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Saturday, 17 January 2015

One week down

**Sorry for the delay getting this post up. We had a little confusion with Blogger. Usually we will post on Fridays between noon and 6pm Pacific Standard Time (between 8pm Friday and 2am Saturday GMT).**

Thanks for signing up!   We are excited to get going.  The new year is underway, and we’ve all now had a few weeks to try to keep up with whatever resolutions we may have made.   I’ve been intrigued this year with figuring out how I can do a better job of keeping up with my resolutions.   I’m experimenting with the Seinfeld Chain, which JaneB mentioned last week:  I’ve got two going – one for some kind of exercise/activity that keeps my body moving, and one for working on the house or garden.   Amstr is tracking her food daily.   I’m curious about what works for you.  I like making visible what I’ve done, but I don’t always remember to write things down, so this may not be the best technique.  (It really adds another resolution, about writing things down!)    So my question as we move forward is, what helps you keep going on your resolutions?   Do you keep track in any way?  Is there something that has NOT worked? 
 Just for simplicity here’s a suggested format:
  • Thoughts or responses to the week's question or issue
  • Report on last week's goals
  • Goals for next week
 Here are the goals for this past week:   
Allan Wilson:
1. To complete the data spreadsheet
2. Exercise four days

1. Go through yoga DVD once a week.
2. Finish article with vague deadline.
3. Make substantial progress on article due at the end of the month.
4. Submit rejected creative piece to other journal.

1) Belcher's Introduction, Week 1 & 2.
2) To read 5 important articles
3) A progress report to Professor.
4) To exercise for 5 minutes everyday.
5) 3 no-snack-days this week.

1) sketch plan for D2B;
2) D2B first 2 tasks (revise TOC; cut and paste sections in intro and chapter 1?
3) journal 5x/week;
4) exercise 4 times/week;
5) track food every day.

1) Complete draft of paper B
2) Revise figure for paper A from the last session (still not compete, but very close)

1. Start transcribing hand written paper text into journal template form and figure out the figures needed.
2. Find out deadline and requirements for photography competition.
3. Tidy spare room for decorating (also room that holds the craft stuff so need to decorate before I can start making).

Elizabeth Ann Mitchell:
I got word this morning that the article I worked on during the last TLQ group was accepted, with revisions. I want to address all the comments of the first reviewer this week.  

1. Complete revisions of article 3 that I wrote in September, on which I've now had comments.
2. Read book MS. for press
3. Write introductory section for chapter to ensure flow
4. Walk at least 5 days, for 1/2 hour
5. Weed back walk
6. Deal with junk pile in kitchen

1) abstracts for conference
2) 5 minutes every day of house related stuff
3) 5 minutes every day of some kind of exercise (more is encouraged, I'm trying to set up Seinfeld Chains so that these things are no longer occasional blitzes but are just normal)
4) work through all the comments on Crunchier, do the easy ones, write a task list for the more complicated ones.

Good Enough Woman:
1) Cook a Cuban meal for my mom's birthday this Thursday (I've never done this before, but I asked for Cuban cookbooks for my birthday, and this is her repayment!)
2) Relax during two-day get away with husband (not worrying about work or PhD)
3) Work at least 10-hours each week on thesis
4) Reading for Thesis Chapter 2: finish one primary source, re-read another, two secondary chapters
5) do 30-day challenges (water, 7 minute workout)

Earnest English:
-unpack boxes on a regular basis
-meditate at least once
-write 4x this week and get draft to computer
-get ahead with teaching matters
-1-2 hours on scholarship (reading and writing)
-spend time with hubby
-keep on top of decent food habits (especially: always go to work with food)

Contingent Cassandra:
--on the 4 days I’m working at home, work on establishing a weekday routine, including exercise and a regular bedtime, that can carry in to the semester (which starts the week after next).
--cook and freeze at least one more pot of soup.
--think about DH course goals and how I taught last time; explore additional tools/techniques I might use this time; get course site and syllabus done and begin drafting assignments/activities.
--make progress on apartment organizing, garden fence, or both (choice depends on the weather).


