Category Archives: Aim to Improve

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

I read another book!

One day I’m going to have to come up with something to put in this “Aim to Improve” category other than the professional development books I read, but for now this is what I’ve got so it’s going to have to do.

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I Passed!

Ages ago I mentioned that I had enrolled in an online course to become a Certified Nutrition Course. And while I got through all of the course material sometime in early to mid November, I hit that weak point before I actually took my second certification exam and had been putting it off (despite its presence on my to-do list) for literally months.

But, on Saturday night I finally got around to taking that exam and… I passed! So I am now officially a Certified Nutrition Coach. 😀 I would add a picture of my certificate here, but I haven’t received it in the mail yet so you’re just going to have to take my word for it.

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Lent

I’m Jewish, so it’d be logical to wonder why I’m talking about Lent. The answer is that although I’m Jewish, boyfriend is Catholic, so I’ve agreed to give something up and also fast on Fridays with him for solidarity. All those years where I joked about giving up something like homework for Lent are now coming back to haunt me. 🙂

Last year for Lent I gave up apple juice, which actually turned out to be a great decision because at the time I really loved apple juice and replacing it with water saved me 600-800 calories a day, which I honestly believe was responsible for the majority of my first several pounds of weight loss. And I don’t think I’ve had apple juice at all since.

This year I’m giving up the snooze button.

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Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

So this book. This book has been recommended to me over and over again by professors, by the internet, by various other people in my life…. Because I’ve been in and out of airports so much, and therefore have had a lot of free time with limited options for how to fill it, I finally decided while I was on my first business trip in October to go ahead and buy the book. Despite extensive travel since then, it took me until my most recent business trip two weeks ago to actually finish it.

Now don’t get me wrong, this book is chalk full of excellent advice. And there were a lot of stories and examples that I found genuinely fascinating and really made me rethink my day-to-day interactions. But, despite interesting subject matter, it was not an easy read. The chapters were very long and although the content was valuable, I still felt it was a bit more verbose than needed. Regardless of my feelings, though, this book has been a best-seller for quite some time so obviously people like it and I’ve definitely been trying to work on incorporating some of the things it suggests.

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There’s a Tarantula in My Trunk (and Other Spider Miracles)

Last time I posted (which was way too long ago, I apologize), I wrote about how I’ve started doing exposure therapy to try to get my arachnophobia to a reasonable level. I’ve gone about five times now and there’s already been significant improvement. Because, you know, now I have a tarantula in my trunk. And another in my purse, cause why have only one spider when you’re deathly afraid of them, right?

But, before I get too far ahead of myself, let’s back up and start from the beginning.

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Exposure Therapy

I’m afraid of spiders. Like, really afraid of spiders. Like, arachnophobia is almost an understatement afraid of spiders.

I’ve been this afraid of spiders for as long as I can remember; for as long as my parents can remember, even. I’m not aware of ever having had some form of traumatic spider experience, nor can I really logically explain why I’m so afraid of them. It doesn’t matter if it’s big, small, alive, dead, across the room, on me, or even fake; if it’s a spider, I’m probably afraid of it.

So that brings me to an incident about two months ago where I woke up one morning to a spider on my bathroom door. It wasn’t huge, but it was big for me, and it took me about an hour of staring at it, trying to come up with solutions, and generally being too afraid to do anything useful before I ended up accidentally scaring it off the door, losing track of it somewhere in my bathroom, and then wasting another half hour or so trying to figure out what to do next before running to the store for spider poison and cautiously spraying it everywhere I thought it might have gone. All said and done this ordeal took up over two hours of my morning and ruined my work schedule for the week (fortunately I’m allowed to flex my time and was planning on coming in later that morning anyway).

That’s when I finally realized I needed to do something about it.

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