In January, there were posts all over the great big world wide web proclaiming “Thirty Days to _______”. Fill in the blank. Thirty days to a cleaner house, an organized desk, a firmer midsection, stronger arms. There were thirty days of crafts, of books, of photo taking suggestions, of writing prompts. I am pretty sure there was even a post out there called “Thirty Days to Incorporate a Thirty Day Challenge Into Your Life.”
Rumor has it that it takes thirty days of doing something and then it will become habit. Gosh that sounds marvelous. I think doing something for thirty days is definitely in my ability range. I mean, it’s only thirty days. So I decide to try it. In January, with our trip to Aruba on the horizon and the scary fact that a bathing suit would be involved I decided to try a challenge. I chose two actually because jointly the time involved would be about ten minutes a day and the final outcome would ease the bathing suit pain. And my results were GUARANTEED.
I was excited! I don’t have to be model thin, but it would be nice to be a little different while in Aruba. I printed them. I placed them prominently on my night stand so they would be the first thing I saw in the morning. That was more than thirty days ago. Aruba has come and gone. I have seen the evidence of NOT doing this in the pictures of our trip. What happened to those challenges? I saw them this morning. They are still on my night stand but have been folded twice are under a book and I have scribbled notes regarding the color scheme of the blanket I am making for Bob all over them.
Way back in November I did NaBloPoMo. It stands for National Blog Posting Month. And the challenge was to post every day for thirty days. I mostly did it. I think I missed about five days. Bob was thrilled because I was making our readers so happy. There were other bloggers involved and I made a couple of new friends and found a few new bloggers to follow and got a few new followers myself. I enjoyed the satisfaction of posting every day but let me tell you this, as much as I have writing in me, it’s hard to do every single day.
I would say, the thing I struggle with the most is self discipline. I am not good at doing things that might be hard. I am great at finding thirty day challenges that will help me conquer my clutter, provide me with awesome arms and allow me to incorporate more veggies into my diet. But when it comes to actually doing them? Egads, I suck.
It’s because it’s hard. I think of what I should be doing and say “Let me just finish this first, then I will….” There always seems to be something else that takes priority, like a video game, like Pinterest, like Facebook. It’s not like I am even doing anything important. It’s not like my house is all organized, my laundry is done, my closets are defragged. I tend to get stuck on the actual doing of the task instead of the awesome feeling of accomplishment I would have once it was completed. Why would I deny myself that?
I can get all psycho analytic on you (or just plain psycho). I can justify, I can create grand tales with valid reasons that only I believe. I can walk around that thing I am supposed to do all day long. I can not look at it. I can attach a new start date. But I still hear that little voice that says ‘you suck, you can’t stick to anything, you didn’t even try today.’ I think I am better at self punishment than I am at any other skill.
And so I think to myself…I will conquer this by posting about it. I will openly admit to a thirty day challenge and then write about it along the way. THAT, I think, will MAKE me do it. I will be accountable. I dance with joy at this brilliant idea! And then…I hear “when you fail, everyone will know, then you will not write because you don’t want to admit to another failure, then your blogging will be out there flapping on the clothesline of things I once again failed to commit to.”
That final thought really makes the whole thing come full circle. People ask me pretty consistently about where my blogging is. I mean, I get positive feedback with this, I enjoy it for the most part, I am pretty good at writing (gosh, can I brag like that?). Why wouldn’t I do this? Do I have a fear of commitment? Am I afraid of failure or success? Do I just not work well under pressure? Am I avoiding judgement? Am I lazy? Unfocused? Do I have ADD? Am I depressed, repressed, oppressed, recessed, assessed, distressed, dick test? (I looked up words that rhymed with oppressed and dick test came up. Really, I could never make that up.)
In order to overcome my constant belittling of my self and my inability to commit to a thirty day challenge, I am putting it out there. In black and white….I, Teri, am committing to picking one thirty day challenge and sticking to it (for thirty days) and writing about it in this blog with all of you holding me accountable.
(Please note, I did not claim when I would be starting this or what challenge I’d be attempting….clever girl? Or just plain chicken?)