  1. The one huge thing that helps me follow through on resolutions is to schedule time for them. I just got a Passion Planner ( which has places to schedule entire days and places to write weekly work and personal goals. I'm not always great at following the schedule exactly, but it definitely helps.

    My husband and I also started using Beeminder ( to track goals. You enter your progress every day, and if you miss your goal, you pay $5 to beeminder. It has all sorts of fancy lines and stastitics-y stuff on it, and all that makes for pretty charts.

    I'm curious what works for other people!

    Weekly goal #1:
    1) sketch plan for D2B--yes
    2) D2B first 2 tasks--first task
    3) journal 5x/week--yes
    4) exercise 4 times/week--yes--5x/week
    5) track food every day--so close!

    This past week I was a little frazzled. One kid was home Monday, the other on Tuesday. We’re leaving for a trip Fri. afternoon, so the prep has thrown me off. Plus, we have a three-day weekend, so I lose a day of work. I spent most of the week working on the things I have deadlines for Tues. and Wed. next week. I neglected D2B, though I did some thought work and I have a clear plan for next week.

    Next week's goals:
    1) D2B cut and paste intro and first chapter into new sections
    2) take another look at provisional TOC
    3) journal 5x
    4) exercise 4x; track food
    5) read a couple chapters on writing a book proposal

    1. I'm very bad at scheduling time, so this is good to think about. Given that you had a "frazzled" week(and I love that description) you did amazingly well!

    2. I need something along the lines of the passion planner. Thanks for the link!

    3. Did you get the bigger passion planner or the smaller one?

  2. the week's question or issue I start so many systems and very rarely really stick with any one, so I'm hardly an expert here (I love to be organised and write stuff down but as it's not an essential it tends to slide as soon as the going gets tough). My current diary system has been working for about 8 months now and is still going strong - it's very, very simple, a word document with a table calendar for one month per page, kept in dropbox so it syncs between computers. I print out the latest page(s) if I'm going to be away from the internet for more than a couple of days. I use colour-coding for different kinds of calendar items - blue for classes or teaching meetings and brown for administrivia, red for domestic stuff, for example. I put timed events in with their hours, and deadlines for big stuff. I then have a file card (I like file cards because they are quite small, so you CAN'T panic yourself with a huge list, and because they are more durable than paper so they survive a few days in pockets, and because they make a handy bookmark...) which has a list of the short term stuff, stuff on my mind, reminders etc. I cross items off as I do them and when I run out of space on the card I start a new one, copying over any undone items. I also jot down things I did unexpectedly - e.g. if I end up spending a couple of hours doing a task not on any other list - just as a record. It makes them feel real. I like the transience, the lightness, the lack of obligation about these methods - empty spaces in a normal appointments diary make me feel somehow lazy or neglectful. Because I am a bit dumb, sure, but I don't need a bit of stationery making me feel bad.

    This year I'm going to also try a sort of mini new year every fortnight, 25 chances to check I'm still going in roughly the right direction, celebrate the good and write off the not so good, and probably blog about it. We'll see if I manage that!

    Seinfeld Chains: I'm going to try stickers this week - put a calendar page and a sheet of stickers somewhere I see every evening (I'm thinking on the door of the bathroom cabinet now, I clean my teeth and take out my lenses even on the worst of days!), and getting a sticker for each day I add a link to my chain. Wasn't the original idea that you make a paper chain and add a link each day you manage the task? That would work too - something concrete, visual, a little playful...

    1. I love the index card idea. I'll have to try it. (And I'm always running out of bookmarks.) That fortnight New Year idea sound wonderful too. I'm trying monthly chunks, but I may need to move the checkpoints closer together.

