You’re not coping.
You need a new routine. You need a new system. One that will actually work. Because if you do it right – if you build the right habits and the right routines in the right way then they’ll stick. Then you can add on to them. Then you can build up your routines and eventually get to the point where you can live your life. Am I right?
You know what you need to do. You know that you just need to eat better and sleep more and take more time for yourself and meditate and be present and keep on top of the housework so it doesn’t build up and and and and…
So why don’t you? You don’t have the right journal. The right app. The right planner. The right tracker. Why can’t you just do it?
Because… It’s hard.
It’s not the routine. It’s not the system. It’s… the stuff. It’s hard.
It feels easy sometimes. So you start a new routine. You start a new system. It’s so easy! To begin with. And having a streak is motivating for a while. But then suddenly it’s hard again and now you’re too ashamed to look at it. And now you’re not coping.
STUFF isn’t a new routine. It’s not a system. It’s a strategy for managing your routines and your systems. A framework for dismantling your routines and putting them back together. Because you can’t keep waiting for things to get better. You can’t keep forwarding your problems to Future You.
Your Helpful Aunt tells you to think positive! Maybe you’ll wake up tomorrow and be motivated! But… maybe you won’t? Because Future You is just you… but older.
Your life won’t begin once you get through this. Once you get on top of things. Once you do it right.
This, right now, is your life.
When things are good it feels like they’ll keep getting better. But sometimes they don’t. And the expectations that you set when things are easy will crush you when things get hard. STUFF helps you manage the gap between what you can actually do and what you think you should be able to do… and helps you adjust as that gap changes over time.
Sometimes when you’re riding a bike you change gears. You change gears so that you can keep riding up a hill… or down. There’s no “best” gear to be in: it depends. With STUFF you can “change gears” when things get hard. By deciding in advance which expectations you’ll lower (or drop) you’ll have a plan to manage yourself when you need it – and a plan to work back to where you were if and when that’s realistic for you.
STUFF. Survival. Treading Water. Usual. Fulfilling. Future.
S – Survival. Survival gear is the absolute minimum. This is crisis mode. What absolutely needs to get done regardless of how bad everything else is? Food. Medication. Sleep.
T – Treading Water. A step up from Survival, Treading Water is the gear where your priority is to stop spiralling into crisis – to stabilise ready to get back to Usual.
U – Usual. Your realistic expectations for whatever “normal” is for you. Maybe your “Usual” looks like someone else’s “Survival”. That’s okay!
F – Fulfilling. Stretch goals for good days. Some days you do these things and that’s amazing! But when you can’t? That’s okay.
F – Future. Future goals and aspirations. Maybe one day your Fulfilling tasks become your Usual. Here’s what comes next.