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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

2013 Week 12: How Do You Get (and Stay) In the Zone?

2013 Week 12: How Do You Get (and Stay) In the Zone?
Why? Why is 2013 like 2010 and not like the two years in between? There are many factors, but it seems to boil down to one: I have made myself accountable for my goals. Is this just me or am I onto something?

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14
Carpe Diem: Seize the Day!

2013 Week 12: How Do You Get (and Stay) In the Zone?

Have you ever been in the zone where discipline becomes easy? It's a place where efforts pay off with results. It's a place where there are more good surprises than bad. It's a place where impossible dreams seem possible.

2010 was that sort of a year for me. It was a whirlwind of success. I lost 72 pounds that year and had a spring in my step that affected every area of my life. I got off all prescription medications and got off my CPAP machine (for breathing at night). Life just worked.

Then somehow it became more difficult. I know that happens, but I've found myself asking how I got in the zone in 2010, how I got out of the zone, and how could I get back?

This week has brought me closer to answering those questions. Why? Because I am, once again, in the zone. I just am. I can feel discipline settling in like a very good habit with results in tow.

By U.S. Navy photo by Oscar Sosa [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Navy Gettin' In the Zone

Why? Why is 2013 like 2010 and not like the two years in between? There are many factors, but it seems to boil down to one: I have made myself accountable for my goals.

Yes, I've worked through many of the road blocks that have slowed me down. I have latched onto God's calling and mission. But those things were true before. What is obviously different is that I have publicly stated my goals and I have blogged weekly to hold my feet to the fire...and hopefully inspire folks to successes of their own.

A great plan and accountability to see it through: this can happen many different ways. It could be a close friend who will work it through with you. It could be a group, team or community. The accountability has to be strong enough to hold you to it, but kind enough to not beat you up along the way.

Is this just me or am I onto something? I'd love to hear your take. Meanwhile, here's the week 12 version of my weekly goal updates for 2013.

1. Have 12 monthly date nights with Colleen.

January, check. February, check. March, check! I had a great night of Italian food and Barnes & Noble book browsing with just Colleen and I...and Jason. Yeah, still no sitter but we had a great date all the same. The waitress looked at me strangely as I worked through the menu for healthy options. Hey, I stuck to my guns! Which takes us to...

2. Lose 37 pounds by May 6.

...a two pound week! Yes, it's been a while but I'm now at 22 pounds lost for the year. But here's the most exciting part: I've had three nights sleeping without the CPAP machine! My body tells me whether I need it or not. If I'm craving deeper sleep, I need to use it. If I'm feeling uncomfortable and annoyed with the machine, I need to not use it. I wasn't expecting this until I hit the 37 pound mark, but I'm rolling with it. Thank you, God, for sweet, natural sleep!

I could still hit 37 in late May.

Goal this week: rest the shoulder, eat no flex points, get another 1-2 pounds. May 6 - wild success; June 6 - great success; July 6 - success; August 6  - slow success

3. House projects: Finish Organizing Upstairs Office

OK, this goal got bumped again this week. I did get one task completed. I had a stack of newspapers on my shelf with published articles and contributions of mine worth keeping. I saved iPhone pictures of all the articles in Evernote and stored them safely away.

Goal for next week: finish 3 more of the 6 tasks for this project.
  1. Pile of journals and papers
  2. Hard drives and adaptor
  3. Choose a wall space for bulletin board and pictures.

That said, I knocked out an entire project not on this list: scanning in hundreds of pictures in preparation for my parents' 50th anniversary celebration in September. Yes!

4. Meet my Road Trip writing deadlines for 2013.

I'm half way to another two week chapter completion goal: finishing The Launch: Leaving Home. I had a very late night (!) working on cover design ideas. I've got five options going and I don't think I'm there yet. Here's my leading option, though I believe I need a better graphic.

Link to Evan's book project

The larger writing goal, again,  is to finish section three by June 5. That will include seven chapters (two are done), and that gives me about two weeks per chapter.

5. Complete the new roof project.

This project took an unexpected and wonderful turn this week. I had some great Facebook friends nearby offer some tools and assistance that will make a big difference. Target dates, pending rain, are May 4/5, May 18/19, June 1/2.

Goals for this week:
  • Create a safety plan.
  • Talk with family about tools, ladders.
  • Finance update

Can you tell that I'm excited? This is just a sampling of the great God stuff going on! I love living for His glory! I'm so thankful for the blessing of life!


So, is it just me or is accountability one of the great keys to success?

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