Doing a Scary Thing

dT8bdoETeThis blog post is going to be a little different. It’s mostly just for me.

A revelation that came to me from Gretchen Rubin’s Better than Before, a book about habits, is that we form, maintain, and break habits in different ways depending on our personality traits. In my case, I’m not too good at keeping personal goals, but I’m very good at meeting deadlines. In other words, I might tell myself that I want to accomplish something, but if I don’t quite cross the finish line, I’m usually OK with that. On the other hand, if I have an assignment or deadline from an outside source, I make sure that it gets done.

Here is the scary part. I’ve wanted to lose weight for a long time, but it’s been an unaccomplished goal. So now I’m moving that goal from something that is “merely” personal and private to something that seems like an assignment because other people will know about it. The plan is to lose at least twenty pounds by January 1, 2016.

Blog subscribers who tune in here for posts about writing, reading, literacy, education, books, baseball, etc. need not worry. I don’t plan to write post after post on this topic, unless it happens to intersect with those other topics in unforeseen ways. Instead, I will post my progress, or lack thereof, in the comment section of this post once or twice a month.

It’s OK with me if no one responds to this. It’s also OK if someone wants to add a tip or two. The scary part is over after I hit the Publish button on this post. Whew.

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13 Responses to Doing a Scary Thing

  1. Amy says:

    You are very brave — in more ways than just making this goal public. That’s what makes you such a good educator, mentor, writer. Your bravery helps me, and many others, be brave, too. You can write about this topic any time you like, we will be here to cheer you on! I’ve been on a similar journey — my quest to lose weight primarily motivated by my need to flat out feel better. My daughter decided she wanted to run 5Ks, so we started training together. None of that Couch to 5K business — straight out interval training and running till I thought I’d die. Now, almost a year and about 15 races (I’ve lost count), I am much closer than I’ve ever been to feeling great. I didn’t even know I might kind of like to run. (Like so many students who finally find a book they like…)


  2. janekise says:

    Super, Gary! Read The Willpower Instinct, the best neuropsychology book on what will and won’t work… For example you may really want to quit watching the news…


  3. janekise says:

    Super! Read the willpower instinct. It’s the best neuropsychology book I’ve seen on breaking habits and reaching goals . Four example, you may really wish to stop watching the news!


  4. Jackie says:

    I’m on a similar path–wishing you good luck!


  5. readingteach says:

    I am in need of reaching much the same goal, friend. You can do this! We can compare notes in 6 months at NCTE.


  6. spillarke says:

    Thank you, Gary for being brave and for writing about the scary thing. I decided to make a health a priority this spring too and am on a similar quest. I have no doubt you will successfully complete your assignment! Hear’s to feeling (and being) healthier!


  7. After two weeks of more mindful eating, I’ve lost 2.5 pounds. Can’t say I’ve really suffered, and I also can’t really say I can tell a difference. Onward.


  8. Well, I didn’t make it. Public accountability helped, but ultimately I didn’t make it. I lost ten pounds, then lost focus and gained it all back. I’m not giving up. Onward.


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