‘Tis the time of year to write ‘A Year in Review’ post and share everything I accomplished in 2019 as a writer. Except that when I started planning this post, I quickly realized I didn’t accomplish much in the realm of writing and publishing. No new books, no new stories. So what did I accomplish this past year?
<Drum roll, please>
I lost thirty-three pounds, bringing my total weight loss to sixty-six pounds!
I’m pretty proud of this, in case you couldn’t tell.
Every January, I prepare a list of goals to guide me through the new year. Now I’ll be honest: I only look at the list a handful of times during the year. But I know it’s there, and I think that counts more, because in a quiet way, it holds me accountable to the things I need to be doing.
About five years ago, I added ‘lose 76 pounds’ to the list. Taken like that, it’s no wonder I didn’t make any progress. A number that big is intimidating, overwhelming. So when I didn’t lose the weight that year, I moved it to the list for the following year. When I saw no progress the next year, I decided to break the goal down to eight smaller goals, so that I now had the goal of losing the weight in ten-pound increments. This was a little more manageable. And when I went gluten-free for my mental health, I lost some weight. But it wasn’t seventy-six pounds. And so the ten-pound incremental loss was moved to the following year. I accomplished stuff like: sign an option contract with a producer for Speak Tenderly To Her; and publish my books Stay With Me and The Book of Joy; I even became a vegetarian and gave up dairy for a while; but I made no progress on my weight loss for three years.
Then I added exercise to the mix. I had always been told that in order for an exercise routine to stick, you needed to find something you enjoyed doing. And for me, to my surprise, that was running. I started a light jog on a treadmill one day last summer, thinking, I’ll just go for two minutes. Two minutes became three, then five, then ten and finally, sixteen, as I finished running my first mile ever. I was hooked. I started going to the gym just to run, repeating that thing that had taken me forty-five years to accomplish. I started adding weights and cardio to my routine and have seen an additional thirty-three pounds melt right off me. And the best part is that in all this, I’ve learned to maintain the weight loss and active lifestyle. I still have ten pounds to go to reach my goal, but I know what to do now to get there.
So no, I didn’t publish anything this year. But I accomplished something better: I focused on creating a better me, so that in 2020, I can create better extensions of me. I am a list person and you better believe that all the things I didn’t do in 2019 have been moved to 2020, along with the countless of ideas I have for books, business and marketing. I’m healthier now, so I can accomplish more later, and that is something worth bragging about.
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