Definition of Insanity

Apparently, it was Rita Mae Brown who said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” She also said, “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” Rita Mae Brown is wise. I, on the other hand, am a poster child for her definition of insanity, with a bonus helping of adult onset of Attention Deficit Disorder thrown in.

Back when I was a teenager, once every few months I would try to “Start A New Life.” That consisted of writing out a set of goals (be polite to parents, develop strong willpower, do homework early, clean house, get up early and exercise – you get the idea), sticking with them for a few weeks, then derailing, waving hands in despair, and returning to my Old Life ways. Since I am also a poster child for failing to learn from experience, a few months later I would give New Life another try. Rinse, repeat.

The reason for my continuing attempts at New Life is that writing out “to do” lists IS the best way for me to get things done. I am REALLY GOOD at writing “to do” lists and sticking with them for a week or two. Unfortunately, I am REALLY BAD at going the distance. I get distracted. I get discouraged. I look for excuses. I fail, and I quit.

The point of this rambling post is that August is a new month, and I am going to make another attempt at Starting A New Life. This time, the theme is “Baby Steps.” Here’s my list; some items are pretty specific, some very generic:

  • Try to get to work between 8 am and 8:30 am
  • Write down everything I do at work
  • Only check Google Reader and Facebook before 8:30 am, during lunch, and after 5 pm
  • Keep tracking food and exercise on LoseIt
  • Write down short-term goals for things to do at home that week, and do them
  • Try to waste less time online
  • Be a better parent to my kids and a better wife to my husband
  • Try to keep up with my blog, book blog, and photo gallery
  • Try to go to bed before midnight
  • If everything is going well at work, not buy cigarettes

Short-term goals for week of August 1-7:

  • Go through mail
  • File taxes

Wish me luck!


7 thoughts on “Definition of Insanity

  1. I’m with you on the making lists and then failing at them come the end of week one or two. Your post was a kick in the pants for me, so I’ll be coming up with a short term set of reasonable goals and, if by the end of week one I fail, you can kick me in the pants (or we can jointly kick each other).

    Good luck with the GoogleReader restrictions *ugh*


  2. I am beginning to think that Shannon and Michelle just want an opportunity to kick my butt :0

    Michelle, I am glad I inspired you to write down some short-term goals. Good luck!


  3. Who, me? I offer to help and you accuse me of wanting to kick your butt! I’m just bring a good friend!

    And I don’t bother to make lists because they just cause me to realize just how much stuff needs to get done and then nothing gets done! At least for now I’m treading water. I don’t seem to be swimming forward, but I’m not getting pushed backwards anymore either. πŸ™‚


  4. I’m so glad you’re back on the blog! I too seem to enjoy the writing of the lists and the failing of keeping up with the actions.

    And I don’t really know what Google Reader is. . . I suppose that’s a good thing??


  5. Rebekah, Google Reader is Google’s RSS feed reader service – so I can subscribe to blogs (like yours) and see when they are updated without having to actually go there. Good for lazy people like me πŸ™‚

    There are 655 unread items in mine right now… I am so doomed πŸ˜›


  6. I try to keep my to-do lists short; it builds my sense of accomplishment. Although I must confess the list of three items on my fridge has contained the same three items for over a month…


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