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reverb13-blog-button Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.  December is the perfect time to reflect on 2013 and start to create intentions for 2014.

Day 5: Challenge
Did you take on a new challenge?  What was it?  Is there are challenge you deliberately avoided?  What do you want to do to challenge yourself in 2014?

The biggest challenge I faced and overcame in 2013 was meeting the weight loss requirement for my surgery.  It took me over 2 1/2 years to lose the weight – persistence and perseverance were key.  I failed so many times, but I never allowed those failures to get the better of me for too long.  Through lots of ups and downs, on the scale and mentally, I finally just decided to stop making excuses and start following the steps I knew would work.

In my career, I have taken on the challenge of teaching a totally new class – AVID.  It meant a commitment of four years to follow my cohort of students from freshmen year through graduation. It meant adding another prep – I teach four very different classes – English 3 honors, journalism, yearbook, and AVID.  (Most teachers teach two preps, maybe three). It meant spending a lot more time prepping for this entirely new class, which meant my work life became a lot busier. It also meant that I had to work with freshmen, who require a whole new level of patience to deal with students who are squirmy and silly and completely fun.  Although there have been moments where I’ve wondered if all the added time and work were worth it, ultimately, when I see the impact I’m having on the students’ lives, I know it is.

I’ve also challenged myself to start running.  I very recently (just last week) began the C25K program, and while it has been physically challenging, it’s not impossible, as it has been in the past. I love moving my body in this whole new way, and while I’m not breaking any records in terms of speed, I’m breaking through so many boundaries personally.  It’s exciting!

In 2014, one of my main challenges is to explore new hobbies.  I’ve focused for so long on weight loss, and while I still have a ways to go to get to my goals in that area, now that I’ve got it “down,” I want to start focus my energies on new areas of my life.  I’ve been so single-minded for so long in my personal life that I’m not sure what I might end up getting into, but I think that’s the fun of it.  The ideas I have are all things that take me out of the house and get me meeting new people:

  • Taking an Italian conversation class.  I’m so into my heritage in all other aspects, and I think learning the language is an important next step.
  • Joining a local run club.  Their program that lasts 28 weeks, has Saturday group runs, and a running schedule to follow during the week.
  • Reading more books, and maybe joining a book club.  This year I’ve been absolutely awful at reading books, even though I love to read, so I’m thinking that if I had a deadline and the expectation of discussing the book on a certain date, that would help.  I need to find out where I can find book clubs meeting in my area.
  • Taking some sort of art journaling/scrapbooking class that will tap into my creative side.
  • A dance class would be a great way meet people, do something physical, and have a lot of fun.

I’m interested in seeing what other challenges I find myself facing in 2014.

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Just a quick reminder that the 1st Bloggy Beck Book Club is meeting today.  Seattle Runner Girl is hosting the meeting on her blog, so make sure to go there, share your thoughts & insights and add to the discussion. 

See you there!

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I have some really exciting news to share with all of you!  Ever since Scale Warfare (SW) gave me the newest book from Dr. Judith Beck, The Beck Diet for Life, I’ve known that I wanted to do something really special with it.

Being a book-lover at heart, I thought of the idea of doing a bloggy book club with SW and Seattle Runner Girl (SRG). SRG was  the one who originally recommended the book to SW, and she says that it has really changed her life. I’ve heard so many positive comments about all of the Beck books, that I knew it was time to share the information with others as I read it myself.  What better way than through a book club? (I know now that this wasn’t as creative as I originally thought, as I later discovered that there are many, many other bloggers doing the same thing.  Still, none of the blogs I read daily are doing something like this, so I still think it’s a fairly original idea).

SW, SRG, and I are going to be hosting regular Bloggy Beck Book Club posts on each of our blogs, and we hope that you’ll join in on the discussion.  Each of us is going to “host” different bloggy book club meetings on our individual blogs, which we will all announce in advance so that you can “attend,” too.

Our 1st Bloggy Beck Book Club will meet on February 25th, and will be hosted by SRG.  We want you to have read pages 1-49 of the book by then. That’s three weeks people, I know you’ll be able to do it!  I’ll make sure to remind you to visit her blog (if you’re not already a daily reader, you should be!)

Because we’re all so excited about this book club, we’ve each also decided to do a giveaway of 1 copy of the book, as a gift from us to you.  To enter my giveaway, leave a comment to this post telling me why you’d like to win the book and confirming that you’d be able to commit to participation in the book club.  (I want my gift to go to someone who is excited to read and discuss this book with us).  If your name is selected by the randomizer I use, you’ll need to provide me with your name and home address so that I can have it sent to you.  My giveaway is open to addresses in the continental U.S. only, as I want to use my Amazon Prime membership to send it to you.  The deadline to enter is Wednesday, February 10th at 5pm Pacific time. (I’ll announce the winner in a post on  Thursday, Feb. 11th).

For those who want to participate in the  book club your “homework” between now and February 25th is:

  1. Read pages 1-49 of the book
  2. Take notes, highlight, underline – just make sure that you have some ideas and insights that you will be able to share with the group in comments to a blog post.
  3. Complete all of the assignments that Dr. Beck gives on pages 1-49 (creating response cards, etc).

I can’t wait to get started reading this phenomenal and very inspiring book with all of you!

(We’ll announce the reading schedule for the remainder of the book in the February 25th post, but rest assured, we’ll give at least three weeks per section).

P.S. – today’s post is a milestone for this blog – my 500th post!

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