Three Goals and Charles Duhigg

TGT mast head

It’s Thursday again, and time once more to look at those habits I’m building into my life through repetition.


I’ve heard it said that repetition is the only form of permanence we can attain in this life. I think it’s true.  Change is ever nipping, nipping, nipping at our heels, and much of what we face in life we are powerless to control, but we are not helpless.  We can control ourselves.  One of the fruits of spiritual connection is the promise that we will master our urges.

Surrender to a plan, a program, my God, and a teeny, tiny bit of commitment to stay the course and keep focused on my goals will get me there.

We all have goals.  My teeny, tiny three show up here on my blog every Thursday.  Yours may show up on pages in your journal.  Maybe you share your goals with your significant other, or a support group, or a trusted friend.  Wherever we share our goals, no matter how formally they may be shared or not, we all have something we are striving to attain.  For me, it is creating winning scenarios that build confidence.


I’m currently reading Charles Duhigg’s genius book, Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, and I’m loving it. I have often hawked his previous best seller, The Power of Habit, here.  I love, loved that book and this one is just as informative.  I’m a big fan of HABIT and all the good it can do, especially as it unconsciously moves us through life, but it does seem to have a down side.  Doesn’t everything?


What does Charles Duhigg’s book have to do with my goal list this week?  Just this:  In this newest book by Charles, he talks about the ugly downside of goal setting.

What is that downside?  Closure!

You’ve all heard the word “closure” and probably most often in the sense of ending relationships or the death of loved ones, especially those taken from us suddenly or by violent means.  But closure as Charles refers to it in the book is all about that “Ahhh” moment one gets when a project is finally finished.  It is a feeling I know well.

I am very goal oriented and very methodical, so much so that I adore the “Ahhh” moments of life.  You know them, right? They are what you feel when you’ve read the last page on a good book, or written that final stance of your poem. They come when the ironing is done, the cake is decorated, and the baby is bathed with clean jammies on, laid down for the night, and finally off to the land of nod.  “Ahh,” you say, either consciously or unconsciously (and you might pour yourself a glass of wine).  That sigh you let escape your lips as you fall back into the bed stead after performing mattress gymnastics–its all part of closure.

Charles said that “Ahhh” moment can be good, but it can also be bad. 

The “Ahhh” moment is bad when it becomes your single most loved motivation for what you’re doing. It’s bad because it clouds your judgment.  It makes you narrow minded.  It causes you and me to fixate on the end that we’ve chiseled out for ourselves in our creative minds.  It makes acceptance of other possibilities hard to envision, and of course that means disaster.  It’s incredibly hard to shift gears when you have a hard goal in mind, and even harder when you crave the closure of an “Ahhh” moment.

True story:  I got pregnant for my second child because of a constant lack of an “Ahhh” moment during the work day.  Obviously, that wasn’t the only reason, but it didn’t hurt that I hated that job!  It didn’t help, either, that my “office” was in a building with no windows and I was employed there during the NEPA winter months, so no sunshine for this girl for four months!  Mr was very happy that I quit that job, and I am too as I look on the face of a man I raised who I am very proud to call son.  All this to say, be careful about setting goals that reinforce closure over habit.  Those kind of goals kill brain cells.

My estimation, not Charles Duhigg’s, mind you.

LAST WEEK’S GOALS       (About time, right?!)

  • Exercise for 15 minutes every day this week, and eat my oatmeal every day.


  • Get blood labs done!

DONE, and the results were better than I ever could have anticipated. 5.7 A1C without diabetic meds.  Yay!!!

  • Do an inventory of my pantry this week and throw out anything that is expired or not regularly used by our family.

Oops! Note done.  I missed this goal while I was playing with the wee ones and celebrating Easter.  No problem. I will just set this as a goal for this coming weel.


  • Continue on with exercise and oatmeal every day.
  • Inventory pantry and throw out expired products.
  • Finish reading Smarter, Faster, Better and write a review.

Easy peasy!  These should be small enough for a WIN this week.  Keep me honest, though, and check back to see if I did what I said I would.

What goals did you set for yourself this week? Did you achieve them?




Do the Difficult First!

000mark twainif-its-your-job-to-eat-a-frog-its-best-to-do-it-first-thing-in-the-morning-mark-twain

A long time ago, when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, I put off unpleasant tasks until last-minute.  I stalled and stalled, and stalled, until I could stall no more, then I grudgingly did that thing I had been dreading doing.

Today, all that has changed! Somewhere along recovery road I learned that its best to eat my big frogs early in the day, in order to get their nasty taste out of my mouth as soon as possible.

That’s why I always schedule dentist and doctor appointments for first thing in the morning; 8:00am or earlier, if I can get ’em.

It’s also why I circle back around quickly to apologize for a slip of the tongue or a word too harshly spoken.

I can’t afford to wait, and if you’re eating a croaker, neither can you.