  3. that was too long so I had to split my reply. Oops!
    last week's goals: 1) abstracts for conference - written and submitted by the deadline. 2) 5 minutes every day of house related stuff - the longest chain I managed was 3 days, but I can actually see some of the effects of those 5 minutes even after a week or so, which is very motivating to keep picking up the chain again. Little steps! 3) 5 minutes every day of some kind of exercise. Again, the longest actual chain I managed was 3 days, but it actually did make me a bit more aware of when I could sneak the tiniest bit of activity in - walking the long way around to the administrator's office takes about 45 second more than the short way, and I go there at least 4 or 5 times a day - and (although it's embarrassing when you get walked in on) doing a couple of slow stretches whilst I wait for the copier to do its thing might be part of why my back has been less 'vocal' than it has in ages (or possibly because I am leaving the office when I start to feel fed up, not forcing myself to carry on...). 4) work through all the comments on Crunchier, do the easy ones, write a task list for the more complicated ones. There weren't any easy ones and the list was too daunting :-( but I did do some work on it, and it feels less daunting than it did. So... small progress.

    Goals for next week: grading, grading and grading with a side of grading is the order of the day, so I'm setting some teeny-tiny goals to go alongside it.
    1) aquire or print out a calendar page and some coloured stickers, post them where I can see and use them to record my chain efforts
    2) 5 minutes every day of house related stuff
    3) 5 minutes every day of some kind of exercise
    4) 2 lots of 30 minutes on Crunchier

    1. Hurrah for progress! Maybe you'll start a trend with the copier stretching sessions. Your goals this week look like an excellent way to supplement a heavy grading week and not lose momentum in important but oft neglected (by me anyway) areas. Here's to a great week!

    2. I think the fact that you can begin to see the impact of the 5 minute chunks on clutter is really exciting!

  4. Hello,

    Topic: When new year starts, say, sometimes in January, I consider what I want this new year to be, and then write it down in a letter paper and put it in an envelope. I make two, both handwritten, and I put one in my journal and carry it around, another I put on my desk. When I see the envelope, on the desk when I start to work, or find it in my journal when I am goint to write down something, I remember my hopes of this year and feel motivated. I am not saying this works perfectly, but just I like the way.

    Last goals:
    1) Belcher's Introduction, Week 1 & 2. - only Introduction and week 1.
    2) To read 5 important article. - two.
    3) A progress report to Professor. - half written but finally started.
    4) To exercise for 5 minutes everyday. - I miss it only 3 days. Good.
    5) 3 no-snack-days this week. - well, only 1 day.

    Next goals:
    1) Week 2 of Belcher's book.
    2) The 3 articles and review one important book.
    3) A progress report.
    4) To exercise for 5 minutes everyday.
    5) 3 no-snack-days this week. I will try it again.

    I will be again very busy next week, but I want to go ahead with my plan. Have a happy week, everyone!

    1. Congratulations on lots of good progress last week. You may not have accomplished your goals, but you started them all. Often, starting is the hardest part. I hope your busy week goes well.

  5. I really like the idea of the Seinfeld chain -- I'd never heard of it before. I have to think about that. But I find that my life has too many things in it to make a daily practice (of writing or working out or anything extra) very reasonable and what I've found is reasonability is vital because I will push myself to do things and then get overwhelmed or sick or make my whole life about accomplishing that one daily goal, which tends to make me focused but grumpy.. (When I was single, this wasn't a big deal, but now it affects the entire family, so I have to be more responsible about my goals.) I could do other things though in a Seinfeld chain, like not drinking caffeine, but it's just not important enough for me to track in that way. The things that are important to me to track I do try to write down, but I'm with Natalie Goldberg on this one. She says to not say that you're going to write everyday because you're not going to and then you feel bad about it and that's actually worse because it creates a whole feeling of guilt that becomes another impediment to writing. This works for me. I think a week is a better basis for goals and things than each day.

    Last Week: I got sick on Tuesday and so I think it's amazing I managed anything.

