's a lot. It might be good to try a step up goal instead of something like that.
Set a goal to be like your end of the year goal and try to work your way up to that So do you need to do your 30 minutes of activity at least every day? Like yeah that's good for your body but it's not worth it to set that as your immediate goal if you know it you're just going to give up on it the way that that I always have.
So let your body and your brain get used to it like a little bit at a time do like five minutes three days a week. That's I know that seems like nothing. That's 15 minutes of exercise over the course of a whole week, but that's kind of the point. That you start off basically doing nothing, and then the start of each new month is going to give you an opportunity to bump it up while you're getting used to something that's just completely new.
And of course the new year is also an especially good time to start using a planner If you haven't already. That also doesn't mean that you have to wait until the morning of January 1st. You've still got a couple of days left in the new year- or nope- in the old year if you are listening to this when it first comes out.
If you're listening to it and it's already in the new year, you can still start your planner now. You can start your planner in July.
This is a secret. A planner that begins in January, you can start it in September and no one is going to grade you on that. You can start it whenever you want.
But yeah if it's already a week into January you can still start a planner then.
A lot of planners especially ones with weekly layouts we'll have at least a couple of weeks in the previous year. So go ahead and pick it up whether you're going to start it immediately or in a few days whatever. Just pick it up and look at it. Try out a few different ways that you might want to try to use it. Play with it, practice what works best for you, and then you can continue to do that throughout the year. Make changes as you need.
I ended up getting the same thing for next year, but I've changed what I was doing in this so many times. I have had at least like four or five maybe six different layouts that I've been using in this. And some of them I worked for a long time, while some of them never really stuck. And so I just had to change it after a couple of weeks, but that's fine. Just use whatever works until it doesn't work anymore.
If you do use a planner whether it's a preprinted one or a Bullet journal or whatever you're using, even if you're just using Google calendar I'm sure there's a way to set this up like in the tasks app or something. Let me recommend my favorite trick which is to set up a habit tracker in your planner which tracks the days you use your planner. So what that means is that you can pick it up, fill out the habit tracker- I used my planner because I filled out that habit tracker -and that counts. Just filling out the tracker and doing nothing else.
It's a way to basically trick yourself into picking it up every day and opening it and doing something in it. It doesn't necessarily have to be making a plans or checking out checking off an actual task. It's just getting you used to the idea of picking up your planner every single day.
I have a few episodes on that as well that are just a couple back. So go and check out that series if you want some more tips on actually using your planner which is very helpful in the new year.
So if you also have trouble sticking with your new year's resolutions come and join my discord server. I want to hear your resolutions just so we can chat and make sure that you're not just making a plan that's gonna allow you to fail and then beat yourself up for it. And it's actually you know a plan to do something that you want to do in your life.
That's all I've got today. Sorry if there was any road bumps getting back into the habit of doing this after so long. It's going to probably be a little bit of an adjustment, but I'm excited to be back. Until next time, byeeeeee.