I think Mark had it right–when dealing with the big frogs of life, eat early and eat quickly.  Around noon time on a sunny day all bets are off that they might in any way taste palatable!

Lesson Learned:  Dry or sweaty frog meat is horrible, so embrace life with gusto and get the smelly stuff out of the way early in the day.

Are you more reactive or proactive in life?  When has waiting to deal with the frogs in your life caused you problems?




Blood Labs Done-Results!

Blood test

Remember how I had made it a goal of mine to have my blood draw done THREE WEEKS IN A ROW?

Yeah, I remember!

It was embarrassing, not being able to meet that goal three weeks running.  When I put the goal on my Thursday list this last time I said to myself, “Enough!  This is getting done!!!”

I like exclamation points!!!!!

I also like being able to report I’ve met all my goals!!!!!

Best of all, I like the results I got back from my most recent blood testing:

Cholesterol 148

HDL: 48

LDL: 82

Trigs: 91

Glucose: 97

A1C: 5.7

These results are such a relief to me, and proof positive that eating right and exercising, even the tiniest bit (15-30 minutes each day), can make a big difference in your numbers.

The best feeling of all is that feeling I got when I did something I did not want to do because it was beneficial for me to do it.

No, wait, I lie.

The best feeling was seeing an A1c number within a normal range without diabetic meds!!!!! 

My BUN number on the report showed a tad bit elevated, so I’m trying to figure out what I need to do to tweak my diet and get that number down next time.  Any suggestions, send ’em over.  That number could have been a result of dehydration, since I was about 13 hours out from my most recent meal and drinking, but I’m not banking on that.  In the weeks to follow I will be cutting more protein out of my diet.  I’m hoping the nuts I’m eating is not contributing to this number, because I love my nuts, but I know there is a lot of work I could do to cut out animal proteins in my diet.  I’ll start there and see how it goes.

So glad to have crushed this goal this week!  Now, onward and upward to those other two. I’ve got to report in three short days. I want to do better with my teeny, tiny goals this week!!!!!

What goals have  you set for yourself this week?  How’s it going?


Three Goals and Easter Planning

TGT mast headIt’s the Thursday before Easter as I’m logging in today.  My three goals from last week need to be reported on, and I need to add three more goals to my list of habit building behaviors.  If you’re new to my blog, you might not know that I set three teeny, tiny goals for myself each week, and then I work through the week to perform them.  Here’s why I do it!

And here are last week’s goals:

1  Continue on with eating and exercise goals as previously stated.

2  At the end of each work day spend some quality time with Mr, asking him once again the conversation starting question: What concerns you today?

3  Get my blood labs done.


Goal No. 1  Good!  I ate oatmeal for five days out of seven this week.  I could have done better, but one day I was emotionally eating to sooth myself (just being honest here), and today I forgot my oatmeal.  I could have sworn that I still had oatmeal in the frig at work waiting for me, but no. I was wrong.  Dang, I hate when that happens!

Goal No. 2  Not so good!  I did this twice this week, and forgot it was even a goal the rest of the week.  In my defense, this has been a horrible week for me.  A dentist appointment and a speedy ticket.  Ugh!!! Not good and now I’m paranoid about driving.  I was not going fast and I was not being reckless, but I got a ticket anyway.  And get this; the officer who ticketed me made a big deal out of having his supervisor riding with him that morning.  What?  What is that about.  I’m still in a funk about it, but I’m pleading not guilty to the charge and will have my day in traffic court. I’ll letcha know how it goes.  Again, Ugh!  I guess I was more concerned with what concerned me this week, than the Mr. Poor Guy!

Goal No. 3  NOPE!  Did not do it!  Argghhh!  I think I need a vacation about now, or someone with a cattle prod to stick me in the back side to get me moving on this.  See Goal No. 2 for my excuse, or just say a prayer for me.  This one is going back on my list again this week!!!  I am determined to get this done soon.


1  Exercise for 15 minutes every day this week, and eat my oatmeal every day.

2  Get blood labs done!

3  Do an inventory of my pantry this week and throw out anything that is expired or not regularly used by our family.


As for Easter, I’m in full-on planning mode.  I have a protein picked out for Easter lunch, and I have supplies laid up to make some tasty sides.  We will be going veggie heavy, as with all meals at the house on the hill in NEPA, this year.  We have also gone candy-light on all Easter baskets, and still have some wee one sunglasses and hats to purchase.  Other than that, we will be running, jumping, laughing, tickling, loving, reading books, and doing “projects” together over the next few days.  Oh, and gaming with board games. We love that!

We “might” go shopping for one of those battery operated jeeps that the kids ride in and drive themselves.  Maybe. I want to. We’ll see…

I hope you all have a happy and joyous Easter celebration, and if you don’t celebrate Easter, make this weekend a time to get together with those you love and tell them how much they mean to you.

Give love!  Speak Life! Live with Hope!  Plant Peace!!!!