One reason we fail to make progress in achieving our goals is that our thoughts and aspirations tend to melt away when we just think about them, no matter how important they are, and then let them disappear into forgotten obscurity. As I wrote in my last task, I discovered last year the tremendous importance of writing my goals and aspirations about my weight loss and keeping a written record of my thoughts, progress, stumbles, and successes. As I wrote yesterday, I had tried to lose weight for more than 30 years and failed. When I accidentally started writing my Curmudgeonly Professor's Do List and began thinking seriously about losing weight, I began losing weight for the first time in years. I kept writing and I kept losing. When I forced myself to write about my weight loss do list, I was forced to do something more than just think about losing weight and feeling sorry for my inability to control my excess pounds. Today's writing tends to be transient, if we write at all. Yesterday, we wrote cards and messages and memos. Today we send texts and Facebook and Twitter messages that vanish as soon as we send them and read them. When we commit pen to paper, we have to be more serious about what we write. If we write out a goal to lose a pound and then we check today's writing tomorrow, we want to make sure we are not going to just ignore what we said today.
Researchers have definitely shown that people who are trying to lose weight and keep a written food journal have a significantly higher chance of success than those who just keep telling themselves repetitively and mournfully and with an ever growing guilty conscience, "Gee, I'm 50 pounds overweight, and why don't I lose it?" Committing thoughts to pen and paper and then frequent reviewing of our writing has a magic way of reinforcing what we intended and needed to do.
As I said yesterday, it took me nine months to get back on track and begin once more to finish my 2015 Do List. During those nine months, I didn't lose a single pound, but I miraculously didn't gain one either, as I mentioned. I did not really feel motivated to start up trying to write a new Do List task each day until I reach the magic number of 365, but starting to write again after this long lapse has already had a significant effect on my commitment to begin losing weight again. Now that I have written four posts, I know I can keep writing until I get to 365. Now that I have lost another pound, I know I can lose another 30 pounds or more. As I said, the rule is simple: Eat Less!
The magic result of achieving one goal is that then all of the other difficult things we have been trying to do and failed to accomplish become easier. We don't think so much about or worry about the undone jobs and the long dwindling goals that we wish we could have achieved and never bothered to commit ourselves sufficiently so that we had a chance of success. When we worry about what we need to do, and let that thought and that worry vanish into thin air, chances are we aren't going to do anything to begin our quest to conquer our task. But when we write each day, even a few sentences about whatever it is we thought, did, worried about, needed, and wanted to do, the hurdles and mental blocks begin to evaporate. When we take our needs and tasks seriously, and think enough about them to write about them, a positive outcome can transform us and help us solve a whole host of related problems.
If you don't want to write in a spiral notebook, start a blog. You can keep your blog private or you can share it with others. In addition to the benefits of writing, a support group can be instrumental in helping us achieve our goals. By sharing problems, upturns, downturns, and through mutual encouragement, love, and support, we enhance the chances of ending up at the destination we have sought for so long and now have a chance of reaching.
Task Number 290: Write in a daily journal, whether on paper or on computer. Keep track of what you write and measure your progress. You will always be glad that you gave it a try. Good luck and keep going. The Curmudgeonly Professor. Once you get your mind stirring again, you may be amazed at what you come up with.