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Jumping off cliffs and developing wings on the way down

Before I put 40 candles on my birthday cake, I wrote a blog post about getting better consistently, and, like a fine wine, improving with age. The day after I wrote the post, my 10 year old cousin died and I went back to Minnesota for a wedding. When I returned from the whirlwind tour of the Midwest, life took over, work got busy and I found myself coasting again with no plans or benchmarks.

I did have an e-mail waiting for me at work from our HR Director letting everyone know they were starting up another round of Biggest Loser. Much like the reality series, participants gather around the postage scale at work and weigh in each week. Those who lose weight get a dollar back from their entry fee and those who don’t are left talking smack with the other participants. I decided it was time for me to join in on the fun as I wasn’t hitting the gym as much as I should and my body was craving exercise.

My first adventure with the giant postage scale was a bit of a shocker. I knew I had some work to do but the mean, red number was much bigger than I thought. My new job, stress and a long commute were reflected back at me as I stupidly asked if the scale was correct. The shipping manager said it is calibrated every week and yes, it was correct. I left the shipping dock ashamed.

As I walked back to my desk reflecting on the number, I realized I could stop at the vending machine and buy a bag of peanut M&Ms and pout or I could accept it and make plans to do something about it. It also got me thinking about my after work schedule and how I’ve been content to come home, eat, and sit in front of the computer or TV and not take a more active role in my creative life.

Like many writers, I tend to go after the shiny object and abandon them when I’m stuck, it gets hard, or when the next shiny object presents itself. I have a hard drive with too many projects collecting dust and people waiting for me to deliver. I have written in the past about my Unfinished Symphony which I never really completed, and I have written about benchmarks and never really set them. Now that 40 has come and gone, it’s time for me to get working and start clearing things off my plate and dropping weight. It’s time for me to start setting micro goals rather than trying to eat the whole whale in one bite.

So, the first micro goal on my list is to adapt a more active lifestyle. One hour at the gym after work is a good start, but it’s not specific enough. I really need to be more active on the weekend which means more walks with my husband or finding a group that meets and goes on walks, rides, hikes, etc. I find doing things in groups is a better motivator and holds me more accountable.

I don’t have benchmarks yet on my weight, but I will work on that next week. How it feels, what it looks like, where I want to be at a particular date. Each week as I beg the shipping scale to be kind, I will check in on this here blog and write about my exercise and creative processes in addition to my regular blog posts. My goal is to make it interesting so you’ll come back or join in on the conversation and not make it a blog of me whining about how hard it is.

As for my creative projects, I expressed my lack of word count to my friend Jaymi who told me about a writing group that meets once a week to write. I now have a date this Tuesday to write with the group and will talk with them about writing goals and word counts and projects I’ve been ignoring for too long.

What about you Gentle Reader? What micro goals can you set to achieve greatness or make friends with the bathroom scale? Drop me a line. We’re all in this together.


About Anna Alexander

I get ideas. I write things. I sometimes follow through with those ideas. I also run long distances and live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband cat who lets us pay the mortgage on his house.

One response »

  1. What a jump! Congrats on publicly taking on the challenge to lose some weight! I’m very proud of you. I look forward to seeing your progress and know that you can do this! WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And the writing………it’s all in there and that will come along too!!


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