    -unpack boxes on a regular basis: I did this on days I did not go to work
    -meditate at least once: I didn't meditate, but I did a really good bout of very conscious and meditative yoga. It felt so good I want to do it again tonight.
    -write 4x this week and get draft to computer: I wrote a bit, not 4x/this week, but still I did get a draft to the computer
    -get ahead with teaching matters: yes. I even did the amazingly smart thing of looking ahead even late on Friday, which saved me from having a problem. This is a bit harder over the weekend, I notice, so I put working on my list and hopefully I'll get to it.
    -1-2 hours on scholarship (reading and writing): This is what really suffered. Instead of going in to work on the day that I set aside for this, I dropped in and then left.
    -spend time with hubby: yes
    -keep on top of decent food habits (especially: always go to work with food): I had one day where I didn't eat my lunch, and this is the day I ended up sick by the end of my teaching day. So: I resolved that this won't happen again, figuring out what to say to students and colleagues if they try to take over my lunchtime. I've also resolved to get off caffeine. We got a wonderful espresso machine over break which led to me drinking two lattes a day, which is terrible for me. So, now I'm just frothing my milk for noncaffeinated tea. I'm amazed at myself actually.

    Next Week:

    -write often and get something onto the computer
    -1 hour at least on scholarship
    -get ahead on teaching matters
    -eat/make good food (at least one good thing a week)
    -do Artist's Date on Wednesday
    -maintain limits about my time
    -yoga at least 1 time this week

    Have a great week!

    1. The Seinfeld change can work really well for trying not to do something (my brother used it successfully when trying to quit his daily pot habit). I think for it to work for doing something, that something needs to be defined in a way that creates success--say 5 minutes a day of writing, instead of an hour a day of writing. If it's becomes something discouraging, it seems like it's not serving its purpose.

      You did an amazing amount for being sick! I hope you are better, or at least recovering quickly.

      Let us know what you figure out to tell students and colleagues to protect your lunch time. I would have an awful time figuring out how to do that, but it's such a necessary thing.

  6. Well having posed the question, obviously I have nothing brilliant to say, but I think I might adapt JaneB's index card method. My work computer has a sticky note program, and I end up with all sorts of random sticky notes and then when I'm home I don't see it. So the index card sounds interesting.

    Goals for last week:
    1. Complete revisions of article 3 that I wrote in September, on which I've now had comments: DONE
    2. Read book MS. for press: DONE
    3. Write introductory section for chapter to ensure flow: kind of done, enough to signal the issues, but will require more work at a later stage, working on flow.
    4. Walk at least 5 days, for 1/2 hour: 6 days.
    5. Weed back walk: partly done, but then I decided to prune all the roses, make marmalade, rake leaves. So lots of garden work accomplished
    6. Deal with junk pile in kitchen: I mostly emptied the basketmy cleaners have used to dump things that are on the counter. I made some progress on other piles, but in reality there are at least two and a half scary piles in the kitchen. Sigh.
    One thing I did was start walking late afternoon. This seemed more manageable, but it also helped me sleep better. Win-win!

    I am away for the weekend, surrounded by family, so things will be a bit slow this week, but I'd like to not lose momentum when I get back home on Monday night.
    Goals for this week:
    1. Map out the next chapter, and begin reading frightening amount of secondary literature. . .
    2. Plan trip to lovely research library - this will help the chapter, but it also will get my mother to a dr appointment far far away.
    3. Walk three days.
    4. 5 minutes daily on scary piles of mail or garden stuff

    1. Congrats on your win-win! And you accomplished a lot this week!

      I like your strategy of switching to a time goal for the scary piles. I'd probably just list them again and then put them off for a number of weeks. Your 5 min a day should work much better and make them less overwhelming.

      Hope you are having a great trip!

  7. Thoughts on the topic: I try not to have “resolutions,” but one or two “word(s) for the year.” It is a semantic difference, I know, but it works for me. Simplicity and minimalism are my words for 2015.

    I like the idea of a Seinfield chain for accountability, and am going to investigate using it. I have my habits: meditation, yoga, and writing, but until they were habits, I ticked the boxes every day I did them for accountability.

    For the small, transient things such as making doctors’ appointments, I write three such tasks on a post-it note and stick it on that day in my planner. If I don’t write them down like that, I will surely forget, day after day. Striking through them, and tearing up the post-it note when they are all struck through, gives me an inordinate amount of pleasure.

