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Archives for Motivation

Addiction

Are Our Emotions Cranked To 11?

Have you been watching "Downton Abbey" like the rest of us?

Think about the Dowager Countess of Grantham, marvelous Maggie Smith. When she doesn’t like something, she gets a face like a cat that’s smelled something bad. And you get the message.

If you read authors like Edith Wharton and Jane Austin, you know there’s not a lot of bellowing and stomping around. Hearts are broken, fortunes lost, people became ill, or bereaved, despondent...
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Aging

Are We Scaring Kids Off Of Adulthood?

A friend is fretting about her 22-year-old son, who is living at home and, she fears, not getting it together.

This is a family with plenty of dough. The boy is well-educated and has been well cared for, despite some dysfunctional family fun, which few of us escape in this world. My friend complains that he’s lazy and over-entitled. He hasn’t been knocking himself out to find a job, and he’s drinking too much.

What’s a...
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Addiction

Habit and Inertia Are Real Change Killers

Habit and inertia. I believe those are behind every New Year’s Resolution failure.

A recent study out of Harvard finds that nicotine replacements—patches and gum—are not particularly effective in the long term. 

I read that in my newspaper this morning, along with an article discussing the we’ve-heard-it-before finding that eating foods marketed as sugar-free, fat-free, or low-cal are not a particularly good route to weight loss. They’re just not satisfying, so we just keep eating.

What...
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Aging

Good Stuff I’ve Learned In A Year Of Real World Research

This blog celebrated its first anniversary on January 1, so I am therefore compelled (it's the law) to reflect on the past year.

Writing Real World Research has been fun and also a lot of work. I read a lot more research than I end up writing about. Academic writing is no easy read and I am eternally grateful to those researchers who manage to slip a little joke in here and there. Some papers...
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General

A Question of Spontaneity

I am not a spontaneous person.

When a surprise invitation or opportunity appears, there’s a 50/50 chance I’ll pass it up. Maybe even 60/40. Maybe even more, but I don’t want to admit that to myself.

Spontaneity is a good thing. I know this because in romance movies, guys always dump their tightly-wound girlfriends for kooky, devil-may-care, spontaneous girls.

And I can see for myself that spontaneous people lead colorful lives full of surprise.

My life is pretty...
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Body Image

Love Your Fat to Lose It


The first step to regaining a healthy weight is loving your body as it is.

Research says so: Researchers in Portugal compared a control group of women trying to lose weight with diet and exercise advice only, with a group who also received an intervention focused on body image.

The scientists took various psychological and physical measurements for a baseline, and again a...
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Dieting

Breaking Bad Food Habits

Gluten-free, day 26.

It’s been that long since my last bowl of pasta and the realization that the unbearably itchy Mystery Pox I’d fought intermittently for a couple of years was probably a reaction to gluten.

Me, the queen of the PB&J foldover. A pizza addict. A bread fiend. A cookie monster.

Gluten intolerant.

My initial horror at this idea was tempered by relief at having identified (fingers crossed) the Mystery Pox that had four doctors scratching their...
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General

The Two Faces of Envy (And Which One Trumps Admiration)

In my last post, I wrote about what happens when I compare myself to other authors. To quote myself (how uncool is that?):
I can be demotivated in my writing by reading something really, really excellent. I get all hopeless and Eeyore about my own talent. And bad writing isn’t motivating. Being better than terrible is too easy. I get most fired up by mediocre writing, which gives me a just-right goal to shoot...
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