If the devil is in the details the finishing is in the follow up.

I started this whole “quit something every Thursday” thing sort of on a whim and sort of just to see if I could do it. I had no idea how far it would go seeing as how one of the things I really needed to quit doing was leaving things undone. I suppose in that twisty way irony has of worming into things it makes sense.

One thing I have learned over the years is that follow up and ultimately accountability are absolutely key to getting things done and building trust and respect. We all want those things and I’m no different from anyone else. I used to lie to myself and say the approval of others doesn’t matter but it does and while this week’s post in this category isn’t solely about that I thought you all might like to know how these things have gone that I vowed to quit.

Answering emails after work hours: Have to admit, still one of my favorites. If the relationship between me and my work was posted on my Facebook page its status would have to be “it’s complicated.” As much as I need work and even sometimes like it, it’s empowering to say, at least in my head, ‘Not after 6:00, sweetie.’

Clutter: Always a struggle for me and an area where the pendulum swings. I admit I vacillate between “throw my crap around” and “The Anal Retentive Chef” (Phil Hartman, we miss you)

Drinking pop: Not as hard as I thought but a little like smoking; you never lose your taste. Since quitting this in October I imagine I’ve had pop five or six times and it was awesome! Sorry I couldn’t be more encouraging.

Eating after 9:00: Also not as hard as I thought especially given how I relied on this to fall asleep. Like t.v. that follows I substituted a new routine, reading, that chills me out and gives me a sense of accomplishment and it contains no Trans fats or calories!

T.V: I still allow myself Husker football and the occasional movie but really not a big struggle. In fact, it’s kind of fun to hear the gasps and see uneasy looks when I

tell people I don’t watch any television. On the down side when people talk about shows, I got nothin’.

Eating candy in the afternoon: Also not as hard as I thought. I’ve substituted something healthier like nuts or just had a large bottle of water. Don’t get me wrong I still “Jones” for a Snickers probably once a month but when you’ve run a string of days without one you kind of don’t want to break it.

Drinking: This may sound like a broken record but really even less of a struggle. It helps that I’ve shared I don’t drink and why with the guys at work and that my family reads the blog. Having a logical reason (it crashes my mood about three days later) is something that everyone can understand. I don’t even have to use the “d” word (that comes later).

Anger: Here’s one that I could slip back into. However, I’ve found that with this one and others, just making the declaration that I’m cutting this out has helped to remind me when I start to go down that path. That’s not to say I don’t get angry and frustrated at times but it’s not my default emotion and I only allow myself about a minute of anger before I just say ‘screw it’.

Letting others have ownership of what I do: Thornier ground here but it always is when you’re talking about habits and what goes on in your head. You’d think for a guy that considers himself someone who does things of his own volition this wouldn’t be so hard but this one’s definitely a work in progress.

Expectations: Apparently for a couple of weeks in December I thought it would be a good idea to overhaul my head. And just like when they tried to cram it into a Junior High-sized helmet in 8th grade it ain’t easy. I’m working on it though.

Drinking more than 2 cups of coffee in the morning: This is much easier territory to navigate. I won’t lie by omission and tell you I never have a cup around 2:30; it’s happened. But I seem to sail by this one pretty easily. The curious thing is I’m just about as happy drinking hot water as I am coffee. Wonder if the temperature has something to do with it? My guess is, like so many other things we all do; it’s just a habit.

Well, kids, as so often goes dad has gotten too chatty and this has gone long. (That might be because he’s long gone but we’ll leave that alone) I’ll post the rest of this status report next week. In the meantime if you know someone who might be amused by this train wreck of a project and interested to see how a guy thinks he can quit something every week for a year, please pass it along to your friends.

If you got this from a friend and would like to get a simple email every Saturday with links to the prior week’s post you can subscribe. Subscribing is free and there’s no commitment. I don’t sell or share emails so you don’t have to worry about getting a bunch of junk. Just click here to subscribe.

If you would like to read more of my stuff, that’s just stupendous! Click here and you’ll go back to the home page.