    Last week’s goals:
    I got word January 5th that the article I wrote last semester was accepted with revisions. I want to address all the comments of the first reviewer.
    Yes, actually, I had two weeks, so I finished the revisions suggested by both reviewers last Friday, and returned the revised manuscript to the journal.

    Next week’s goals:
    1) I will return to writing an hour at least five mornings out of seven.
    2) I will spend at least one hour every day dealing with my email, which is still bloated from the holidays.
    3) I need to schedule three doctors’ appointments.

    1. I think you are so right that certain things become habits, and we stop needing to pay as much attention to them. I am very much a creature of routine, so once the routine works, I'm good. I also like the post-it note - somewhat like JaneBs index card, it's manageable and physical. I'm realizing increasingly that I don't work well if everything is digital, so these physical ways to keep track are great.
      And congratulations on getting the article back so fast!

  8. Topic: I was very big on (maybe a little obsessive about) planning/tracking in my younger days, and have probably swung a bit too far in the other direction at present. On the other hand, I don't have the kind of schedule where it's realistic to expect to do anything *every* day, and, even with no family to affect, I share Earnest English's concern with becoming "focused but grumpy" at having not met a goal that wasn't realistic in the first place. I'm still a believer that habits/routines are important (if only because they reduce the need to devote energy to decision-making), but, since I think it's rare in mid-life to be able to be quite that focused on a single goal for a long period of time (well, at least unless one has someone else taking care of many of the practicalities of life, and/or can manage to ignore them), I think one needs a couple of alternative habits/routines that work for different kinds of days (so, for me, teaching vs. non-teaching days during weeks when I'm teaching; non-teaching weeks when I'm lucky enough to have them; teaching weeks during the summer when I'm online, etc.).

    Of course, right now I'm pretty sure I'm beginning a semester when I'm going to scramble to keep up more than plan and track progress, because I've deliberately made an already-heavy teaching load even heavier (and because I am, to some extent, making up one class as I go along, so I don't entirely know what I need to do, or how long it will take -- both anxiety-provoking circumstances, but fairly necessary under the circumstances). That might argue even more strongly for the value of some self-care routines: exercise, cooking/eating, sleep, etc. We'll see how I do on those (especially given that it's past my bedtime at the moment).

    1. --on the 4 days I’m working at home, work on establishing a weekday routine, including exercise and a regular bedtime, that can carry in to the semester (which starts the week after next).
      --cook and freeze at least one more pot of soup.
      --think about DH course goals and how I taught last time; explore additional tools/techniques I might use this time; get course site and syllabus done and begin drafting assignments/activities.
      --make progress on apartment organizing, garden fence, or both (choice depends on the weather).
      Accomplished on last week's goals: no routine as yet, but some exercise (one walk); one pot of soup; pretty good progress on DH course (with plenty more to go); one section of garden fence.

      Goals for next week:

      --Continue work on establishing exercise/sleep routines

      --cook/freeze another pot of soup

      --finish DH syllabus & calendar; create prep/testing exercises for first major reading/module; make substantial progress on figuring out DH tool & crafting assignment(s) using it.

      --dismember Christmas tree; transport to garden for use as mulch/bulb cover; other apartment/garden work as possible.

    2. It's interesting, I was never obsessive about tracking things, thus my interest in methods that might (especially) help change some habits I don't particularly like. But I also share your sense of a life that's sufficiently complicated that I need to be flexible. Good luck with the new class! I can never go much beyond the syllabus because the class changes as the students interact with me, but that would be even more so with the DH class.

  9. This week’s topic is near and dear, as organizing brings out all the good and bad of my obsessive and compulsive tendencies (nothing pathological there). I have been simultaneously keeping a to do list in MS Word, a spreadsheet, a Seinfeld chain list, and also have old abandoned lists in Trello and Wunderlist. So I’m trying something new, which is a bullet journal, where I am trying to create a handwritten method that brings together all of these different methods of organization. My approach to the chain list, in the manner of the bullet journal, is to make 7 boxes for each task I’d like to do often (writing, research, yoga, duolingo class) then check off the days I manage to get the thing done. If I write four days, I can see that I’m in the plus column and feel good that there are more boxes checked than not. I’m just two weeks in with this, so will report on how it goes.

