It takes actually getting up and getting to work. It takes turning off or at least tuning out the critical areas of the mind and letting your emotions, your instincts, your ideas run things for a while.

Stop being so damn rational all the time. Stop finding so many obstacles and excuses. Stop getting in your own way. Stop turning a blind eye to your own bad behavior.

Put the phone in another room. Make a list. Set a timer and do as much as you can before it’s up. Open your planner, your journal, and your notebook and mine the ideas there. Keep a notepad next to your laptop to write down the little thoughts and to-dos that pop into your head before they become distractions.

This is the way I would like to work and for a time today I managed it, but not enough to make the progress I’d hoped. Still, it was many times better than most days last year. I suppose that makes today a success. Of course, but before I could celebrate the accomplishment, my thoughts returned to tomorrow again to replace my pride with new obstacles and excuses, fresh failures and bad feelings.

This month it seems, at least until I’ve practiced the art of mindfulness and positive thinking, will be a long and hard battle with myself. I always have been my own greatest enemy. Maybe 2021 is the year I learn how to believe in myself? The year I realize the problem hasn’t been my lack of motivation or focus, but my lack of encouragement and faith.

I’ve decided I’m no longer going to play parent to people who I have no responsibility for. Too many people want me to do the work and then hand over all the rewards to them after. They feel entitled to the respect and privilege I have earned by association.

This, I’m sorry to say, a problem I’ve encountered particularly from straight, white, cisgender men. They’ll get nothing more from me in 2020.

This is my own small resistance. My way of occupying my space, both the space I am entitled too by birthright and the space I have craved for myself with work, and pain, and passion. This is my way of setting up boundaries and expectations, and of making sure I am seen for my contribution rather than overlooked by others doing less.

I love to help. I am a team player. I want us all to succeed, but not to my mental, physical, or professional detriment. I don’t think that is asking for too much. It shouldn’t be, anyway.