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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Buyer

#52: Using Goals to Improve Mental Health

It’s no secret that my mental health could be better. I hinted at it in my last post, and then proceeded to pour my feelings out by writing few angry posts that I debated sharing, and then decided against it. I’ll eventually share the parts with value—but I’ll spare you from the three single space pages where I sound like a whiny brat. I gave myself a few days to mope around (and then took a several more), but I finally found the strength to come up with solutions in the form of goals.

Goal #1: Decorate my apartment so that it feels like a home.

By some combination of inertia, laziness and lack of necessity, I lived in an apartment without furniture or decoration other than my bed and bean bag chair for the last 8 months. Everyone around me makes fun makes fun of me for it, but I don’t really see the problem. My building has a nice rooftop, so my friends and I always hangout there. It’s less clean up. There was only one time that I wished I had a floor lamp.

I’ve never so much as hung a picture frame on my own volition anywhere I’ve lived. I justify it by saying that these places were temporary, which is true... but my spatial intelligence is also in the 3rd percentile, so I’m looking at this as a growth opportunity.

How am I going to achieve this?

I’m trying to keep a consistent theme. I always loved greenery and modernism, but don’t want to deal with the bugs that come with having plants. My sister calls it childish, but I want a forest themed living room, rainforest bedroom and dessert bathroom. More specifically, I’m keeping myself excited, making LOTS of returns on Amazon and getting as many friends’ opinions as possible. If you enjoy decorating and won’t make fun of my theme idea, then I’d love your input. 😊

Goal #2: Improve Content Quality.

Creating content for social media is incredibly rewarding when people find value in it, but it’s also a ton of work on top of prioritizing my real job. As I look at successful Instagram accounts, I see the difference between their content and mine. They consistently post higher quality and more creative videos than me. I brainstorm great ideas, but fall into the trap of haphazardly filming when I’m wearing makeup (which isn’t often these days) and can muster the energy. I blame it on my acne scars and poor lighting at my gym, but I can’t expect to succeed when I’m not investing time in developing high quality content. The jury’s still out if content creation is something I can be successful at and maintain long term—but I I need to refocus if I’m going to give it a fair shot.

How am I going to achieve this?

I’m going to invest in content planning/insights software and prioritize content creation on Saturdays since it’s worked well before and reduces stress for the week. I’ve done a content day in the past, but it’s been my last priority. I don’t want to miss out on plans with friends, but this is important. I should probably also invest in a tripod and ring light that doesn’t fall over every 30 seconds and spend time upfront learning how to use special effects.

Goal #3: Keep Clients Accountable + Onboard one new client.

My first priority is and will always be my current clients—responding immediately to texts and keeping them accountable, to get the best results possible, no matter how many times we need to meet or how much guidance they need. That’s the commitment I make to my clients and I wouldn’t have it any other way. For this reason, I cap the number of clients I’ll accept at a time to a small number. I have space for one more person, and I would love to help them reach their goals.

How am I going to achieve this?

I’ll keep doing what I’m doing with current clients. I do my best to ask them for feedback regularly to make sure I’m doing everything I can for them. I should also improve the “services” section of this website and post on a few apps and collect reviews. I’m experimenting with the Bark app, but so far it hasn’t been successful, so I’ll re-evaluate.

Goal #4: Improve Hip and Ankle Mobility (and do the splits).

I made a soft-attempt at a squat max for the first time in over a year last week. I’m incredibly disappointed with the results. I couldn’t reach full depth with such “heavy” weight because my ankles lack the mobility. My eventual goal is to increase my squat max above 200, but first I need the mobility to get there.

Side rant: I see women of similar weight/workout routines to me squat 200+ lbs for reps. Although my squat has gotten significantly better since focusing on using maximal effort and pushing myself to failure, it’s still far behind my deadlift and dangerously close to my bench max. Actually, my deadlift is ridiculously high compared to my squat and bench max, it’s because I deadlift on my best days and value it the most, which is a goal for future me to fix.

The splits have been a goal of mine for many years, but I consistently put it on the back burner. I question whether or not it’s possible for my body to contort itself this way, but I never truly put in the effort. It’s high time that I figure out if it’s impossible or if I’ve just been lazy, especially while I’m focusing on active stretching and mobility anyway.

How am I going to achieve this?

I’m going to achieve this by spending more time on mobility in my warmups and stretching for 15 minutes at the end of each day. I find this relaxing, but often fail to make it a priority, so that must change.

Of course, these goals are in addition to keeping up with work, strength, friends and the constant struggle to eat well. I’ve been softly working towards these goals for a few weeks, but they seem like a lot more when formally documented. I’m aiming to meet these goals by the end of June. 1, 3 and 4 are manageable and don’t involve much additional time investment, but increasing the quality of my content is a stretch goal.

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