Saturday, March 19, 2011
What I've Learned in Four Weeks - And the Paper Towel Theory
One month into my ninety day challenge (not P90X or any other pay through the nose programs but a simple somewhat self taught program I use for myself after doing a little research so I wouldn't have to spend the money and be mad at myself if I didn't complete it) I am starting to notice changes! Not only in my body but in how I apply the learning's to my everyday life and my writing. First off, one of the biggest challenges, as I've mentioned in earlier posts, is expecting to see dramatic results after putting in so much effort. But then I finally came to the realization that there's a reason this is supposed to be done over ninety days. If everyone were to see dramatic results in just four weeks, we'd have infomercials full of thirty day workout programs and that's just not the case. After going through a little self doubt, especially after gaining a pound one week, I consulted some blogs and forums and found that you really should start seeing the big changes after about half way through. And then I came across an interesting article by a dietitian that I thought summed it up and was so easily transferred into other things I do...like my writing. He called it The Paper Towel Theory and it began with imagining you have two equally full rolls of paper towels side by side. Now, each day you worked out, you were to remove one sheet of paper from one of the rolls and continue doing this every day you work out. I related this to writing. Every day you write a certain number of words (in my case, I have a goal of 600 words each day I write) you tear off a sheet. After a week, do you really notice a difference? No. In fact, the rolls look pretty much the same. The same can be said for the second week. In fact, after a few weeks you maybe notice a slight difference in the circumference but you probably feel like there should be a lot more of a change! But then you get past that half way point and there you see the biggest difference. Finally, you are starting to see the hard work paying off. The sheets seem to be making a big difference with each one you remove and you come to the realization there is actually a finish line in sight and you can reach it.
And so, after this past week, I know I am getting closer. And despite the fact my hypothetical rolls of towels aren't looking that much different, I look forward to the day I tear that last sheet off, pick up that paper towel roll and blow into it like crazed soccer fan with a vuvuzela. I am approaching 25,000 words on my novel and I've lost over an inch around my waist and almost nine pounds. And so I keep on plugging away, pushing back thoughts of wanting immediate results and realizing with anything you expect out of life, sometimes it takes work. Hard work. But it can be done and I plan on seeing it through. Now...wish me luck!