The Pain List and how it helps you

Until I started taking my Pain List items seriously – and I’m still contending with some of them, today – until I started putting some of this stuff to bed, nothing new was coming into my life. My life didn’t feel like it was going in the direction I wanted it to go. It didn’t feel like it was going anywhere. In fact, if it was moving at all, it moved to a wasteful end. 

What was underneath that was I had a history of learned helplessness in the face of obstruction. “If I try, it’ll only end up in disappointment, so I prefer to dream.”

Life is full of obstructions that loom larger than they actually are. Dysfunctional people resist our unclear or maladroit attempts to remove obstructions to make our situations and relationships better. (When we get really clear, it’s hard for them to thwart our changes.) They typically respond in a way that shuts us down. In the face of getting shut down, some people get clearer and go for it another way. Other people, however, give up more easily.

The dysfunction of resisters (or, the resistance of the dysfunctional) is also their way of giving up, but they don’t always realize that. Most people are trying to protect themselves, frankly, and they do it through minor forms of negative control – often when they simply need to learn how to lead

Entire cultures can fall prey to this. It takes insight to realize that obstruction might have good reasons, and resistance might have good reasons, but both obstruction and resistance are not permanent conditions. They are moveable and negotiable. A Hero isn’t always required. 

Pain often comes from feeling helpless about a particular task, person, block, or outcome. It takes small, consistent effort and positive reinforcement to unlearn helplessness. 

I had to do it, and I’m still working at it. For example, I’m very patient and persistent – so much so that I forego rewards I should take – but I have a low frustration tolerance. Until I had the internal and external resources – including money and its ever-ready excuse! – to start moving on the things I needed to clear, I was stuck in a mystifying holding pattern: waiting for something to happen, not recognizing when it was happening, and under-using my power to direct all creation in my life. 

There is one positive thing this stagnation taught me, and it’s expressed in this poem:

The Just

A man who cultivates his garden, as Voltaire wished.
He who is grateful for the existence of music.
He who takes pleasure in tracing an etymology.
Two workmen playing, in a café in the South,
a silent game of chess.
The potter, contemplating a color and a form.
The typographer who sets this page well,
though it may not please him.
A woman and a man, who read the last tercets
of a certain canto.
He who strokes a sleeping animal.
He who justifies, or wishes to, a wrong done him.
He who is grateful for the existence of Stevenson.
He who prefers others to be right.
These people, unaware, are saving the world.

by Jorge Luis Borges

This is real life, too. You are always, ALWAYS living a real life. And you are always learning what works and what doesn’t. There are seasons of growth and there are seasons of dormancy. This is natural.

It’s time for you to breathe out the old, and breathe in new energy.  

Create a Pain List – 7 to 10 things that you should have done by now, old business that was frustrated and remains outstanding, debts to pay, debts to call in, projects that need one final push to complete, applications for new opportunities that may not yet be lost. Things that may make you feel some embarrassment or shame, where you underperformed or let someone down. 

Then analyze the first three steps you can take to get each bit of business sorted.

And then, immediately, act on the very first step of each of them. 

Record the outcome and expectations of that very first step, and schedule the second step or its follow-up. 

When you get it done, reward yourself, and release that negative energy. With any luck, the negative energy will already be released during the process of resolving that pain item. It so often is the case that doing something constructive about pain becomes, consciously or in retrospect, a pleasant and rewarding task. 

Thanks for joining Life’s Battle Plan!

Oh, my goodness! You’ve made that one small-but-significant step to change your life by embarking on Life’s Battle Plan. Welcome! 🙌🏻 🥳 🍻

What to expect from this experience

I thought it would be helpful to give you the details right here so that you didn’t feel left out – or worse, like you’re waiting for something that might not come. So here’s the run-down, and then I’ll send you Day 1 as the Welcome email.

The course is open enrollment until January 6th. I’m removing seasonal references so that it can run perennially.

Day 1 sets the perspective for the course. You can even get started right away if you have a notebook handy.

Here’s something that bears repeating from the page you came through to get here:

By signing up, you know that by “10 day,” I meant there are 10 emails. They’re timed mostly 2-3 days apart, but triggered by your engagement with the material. If you’re engaged, you could complete the course in as few as 18 days, but no more than three emails will be sent before you have the opportunity to catch up to the course material.

