Streaker

I didn’t address this yesterday but it was clear to many of you that I broke my streak of posting at 58.

The first day I didn’t write I didn’t even realize it. I flew to Denver, drove around to see houses, had dinner with a friend and collapsed into bed without giving blogging a thought. If that had been it I would probably ask for a mulligan and just extend my goal by a single day.

However I chose not the write the next day. It felt just like that cheat day on a diet. You start with a small piece of toast and end up with a carton of ice cream in bed at 11:59pm. I mean, you could have turned it around, but then you probably wouldnt need to diet in the first place.

By you I mean me. I don’t think any of you need to diet.

So that second day. That day of choice where I chose not to write is the one that forces me to look more closely at my 100 day goal.

I felt a little fuzzy about the motivation behind it even as I began. I am still not totally clear. When I woke up Sunday and realized I hadn’t written I felt terrible. So that is a bit of information. After I passed day 50 I really started to think I could make it to 100. Choosing not to write the next day reaffirmed that I want to accomplish this goal. I want to be able to say that I did something difficult despite the bumps and uncertainties of life I finished something.

Now I need to determine what will feel like finishing. Which of these ideas sounds fair to you. If you can offer reasons that will be great. Reading your thinking will help me inform my own.

1. Start again today (or yesterday) at day 1 (or day 2.) This has the advantage of clearly accomplishing my goal. This has the disadvantage of being really really hard.

2. Create a formula for missed days, then add them to the end. 1 missed day = 2 extra posts. 2 missed days = 4 extra posts, where each day missed = 2, 7 or n posts. If I never miss a post again I will have to add 4 posts to the count to reach the goal. Has the advantage of helping me reach my goal. Has the disadvantage of approximating the day care experiment. Do you know that experiment? Parents were consistently late picking up their children from daycare. So in an effort to incentivize parents to be on time the daycare began charing $5 for every 10 minute interval that parents were late. The administration (and many researchers after the fact) were surprised to see late pick ups increase dramatically. Parents who had previously been on time began opting in on late pickup. There are lots of theories about this outcome but in general it boils down conforming to norms being a motivator…and putting a price on tardiness made it a legitimate option.

3. Just pick up and keep going until I get to 102. This has the advantage of being super easy. This is the disadvantage of taking the teeth out of the challenge.

What do you think?

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Anna Palmer

Anna Rosenblum Palmer is a freelance writer based in Denver, CO. She writes about sex, parenting, cat pee, bi-polar disorder and the NFL; all things inextricably intertwined with her mental health. In her free time she teaches her boys creative swear words, seeks the last missing puzzle piece and thinks deeply about how she is not exercising. Her writing can be found on Babble, Parent.co, Great Moments in Parenting, Ravishly, Good Men Project, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Playpen, Crazy Good Parent, and YourTango. She also does a fair amount of navel gazing on her own blog at annarosenblumpalmer.com.

7 thoughts on “Streaker”

  1. My first thought is you have to shoot for number one. If it were me, I don’t think I’d feel like I had actually reached the goal unless I had really done it for 100 days. Having said that, other than eating daily, I don’t think I’ve ever done anything 100 days in a row so who am I to judge? I think number two is complicated. The temptation to skip might become stronger, then you’ll constantly be adding and subtracting and isn’t blogging enough work without math? So, my vote (as if I have one) is number three. Why? Because given the fact that you’ve decided to move across the country, have to sell your current house, change schools, pack, move, unpack, find new banks, doctors, etc, I think you should give yourself a break. Maybe #3 takes the teeth out of the original challenge but adding in all the extra stuff you have to do now means that overall, you should break even in the challenge department. Just my two cents…..

  2. I’m saying that you have to go for #1…. but maybe you should shorten it not to be 100. Maybe 75 could suffice? I think to get that esteem buzz that you are looking for here means you have to finish the goal. I currently have a similar goal with running. I ran 3x per week for 6 weeks. It felt good to not let myself down. I was supposed to do it for 12 weeks. Now, I haven’t run in 2 weeks … and I don’t think I will today either. So there!

  3. I am all for setting realistic and reasonable goals, so I would likely opt for #2 or #3, but that’s my thing… I think you have to be honest with yourself about what’s happening in your life over the next 100 days. That would essentially take you through mid-June, a busy time of year for moms. How would you feel if you missed your goal for a second time? Also, are there ways to make it more attainable, like writing several in advance? (I know many bloggers who do this.)

    1. Good food for thought. With a move mid June will in fact be a busy time…and still doing something every day is important to me. I wonder about waiting until after the move and then starting in August. OR something.

  4. Keep going. Starting over isn’t necessary. Personally, it feels punitive. You’re more than half way. Go with #3.

  5. I am a bit late to this party, but I think #3 is the best option. While waiting until you move to reset your goal sounds great, it is possible that there will be obstacles that prevent you from starting when you desire and it will be 2015 and you will have been done at 58 (a very admirable number by the way).

    So, please keep writing and I know that I will keep reading.

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