***Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it. Plan more than you can do, then do it.~~ Anonymous (from jensgyrations.blogspot.com)
How do we challenge ourselves? Do we like to play it safe and choose goals we are sure we can reach? When is a challenge too ambitious? Should we set goals higher than we can reach and then go for it? Even if we fall short we have made progress. I guess it's all about how we handle not being perfect emotionally.
I remember how the kids in school were treated who were seemingly perfect to the rest of us. They were teacher's pets, brown noses, kiss-ups, etc. The ones who always had the right answers were ridiculed and discouraged from answering. I know when I was teaching I would ask the class a question and no one was volunteering the answer even though I could tell several knew the answer but were reluctant to contribute. We learn young to hold back don't we? Those who rise to the top will be put in their place by those who don't want to look mediocre by comparison.
I had one extremely intelligent boy. He was also pretty shrewd. He was reading at 2 years old. He got a perfect score on the PSAT. He skipped a grade. He didn't have any friends. I heard some students one day running him down because he wouldn't help them. His retort was that they didn't want help; they wanted the answers. They didn't want to learn the content; they wanted to be done with the assignment.
How many of us have copied someone else's answers? You can answer this privately of course. When it's time for the test and all that's been done is to copy the answers of others, the grade will not be very good. Students have gotten pretty creative at cheating on tests as well however.
Why did we do that? I have to admit I was one of the ones who did my own work, made good grades, and all that. We learn early that getting it done was the goal not learning the content. Students would ask me when I gave them work to do if it was going to be on the test. If it wasn't - then they had no interest in it even if it was interesting content. Now, with weight loss - EVERYTHING is on the test.
Now we are faced with something we have to do ourselves - lose weight. There is no one's paper to copy. There will be a test, however. It won't be graded on a curve. We do get to take the test over and over and over and over again until we learn what we need to learn. If losing weight is our only goal, there will be difficulties because without the content, that test will be failed. We all know that - we have failed repeatedly. We don't learn the content. We just wanted the weight off and we can hang in there and go great guns for a time but then we have to take a test and our score is right there on the scales and yep - we have to take the test again. There were pop quizzes where we didn't know what to expect at the pitch-in meal. That pop quiz at the birthday party threw us as did Thanksgiving. We always knew a pop quiz was possible but it wouldn't really be today would it? It's always today.
I did well in school but I did my work because the teacher said to do it and told us what was expected and when it was due. The motivation was that I wanted to make good grades not that I necessarily wanted to learn anything. Someone else was telling me what to do. Even in college - just tell me what to do and when it was due and I would wait until the last minute and, well, you know - stay up all night. I have a nephew who is an internist and doing very well. He treated college like an 8 hour a day job. No matter when his first class was he was still at work at 8 a.m. even if the class was not until 11 he would be in the library or working on assignments somewhere. His evenings and weekends were free pretty much. What self-discipline.
As adults we have grown up with people telling us what was expected and we did it (well, most of us). As adults now, we have to find it within us to set and reach goals. We are making up the test. We are determining the content. The content is more important than the test. We will pass the test if we have mastered the content.
Wouldn't it be nice to enter the New Year just continuing what we have been doing rather than starting over, beginning anew, getting back on track, ready for each test (weigh-ins) because we are mastering the content (moving more, eating healthy things, drinking the water, etc.)
Paul said a few days ago that he felt like this was going to be his year - meaning 2012. Let's join Paul and make it our years too. This time next year we could be looking forward to 2013 with thankful hearts for our progress. There will be a test. No matter what we do, 2013 will begin and 2012 will be a memory. How do each of us want to look back on 2012? We are going to have to look back on it regardless. What do we want to see in that rear view mirror? We have a once in a lifetime chance to start 2012 and we can start gearing up for it now with some easy behavior changes. Can we all drink at least 64 oz. of water each day until then? Can we exercise 3 - 5 times a week until then? Sure we can. Let's get started, what do you say? Here is a mini-challenge - 64 oz. of water per day and exercise 3 - 5 times a week until January 1, 2012 then decide if you want to continue and add another behavior change - to be announced later. You can report this on your own blogs and update each time you post. You can then choose your own next behavior change - we all are different and this really should belong to you. The most successful people in terms of weight loss and maintenance are the ones who did it their own way. I have decided I am not a "Challenge" type because of this very reason. I want to do it my way (Frank Sinatra music here).
We will also be looking back on the last few days of 2011 soon. What do you want to see?
Let's make 2012 our year.