    Last weeks goals:
    1. Go through yoga DVD once a week. 2. Finish article with vague deadline. 3. Make substantial progress on article due at the end of the month. 4. Submit rejected creative piece to other journal.
    No on everything. Last minute domestic and household projects to get done before classes begin took precedence over everything else. I am forwarding these goals to next week, but may have to forgo the #3 article (not something for which I have made a commitment) because I also have a conference presentation to prepare for the end of the month.

    Good to be back with you all!

    1. You are the third person who has mentioned hand written... I wonder how important that is.
      Sorry about the domestic demands. When they happen, they really do take over!

    2. Of course, I can't find the citation, but I saw an article citing respected research that writing things by hand used a part of the brain that typing on a computer did not. Lecture notes taken by hand were more easily recalled, without even referring to them, than those students had typed during class. Fascinating!

    3. There's a lot of research on the importance of handwriting for elementary aged children, but I haven't gone to look for research on handwriting in adults. Fascinating!

  10. A writer friend of mine just put me onto a site that has free planners for creative people--those not dependent on an 8-5 schedule, which sounds a lot like most academics. It is Productive Flourishing, with some interesting products, including a productivity heatmap, which I really want to try.

  11. Topic - I'm fascinated by these chains and want to try it. I can see why it would be really appealing to get an unbroken chain of doing something. I used Wunderlist quite well last semester provided I made a daily habit of updating and noting down the next steps in each task. I've got to get it going for this semester (which starts Monday). I may give the Seinfeld chains a go at home with some of the other stuff that's on the to do list.

    Last week: I've not done any transcribing of the paper as I was away for two weeks and am still struggling with TRQ marking and pre-semester stuff. I did download the template and figure out some formatting issues. I did figure out the entry dates for the competition and have decided that I can't get the stuff done in time so will consider one later in the year. I tidied the spare room because someone was coming to measure the house for new carpets. It is still pretty tidy but I don't know when it will get painted so I'll probably have to do it again. Sigh. I did make two hand crafted items and 18 jars of maramlade so I'll count that as four items towards my target of 60.

    This week:
    (1) get the fabric cut for the 40 bags I have to make and buy the thread.
    (2) make some progress on transcribing the paper.
    (3) get back into the habit of writing each day.

    1. 18 jars of marmalade s impressive - I only did 9!
      One of the things I keep reminding myself is that things that should be easy, like formatting, can take an inordinate amount of time. Good luck this week!

  12. One of the reasons I'm trying Seinfeld Chains this year, with small things, is that I find them a much more positive way of approaching habit creation (and I don't think they have to be 'every day', they could be every week day or every day I go to the office or whatever works). Saying I must do X every day makes the first day I don't do X the day the whole item is a failure. Trying to build a Seinfeld Chain of doing X is somehow more positive in my head - even if I only get a chain of 2 or 3, it's somehow easier to start another chain...

    Tricking my head into doing stuff works for me! The thing about these small items is that we all DO have chain-habits already, things that aren't mandatory but have become automatic parts of our lives - I clean my teeth every day, brush my hair NEARLY every day, put on a clean pair of (underwear-type) pants every day (even the days when I stay in pyjamas all day). My mood and my environment would definitely benefit if I also, say, danced to one track on the radio every day and did 5 minutes of housework (for every day I'm not travelling - though even then, 5 minutes of walking to the loos at the other end of the conference venue or walking a circuit of the airport and five minutes of curating notes and paperwork would both count and be doable). I actually find four day a week type items a bit harder because it's sooooo easy to not do them the first three days (because you have the rest of the week) and then they become 'every day' obligations anyway!

