Sunday, January 20, 2008

Taking A Cue From My Dogs

My aunt bought a squirt gun for my dogs. The whole idea being that she'd give them a little zap every time they start barking incessantly at our visitors. Sure, it works, but man...they're scared of that thing. And once it's gone, they're right back to their bad behavior. I watched in silence for a long time. I mean, it's their house, they have the right to try whatever they think will work...and it wasn't _hurting_ the dogs.

Anyway, I got a little fed up about the complaints when it didn't work out well and suggested a solution. Instead of zapping them with water...why not make them sit down for a treat? After all, if they're sitting, they can't jump or bark at our incoming guests...and if they sit for long enough, they calm down and won't go all nutso. Guess what? Yup, it worked. It was a bit rocky at first, but now when they hear the doorbell ring, they both run to the kitchen (treat jar) and those butts hit the marble. Yeah, where there is food, there are good lil' doggies. Positive reinforcement is ten times better than negative.

So how does this relate to me?

I've gotten really wrapped up in the idea that I MUST finish FI...and I must do it _right now_. The result? Very little progress because of the overwhelming (and self-imposed) pressure... I've had non-stop headaches...and just a lot of nervous anxiety and worries that I do not need. In addition, I won't let myself be rewarded for what little I do accomplish. Now that's nuts.

Therefore, I'm taking a cue from what works for my dogs...and what got me 13K the week after Christmas. (g) Rather than enforcing negative reinforcement, I'm going back to positive.

Yes, that means I'm cracking THE SWEET FAR THING--allowing a certain number of pages when I hit my goals. In fact, I'm giving myself a hundred page credit to get me started tonight--my official night off from stressing about FI. Then I think I'll go back to my 2500 words for 100 pages thing. That will get me a lot closer to the end. And in the mean time, hopefully a good book will give me the incentive and inspiration to get back in the groove. Sounds like a plan, man.


moonrat said...

let us know what you think of the book!! i'm trying to put off reading it because it's so LONG but i'm on the verge of breaking down.

Jen said...


Let's just say I used up my 100 pages VERY quickly. Now begins the scramble to earn the next 100. (g)