All the Goals!

Part of the reason I haven’t updated in awhile is that I’ve really been struggling with Weight Watchers. The first three or four weeks were awesome- I lost 10 pounds and was so proud of myself! The next three or four weeks were the opposite- I didn’t lose more than a half a pound and occasionally gained .5-1 pounds. I plateau’d. I wasn’t making much progress and I felt ready to quit.

I talked to my boyfriend about it, who was trying to be understanding, but said something along the lines of I’ll support you if you want to quit. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I was looking for someone to give me the motivation to keep going. To tell me the magic secret to how to lose weight but still eat whatever I wanted. Spoiler alert: there isn’t one.

However, he did join WW with me. I was surprised, but really happy that he joined me in making his own progress and in supporting my goals. I felt so loved and appreciated. I also thought, Shit, now I can’t quit.

I re-committed this week and used a self-control technique inspired by a TED Talk I saw by Dan Ariely. Though losing weight and being healthy should be a goal that is naturally rewarding, it just isn’t. Future me isn’t that powerful. So, I used my psychology knowledge of positive reinforcement. I told myself that the only way I get to play Magic the Gathering Arena each day is if I keep to my daily points in WW (blue dots for those who are familiar with it). I’ve been way too into playing Arena lately, so I figured this would either get me to play it less or get me to eat better. So far it’s been the latter, and I’ve been really pleased with the results! (I’m sure the social support probably played a role here as well, but the extra reinforcement definitely helps!) We’ll see how it goes and whether it pays off, but I’m at least feeling a lot more positively!

My writing goals have been basically nonexistent as of late. I skipped the once a month writing meeting that my colleague does, for no good reason. And I’ve done almost nothing otherwise. I did write a character backstory a few weeks ago that I felt really good about, but no writing for the sake of writing.

I’ve been feeling especially anxious about writing lately because it’s almost November. Every November (except one) since 2012, I have attempted NaNoWriMo (and was successful all but one time). This year though, I just don’t think it is right for me. I am nowhere near ready to attempt to write any novel based on the ideas I’ve been kicking around. I thought about just winging it from nothing, but that seems like a waste of time.

All of the novels I’ve written during NaNoWriMo have been bad. They could definitely be turned into something worthwhile, but as is they’re pretty horrific. It’s just not feasible for me to write a good novel in 30 days. I could probably do it if I devoted 4-5 hours each day to writing, but with my current schedule that is impossible and overwhelming to even think about.

But I don’t want to just give up on writing, especially in November, because I’m not prepared to write a novel. I still want to be a writer and what I’ve loved about NaNoWriMo in the past is how it encourages me to set a writing habit and makes me feel good about writing (I feel like I “get” to write instead of that I “have” to write).

My biggest problem as a writer is that I don’t practice enough. I just need to log those hours writing. So during the month of November, I’m making it my goal to write for at least 1 hour every day. I’m going to try to keep that as actually 1 hour a day rather than a few hours on one day and skip the next several, because I want to make writing a habit.

It may not be as intensive or sound as impressive as NaNoWriMo, but I think it’s the right goal for me. Please still send your support! And good luck with your own goals 🙂