Engagement means opening your emails and sometimes clicking a specific link to show you’re on board.

So you may leave the course if you get busy, but do come back to it as soon as you’ve had some time to adjust and reflect on your new plans and life.

To get the most out of this series,

commit to a regular schedule. Do this right now: Block  time off and set an alert on it so that you do the work consistently. That could be half an hour every morning, or two to three sessions a week after work. Even if you only dip into the topic (and make a few scribbles) before the end of the day, it’s worthwhile to be able to “sleep on it” and come back to it with new insights. Much of our thoughts and feelings about what we do is from subconscious processing.

Sometimes what you’ll experience is ambivalence, frustration, annoyance, and disappointment. This is why we put off making plans, especially big plans – we are face to face with a discomfort that we think we might not have to put ourselves through. That thought is mistaken.

What you’re often experiencing is contrast: where you are, where you were, where you thought you’d be, and what you have to do or what you should have done instead to be there. Don’t judge yourself during this process. Just sit with the feeling and push through to the end of your draft.

Sometimes you’ll experience elation and optimism and big crazy ideas. Don’t judge these either. You will have to make some bold decisions to pursue them, but the heart wants what the heart wants, and even incremental changes can bring it closer. Please let yourself dream before you make your concrete plans. You might have to say “not this year,” but you can position it for the next.

Aside from dedication to a schedule and determination to be honest with yourself, all you need is a notebook or journal and a pencil for the drafting process.

Life’s Battle Plan is now available in the Shop as a fillable PDF workbook. That way, you could do the work with or without this email course. You might consider transcribing your results for future reviews and revisions on a computer.

But the tool isn’t necessary for the work. Writing it by hand is powerful stuff. So check your email for Day 1, find yourself a notebook, and you’ll hear from me when the other classmates have arrived. in two days.

Once again, welcome. I’m glad to have you here, and I hope I can help you make quick work of creating a life vision and a set of milestones and projects to achieve it – and send you on your way with clarity, confidence, and good faith.

I’m hiring!

I need help to make Projectica a great resource, and though I love getting into the nitty-gritty details and understanding how things work, I know there’re people who are just plain better than me at some stuff, and I want to work with them. So Projectica – that’s this space – has two positions open.  I’m seeking freelancers to help me with the tough stuff, and pitch, develop, and improve upon my work.

Graphic Designer

Using illustration and line-art, with some experience with layout, you can pull off a style that appeals to men in a playful and black-and-white or colourful way that includes women (my target audience is mostly men, but in a big-tent way – some human predicaments and frustrations are situational and can happen to anybody). You’ll provide graphics for web development, publishing, and creative support for branding, products (ebooks, courseware, and podcast images), and social media ads. It might be an intense beginning. After the product and brand image work, support activities will be occasional until the next round of new product/service development begins. Video production and experience would be beneficial, app development familiarity would be appreciated.

Marketing / Business Development

You know how to focus on a productive content channel, and this will begin by successfully launching an eBook. You also have experience with content strategy involving podcasts or video and can serve to advise and help implement it. There are many channels for traction beyond content marketing, and Projectica has barely scratched the surface of the relevant ones. For non-web-related business development, with your experience or aptitude for publishing and sales, you can help target, research, identify, and approach partners for other suitable channels, and help make Projectica profitable and noteworthy. At times you will be coaching me on how to do it, and at times you’ll be doing it yourself.


Projectica is presently a start-up in the publishing sphere, but app development is the long-term plan. Vision is important. Read the About Projectica page to get a sense of where we’re going.

One of the things Projectica is about capacity building, and another is about community development. One of the target markets I want to make sure are included in the new economy are rural populations, where a sense of being overlooked or “left behind” is undeniable.

Given that, I prefer giving priority to applicants who are rural; indigenous communities and towns of fewer than 50,000 inhabitants fit within my concept of rurality.

Do NOT send a CV, but message me through the Mailing List/Contact link below. I would like to see examples of your work, and suggestions of two ways you can help me right now. Don’t forget to include your phone number, one social media profile (not LinkedIn), and your email address.

How to use the Tactical Chronograph

Assuming you use an electronic calendar for your meetings and other reminders, DON’T duplicate effort. Devices are searchable, but physical agendas are better for planning your month, week, and day.

