Monday, December 28, 2009
Like everyone else it seems, the holidays were a busy time for me. After writing my last blog trip down memory lane with my Christmas decorations, I took some time off to read and enjoy other people's blogs. I was grateful that so many people took time out of their festivities to write, especially at Christmas because I certainly needed the extra inspiration and motivation.
But now that Christmas is over, I have started to feel the itch to write again myself. But what about? I was sitting at the computer the other day typing and deleting, typing and deleting. I just couldn't get into the groove. I've sort of gotten into the pattern of "story telling" and generally would like to continue that format, but coming up with a topic this time was a challenge. I had already written a confessional blog after Thanksgiving. Give it up, Joanne, I told myself. People want motivation not another tabloid insider report on me being caught with peanut brittle in my mouth!
In frustration I turned to my husband who, bless his heart, was taking down all the last vestiges of the the holiday decorations. "I'm having trouble writing my blog. I need a topic. I've got to have a theme. Help me!"
He looked up through artificial pine branches and said "What? Are you blogged up?
Try fiber! Works for me!" And with that he rolled around on the floor in the tinsel chortling "Blogged up! Get it? Fiber? Oh man, I kill me!"
I married a comedian...
I've been reading "The Spark" by Chris Downey, which, by the way, is a FANTASTIC book -- I highly recommend it! He goes into quite a bit of depth on the subject of goal setting. Very inspiring.
Hmm... I could blog about goals. Uh huh. Yes. Yes I could. But then I --
WOULD ACTUALLY HAVE TO SET SOME!
And you can hear a pin drop in the whole Spark World.
Here's a woman who actually lost 70 lbs. without really setting any specific goals. Oh I had loose aspirations. Exercise regularly. Eat low fat, high fiber, low sugar. But the hows and how oftens were left up to chance. Like a lot of things in my life, I muddled through the mine field of weight loss with a general lack of organization. That's the negative way of looking at it. I give credit to Nike for actually making me manage to feel positive about my lack of goals--
JUST DO IT!
And that's exactly what I did. My husband is the same way. When he decided after 35 years of smoking to quit. He quit. No patches, pills, gums, or tapering down to a quit date for him. He just quit. For him it's the modis operendi he prefers.
If he can just "do it" and Nike sanctions it, it must be the way to go. And it worked for me.
However, I look back now and realize how lucky I was. Manys the time I sank without an anchor when I set sail on my weight loss journeys. I've blogged before about my yo-yo dieting pattern.
When I hit my desired weight 4 years ago and was faced with maintenance, I realized that keeping the weight off wasn't going to be any easier of a task. Yeah, you say to yourself, but now your good eating choices and exercise are habits. You've changed your lifestyle. Made routines.
True -- to an extent. But once the numbers on the scale quit declining and people quit gushing about how good you look, the motivation starts to dwindle. Maintenance is like doing the dishes. You know it needs to be done, but it's still a chore.
Finding SparkPeople.com was like discovering the land of milk and honey for me. I love the wonderful friends I've met and the inspiring stories I've read. Daily encouragement. The tools they provide -- and all at no cost -- are second to none on any other website that I've explored or even paid for. But I admit, I've been a little lazy about taking advantage of those tools like I should.
Maybe, just maybe, my maintenance efforts wouldn't seem like such a struggle if I used them consistently. Organized a little. Set some goals.
Now why this should be difficult, I don't know for the life of me. I am a nurse who at work, is highly organized and efficient. My work area is pristine. My charting is precise. I never compromise on sterile procedure.
I looked up at my husband who was now back to the serious task of dissembling our Christmas tree. "I'm thinking I need to set some goals. Not new years resolutions. These start now and if I slip, I don't won't need to wait for another new year to begin."
"Yup", he replied, "Sounds good".
"Do YOU ever set goals?" I asked. He stopped what he was doing for a moment, in thought. "Nope".
"Never?" I queried?
"Well maybe one. It's kind of an ongoing goal. But I actually need your assistance".
My mind was spinning with the possibilities and I hardly heard what he said. I was so inspired by "The Spark". I can do this I thought. Let my goals motivate me. I could plan rewards. I reached for my notebook and began to scribble notes and outlines.
I exited out of the now blank blog entry and hit the Microsoft word icon.
Diet, exercise, sleep, running, budget, vacation, parents, writing, poker...
The lists went on. I was careful to outline the big pictures and break them down into intermediate and even smaller easier goals. I was going to get some serious streaks going! Not so many as to overwhelm myself. Keep them within reach.
Excited, I ventured down stairs into the family room where my husband was now reclining on the sofa watching "Cops". Waving my notebook, doing a little victory dance, I plopped down on the end of the sofa and announced, "I made my goals!! Do you want to hear them???"
Briefly he looked at me like do I have to? But, wisely I might add, he dutifully turned off the television and sat up.
He managed to maintain eye contact and murmur Uh -Huh appropriately while I recited what I came up with. I was so proud that I had actually set these goals and wrote them down. I told him I was going to publish my goals to the WHOLE Spark community so I had some accountability too! I chatted away excitedly. I'm going to write one blog and then turn around and write part II detailing them in a few days, I told him.
He patted my leg and said "Good job! Um - are we done here"? He got up to go upstairs on a snack hunt. Suddenly I remembered that he had told me he was going to set a goal that required my assistance. "Wait! I didn't hear YOUR goal. Come on! Share with me!" I was pumped now. We'd help each other. Side by side. Goal setters! Watch what we can achieve!
Turning, he smiled.
"My goal? -- More sex."
He must have seen my face fall because he jabbed the air and pronounced "And THAT is precisely why I don't set goals -- they never get fulfilled!!"
Yep, I married a real comedian........