February Commitment: My Loyalty Cocktail

As I snapped the leash on Luna, our three-year-old bundle of Husky-shaped trouble, I told her, “If only you could be trusted not to run away and chase things, we could let you off this thing.” We live in the country so off-leash dogs are common. Those dogs, like our trusty 15-year-old flat coat retriever, Moose, want nothing more than to sniff things in their realm and know better than to chase deer or stray too far from home. Luna gave me a look that said, “Try me,” but I knew that look. I knew it spelled another runaway dog retrieval mission so I didn’t even take it seriously. I knew that it really meant, “Try me, foolish human.” Then I thought about loyalty. At first I thought that she lacks it. Unlike Moose, who follows me from room to room, Luna doesn’t seem particular about the humans in her … Continue reading…

Resolution Time Again

It’s that time when we start compiling lists: accomplishments, celebrities who passed away, resolutions (ahem, goals) for next year. Before I start thinking about my goals for the coming year, I thought I’d see how I did in 2014. Goal #1: Read 30 books. Success! The honor of the thirtieth book goes to Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s “Welcome to the Monkey House.” I’d read his short story “2 B R 0 2 B” and his longer book, “Cat’s Cradle,” earlier in the year and thought to myself, “What my holidays really need is a good, hearty dose of socially critical satire.” And there it was in all its comic genius. Thank you, Mr. Vonnegut. Goal #2: Lose 10 pounds. This one is still in progress. So far, I only have 13 more to go. Thankfully, I do still have 26 days left on the 2014 calendar. Goal #3: Finish the first draft … Continue reading…

Barney and the Four-Day Win

Barney the Owl

I’m Leanna, and I’m a four-day winner. What? No, wait, that sounds weird. Let me start over. I’m Leanna, and I practice four-day wins, a habit- and sanity-building program advocated by Martha Beck, PhD, in her book, “The Four-Day Win: End Your Diet War and Achieve Thinner Peace.” While her program is geared toward weight loss, it can be applied to any goal in mind. How this works is that you choose something “ridiculously easy” that you can commit to for four days. At the end of each successful day, you give yourself a small reward. At the end of four successful days, you give yourself a slightly larger reward. You string a few of these four-day wins together and, voilà, better habit built. I like the idea of small rewards to reinforce good habits and choices. It seems like a great psychological tool to help my brain trust that … Continue reading…