  1. Set an alert with your phone on Sunday night to plan your week.
  2. Set an alert for every morning or evening, and use it for journaling, reflecting, and preparing for the day ahead.
  3. Weekdays in red type are statutory holidays in Canada or the USA. As more people subscribe from international locations, I may add more national holidays, but I don’t list or describe them. You’ll know yours.
  4. Weekends are as important as weekdays: plan and record your home and social projects and personal time. It’s important to see how you use it and with whom!
  5. “Today is: ” is where you write deadlines, birthdays, anniversaries, events and, if there’s room, intentions.
  6. “Pencil it in!” Use pencil for rough plans. Add appointment times after ‘:’ in the time slots. Use ink for everything that won’t or can’t be changed.
  7. Keep a micro-journal with the daily entries, record habits, and take notes.
    1. Use Habits for building habits, and the Monthly credit/accountability grid to keep track of everything else. Sorry, you’ll have to flip pages for them.
    2. Use the Chronicle to remember the details of your day. Mention new people you meet, events of the day, feelings, and specifics. Write in at least one thing every day!
    3. The Notes section on every page is appropriate for to-dos or anything you want. The little graphics are meant to delight you, and serve as a memory key for where you recorded anything important.
  8. If you have weeks where you don’t get your to-dos done, migrate them to the next week(s). Put them on the page spread where you’re most likely to get them done (week planning and Monday; Tuesday to Thursday, Friday and the weekend). This suggests that the big weekly To-Do list is a catch-all for fresh ideas.
  9. At month’s end, review and carry information back to your Life’s Battle Plan workbook, or forward to another Chronograph.
  10. Record every instance of magic that you create or happens to you!

The layout of the Tactical Chronograph updates every month because of shifts in the dates of the days of the week, but sometimes for something more…interesting. Whenever space allows, I’ll put in questions to prompt you to reflect and set an intention appropriate for the month or season.

2018 versions:
Creative Commons Licence
Life’s Battle Plan: Tactical Chronograph by Jane Sorensen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on work at
The scope of this license: You may adapt this work (bullet journalling, or copy-paste certain sections of it into a document or a book) for your personal use. If you show it to someone else and they want to try it, too, share this page so others can download their own.

Comment below, or reach me here.  Better yet, email me direct at the address on the back cover of the Tactical Chronograph!

PetTinder – “Play a game, share the love, save a life.”

PetTinder! The game where you meet your “match” – at least with pets.

PetTinder is a name mashup: PetFinder is a website that helps people adopt a pet. Tinder (in case you didn’t know!) is a dating app that lets people match up for dates with a swift and easy finger-swipe.

It isn’t meant for your pets to date or for you to find a date to bring your pet to. It’s just a fun way to meet real pets from animal shelters near you – like that puppy with big paws that you never forgot. Only now, you get to know more about them, and celebrate when they get adopted.

And it’s not about getting you to adopt them. You couldn’t adopt them all even if you wanted to! Just play the game, love with a 💜, and share them when you want. Collect game play badges for rewards and achievements, and follow the  leaderboard to compare your play with others.

But the real ninja skill of the game is that every time you 💜 a pet, you make a micro-donation to the shelter where it’s at – and save it to your list so you can follow them. Because two of the problems of running an animal shelter are

1) getting the right people to see the right pets at the right time to adopt, and

2) finding the money to keep everyone secure, fed, and healthy until then.

PetTinder is a social game that helps the animals in a unique way – and you get to support them while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. Props if that hot guy or girl behind you can see you play. Nothing says “great date!” quite like loving cute animals!

Help make this game fun!

We’re looking for interested animal shelter friends and game players to build a player community to try the app, develop it, and find ways to get it out to gamers (Millennials, their kids, their parents, and anyone else).  Want to know how to play? Read this article. 

Want to help? Sign up!

Help make this game reality!

We need marketers, graphic artists, and developers who can offer some time for this open source project on Github. We originally planned to code with React Native, but a Unity development environment presents other possibilities.  We also need back-end databases and reports. For now, it’s a labour of love that pays in beer and pizza and good feelings. The goal is to keep a low overhead to send the shelters the greatest donations possible. We need a good prototype and initial user base to persuade the first charitable beneficiary to partner with us to fund these shelters.

But we also expect it to become popular, so when it gets a lot of traction, it will have some overhead to employ the people who make it work.

Are you one of these people? Sign up!

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