Life is way more than merely showing up, as in, "90 percent of life is...," or however the quote that's attributed to Woody Allen ultimately goes. Far too many people just show up, although in 2009, showing up could be a starting point.
At the risk of Words Matter turning into a self-help blog, I think there is something important about setting an attainable goal, one that you know might stretch you a bit, but ultimately, you think you can reach.
Take my weight. I know that according to a variety of body weight charts and my height (6'3"), five weeks ago, I was more than 50 pounds overweight. I have some issues with these charts and one's healthy weight, but I will allow that I was probably at least 35-40 pounds heavier than I should be. Instead of setting myself up for failure, I decided for an interim goal of shedding 20 pounds by August 1. I hit my goal yesterday. I am down 20 pounds, and feeling pretty damn good about my progress.
The same week I decided not to be fat, I also committed to reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. I'm happy to report I'm on page 648, which on the reading schedule would allow me to slack off until about August 21 and still be on task.
It feels good to follow through on simple tasks, not to mention there are some health and psychic benefits to doing so. I'm biking regularly, eating foods that are better for me, and committing to a book like Infinite Jest forces me to read, instead of watching TV, or mindlessly surfing the web.
Some ancillary benefits of all of this; I feel re-energized on the writing front. Not only am I feeling more engaged with my blogging, but I've been working on some essays that ultimately will find their way to some sort of compilation/book type thingy.
Well, time to heat up my hot water for my instant oatmeal, and get ready for work.