An Update On Those Self-Improvement Programs

A confession: I have stopped and started so many self-improvement programs in the past 6 months even I've lost track of what I'm supposed to be doing... not be doing... etc. Am I a better person than I was six months ago? Marginally. (Maybe.) But I've had some fun in my attempts to improve myself and drag others with me along the way. So here now, a quick review of what's been stopped, started, put on hold or embraced. Based on a 5-star rating scale.

The 100 Push-Up Challenge: We're all familiar with this one. About 10 of us jumped on the "You bet!" bandwagon and developed an intimate knowledge of our floors. I was gung-ho on this program, especially when I tested right into week 3 of the 6 week program. Halfway there! How hard could it be?

Uh, really hard. One-hundred push-ups hurt. Or I imagine they would, as I have yet to clear 50. My resolve was strong until two weeks ago when I fell like a limp fish to the floor after completing about half that days set of push-ups. Will I reach 100? I haven't completely given up but it's a stretch to say I'm still on the formal training plan. However, I am now in the habit of doing at least 20-30 push-ups each day, often times more. So while the bragging rights of 100 push-ups hasn't yet been achieved, I have increased the number I can perform and expect it to keep improving. ✩✩

Going Vegan: You know, not so bad here. My goal was never to abruptly go vegan but rather to ease into it and I feel good about my progress. I haven't eaten fish in over a month and have given up most wheat and dairy. I relax my standards when we eat out but for the most part, lots of vegan-like activity going on around the Harris household.✩✩✩

Not Watching TV: This was a joint New Year's Resolution for both Blair and me. We wanted to stop the mindless channel flipping that consumed our evenings. And we have. We lapsed a bit with "So You Think You Can Dance," watching the show as it aired versus recording it so we could skip commercials. But for the most part, we are TV free most week nights and about 80% on weekends.✩✩✩

Creative Writing: This one is an embarrassment. I made a to-do about getting rid of excess and unwanted work so I could focus on my first love - writing. Well, I got rid of everything but am not doing what I'm supposed to be doing. It's bothering me. I'm not sleeping well and feel disoriented. I know the solution. Pick a project and focus on it. All I can say is I AM working on it. I'm tired of hearing myself make excuses in this area.

Marathon Training: Probably my proudest category to date. I am following the Furman Training program to the letter. And it's paying off. I'm faster, stronger, with better endurance. The only negative here is that I'm running my track workouts on the treadmill versus outside on the track. The track is harder physically and toughens you up mentally, which I need. Still, I'm religious about distances and holding pace. 43 more days until Chicago...✩✩✩✩