So I have a couple of items on the list that refer to routines and habits, specifically starting a drawing journal and an exercise routine. These are tricky when it comes to crossing off; how does one determine that a habit has been set? I remember doing an exercise in an intro to psych course, we were taught that it takes 25 days (I think) of doing an activity to set a habit. So I decided that once I had about a month of consistent behavior I could go ahead and cross off the items. (With the intent, of course, that I continue.)

Then I realized if I actually shared my progress as it is happening rather than once the goal has been reached, I might be more likely to follow through and succeed. Like you know, if you do your chores you get a gold star? Or unlike my first (failed) attempt to go vegetarian.*

So I made this little calendar, it starts Monday last week, cause that is when I got serious (this time) and got the tracking idea a few days later. I will put it in the sidebar and update it once a week or so. The orange E is for exercise and the blue S for sketch, obviously. The goal is to work out 5-6 (quick) times a week, and sketch at least 4. I am doing way better on the E, which is totally weird. But I am ok with that. One thing at a time. Maybe once the exercising becomes habit it will be easier to encourage a second daily routine?

*when, as a grade schooler, I was first inspired to be a vegetarian after seeing a whole pig roast at the palm springs weekly street fair. but, I wasn't sure if I could pull it off, so I thought I would try first. Give it a week or two and see how it went, then if I found I could actually do it I would, you know, tell my family. The next morning my grandmother was flabergasted at my odd breakfast behavor. "What do you mean you don't wan't bacon? Bbacon and potatos is your favorite? of course you want bacon." Then later in the back seat of my parents car on thed drive back home to Vegas, I sat staring at the beef jerky grandma packed as a snack for me. "Being vegetarian is too hard." I thought. And ate the damn jerky. Later, in middle school I wisened up and told people my idea so they would not try and shove meat down my throught. It stuck that time.


  1. what a great idea! for me, obtaining goals is all about organization...i could use some about now ;)

  2. great idea. while my boyfriend is running everydamnday, i toil at the computer & swear i'm going to draw up a running/yoga schedule... but if i could see my lack of E's on the calendar, i might be a bit more motivated.

  3. I love it! I need lots of Es on my calendar.
    @Various Projects- my husband LOVES to exercise. He is giddy at the thought of climbing a mountain and skiing down it. I once atched him through binoculars while drinking coffee and listening to the radio.

  4. Ditto what Various Projects said about the exercise thing. Ugh.
    But I like where your head's at, Streeter. Maybe your motivation will rub off on me.

  5. I have to use reverse psychology on myself to get these projects going. As in, "You know, you don't HAVE to exercise." Then I go (to myself), "I can if I want to...what, are you gonna STOP ME??" It's a lot of arguing with myself. I think your plan is more normal.

  6. I am also struggling with scheduling exercise and creative time (writing). What has helped (a teeny wee bit) is blocking out specific times and PLACES it has to happen. Like, if I say I'm going to write at home for an hour in the mornings, that's not specific enough because actually if I'm at home it's more interesting to cook/clean/play with the cat. So I have to choose to leave my comfy house during a designated hour, which is hard...I really enjoy your blog & how honest you are about these things!

  7. what is it about vegetarianism that crumples under family pressure? i first tried in junior high and let my mom bully me into eating chicken at dinner one night, which SUCKED; i didn't grow a pair until my freshman year of high school.

    as for the exercise thing, i found it really helped to start keeping track of it via my 101 in 1001 list; on the first one i had to go to the gym at least 100 times, which was obviously very doable (but i still felt good when it was officially checked off, and good every time i updated the number online). i also tend to tie it to less healthy habits - like i can only drink or have candy if i've gone to the gym that day. given how much i like candy, it's been effective.

    and finally, the palm springs weekly street fair is just trauma incarnate. that's where joe and i saw the bucket of pit bull puppies for sale when we were out there a few months ago (i wanted to steal their bucket).

  8. I'm so glad you broke the break. I hadn't checked in for a while. But this morning I was pleasantly surprised to find a few posts to catch up while enjoying my morning coffee. I hope you're doing well.

    Love the black and white night shots.

  9. love this! what kind of exercise are you doing?

  10. Anonymous9:15 AM

    2 things:
    1) can you make me a calendar, too?
    2) that story involving beef jerky made me crack up.

  11. That's awesome. I know the feeling of wanting to pull something off before sharing it. It's tough sometimes to know when include folks and when to wait until the task is done.

    In this case I think it's good to include. That way we can cheer you on.

    I used to run 5 miles 5 days a week. Then I went back to school and it went to 3 miles 3-4 day. Then I got a job and it went to 3-4 miles one day a week. Then nothing.

    I've started doing interval running for 20 minutes 5-6 days a week and it's been great. It's easy and when I try to put it off...I just remind myself it's 20 minutes. Come on.

    I would also like to sketch more. It's one of the skills that lag in my job (graphic design). Maybe I'll apply this same formula.

    I think those of us that feel super stressed it's because we try to take it all on at once. Instead of one moment at a time.

  12. Eh, that calendar's gorgeous. I think I'd use it just to make sure it filled up and looked pretty.

    Hope things are better, now.

  13. ashlie, most days i do a video. jillian michaels 30 day shred. cheesy i know, but i don't like running, i refuse to spend money and waste energy resources by going to the gym, and i just don't always have time to do something outdoors. but i try to mix it up with hikes when i can.