    Basically, I am starting from 101 remedial on being an adult, pretty much every week. :-)

  13. I would like to make a brief check in now and then come back to read other post and make topic comments.

    Last week:
    1) Cook a Cuban meal for my mom's birthday this Thursday (I've never done this before, but I asked for Cuban cookbooks for my birthday, and this is her repayment!) YES. I did this, and then I made another Cuban meal a couple of days later. Both were successful.
    2) Relax during two-day get away with husband (not worrying about work or PhD). YES. It was very leisurely.
    3) Work at least 10-hours each week on thesis. YES for the first week. NO for the second. I had computer failure.
    4) Reading for Thesis Chapter 2: finish one primary source, re-read another, two secondary chapters. ALL but second primary source.
    5) 30 Day Challenges: 60 oz water, 7-minute workout daily. WELL, I've done better with the workout that with the water.

    For the past week, I have been dealing with computer failure as I try to get ready to start the semester tomorrow. The technology issues have disrupted my research.

    Goals for this week:
    1) Stock up on good food and make at least one good meal using farm box goodies.
    2) Help daughter with presentation preparation.
    3) Spend 7 hours on Chapter 2 research and writing
    4) Add at least 1000 words to Chapter 2

    1. Ack for computer failure! That's really hard, because whenever it happens we are (or at least I am) confronted with our dependence. Given the computer failure, I'm impressed by how much you did accomplish.

  14. hi everyone, sorry for the late check in (again!). I rather lost track of time- being away on fieldwork, and then coming back to mountains of catch up work disturbs my sense of timing..

    Last week's goals:
    1. To complete the data spreadsheet
    2. Exercise four days
    I completed the spreadsheet- nearly killing myself in the process I might say, which wasn't good. I was SO exhausted afterwards. It was so intense- and ideally I wished I had done it in a more measured manner, but I haven't figured out how to do that, instead of breathing and dreaming it for four days.
    I think I exercised four days, but can't even be sure. But what I do know is that I have made more of an effort, and have been walking with friends on the weekend, so I feel much more like walking for fun is happening. But I like the idea of Seinfeld chains (I hadn't heard of them before either), and this would be a great one to try with exercise, as a lot of it is about keeping the need to exercise closer to the front of my mind, and not letting it slip away.
    So, my goals for next week are:
    1. finish the next spreadsheet
    2. add in a couple more bits of data from the fieldwork
    3. plan to exercise daily using Seinfeld chains, with no particular time limits
    4. think about the questions we are using the spreadsheets for.

    topic: I find that having support from others helps me meet goals- this last week my daughter has been visiting and cooking for us, and we are now on a healthy eating regime- it is the most enormous help having her do the intellectual lifting for this- me, I just eat. I am going to be very sorry when she leaves. It is just so much easier for me to go along with something, rather than try and create a healthy environment myself. Sad, but true.
    allan wilson

    1. It's interesting that having to do something is both productive (you got the spreadsheet done) and frustrating. I'm also intrigued by your comment about fun: not sure that academics value it adequately!

  15. Apology: for being terribly late for the first real check-in.

    Topic: Printing a little calendar and crossing off days in colour for days where the "do X every day" resolution comes in has been very successful for me in the past - it does not take any time and does not take much thinking. I do little calendars for a month or two, one for each activity (usually some form of writing and eating or running. It also helps to have a public accountability element - for exercise I signed up for a half marathon in May (with a friend who is flying in for it) to make sure I actually do it, otherwise I will simultaneously suffer and be made fun of :)

    I started this month with a big fail on all fronts, I'm behind in everything because a research project got out of hand, and I had to travel for a week to do lab work and my classes got rearranged to give me a whole extra one for the term so the beginning was just chaotic. I've been back 3 days and am slowly catching up. Declaring a complete restart to the term! On the happy side, the project turned out great, and classes are now settling down.

    Previous goals:
    1) Complete draft of paper B - FAIL
    2) Revise figure for paper A from the last session (still not compete, but very close) - FAIL
    Enough said, will transfer these goals straight to this week...

    This week's goals:
    1) Draft of paper B
    2) Fix figure on paper A and send to readers
    3) Get classes a bit more caught up and plan a week ahead.

    1. The challenge, always, with TLQ stuff is that it is always threatened by TRQ stuff. I'm glad things are settling down!