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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Small, Definitive Steps Will Get You There

Dear Boys and Girls,

On Friday I got up at 3am to finish writing a conference paper that I had to present at 9am. Talk about being under the gun! Bad planning? No, not really. It just took me forever to figure out what I had to say and then it took me even more time to get it down on paper. In the end, I got it done and hip, hip, hurray, I'm happy to say that it was very well received!

Hard work pays off. That is the lesson.

Back in November, poor planning, poor preparation, and the false belief that I could reap the rewards without putting in the work left me feeling deflated and demoralized after a similar professional conference I had participated in.

I hadn't put in the blood, sweat, and tears, how could I have thought that my lack of effort was going to get me from where I am to where I need & want to be?

So, from December to April, day in and day out, with the help of a coach, a writing group, a set schedule, clearly defined goals, and sheer determination to not make an ass out of myself this time around, I put in the work. And yes, I almost want to cry, I reaped the rewards.

I didn't get a standing ovation, no. But, I did receive the encouragement I so sorely needed to help me move forward in my academic career.

While I was presenting yesterday I kept wondering (despite myself) if my audience was bored, if they thought I was an idiot, if I would get ripped to pieces by someone, everyone, who knew more than me.

That didn't happen. Instead, I received great feedback from several people, in particular from a woman whose identity I did not know. It turns out that the woman who most seemed to appreciate my work is one of my academic heroes, the writer that made me want to research what I currently work on. Yesterday was a defining moment for me for so many reasons.

Here was a very down to earth woman, a role model, who wasn't a stuffy academic, who was having fun, and omg! who totally appreciated my work!

Well, for me, the hard work has just begun. I have to turn this paper in a published article, and continue to work on my book. I can and will get this done.

But how does this all relate to fitness? (Oh, boy, this entry is getting long.)

Back in December I didn't believe I could produce good work, just as you may not believe that changing your body is possible.

But, I took all the steps I needed to help me succeed. As I said, I hired a coach, I joined a writing group, and I set a working scheduling and stuck to it. You also need a plan if you want to succeed and I can help you get there.

You may not believe that you can change, but I know you can. I told my writing coach when we began working together: I need you to believe in me, because I'm not sure I do right now. She did and I was able to get to the other side.

So, here I am, a step further or maybe a zillion steps further along on my journey. We are always arriving, yes, but goodness, it feels good to be where I am right now.

Bring it! Your partner in success!

Barbie, PhD

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