I Know What You’re Up To and I’m Telling No One


Happy New Year…ish.

What a mess we are in. This pandemic is not over. The country is separated by a giant chasm. We wait for the invaders to possibly spill blood in the streets. They are coming for us. We don’t yet know how it’s going to go down, but there is a lot of tension on the streets of America. There’s a lot going on with all of us.

But we have to keep going. We have to live our own best life, and focus on the things we can control.

Many of us are beginning our week on Monday with a mindset we are not accustomed to.  Resolutions firmly planted in our minds, we will make that first trek to the gym, which may or may not be a parking lot next to the gym. Some of us will attach that inaugural nicotine patch to our shoulders, before heading off to our home offices to participate in endless Zoom calls

Good for us. Day one, and we’re on the program. No Whopper for lunch for us today. Our freshly calibrated pedometer is ticking off our steps, the steps we’ve chosen over an elevator.

We have an infinite set of tools to help us reach our goals. Watch 5 minutes of television today or look at online video pre-roll and expect to see models with 6 pack abs ripping off reps on the ab wheel/roller/rocker/smasher, which also will apparently give us tremendous chest and bicep muscles. That PiYo lady is apparently doing really well. She’s on ten channels at a time every day.  There are “you can do it” diet ads everywhere. Everybody seems to want to help you, for three payments of $19.95…


Did you tell someone what you’re doing?

I hope you did, because if you did, you have a really good chance of making it. Here’s why.

The idea of a solitary journey, one mind over matter, the solo conquering of a perceived flaw in our beings seems perfectly workable. But it’s likely going to result in a fail that will disappoint. It’s really hard

Every week I talk to a friend I call my “surrogate conscience”. We greet each other on a video call and after exchanging pleasantries he says, “How is John?”

This is the moment of accountability.

My friend is not a therapist, he’s not a life coach, he’s not clergy or a doctor of any type. He is a person concerned about my success, and has no problem holding me accountable for my flaws and fails and occasional wins. I realized about 2 years ago that achieving the things I care about comes with all kinds of roadblocks. There are personal issues, professional potholes and several other things that create inertia in my life. My friend offers no cures, has no five-step program, and has no patents on any type of ab roller/smasher/crusher. He’s unencumbered by politeness. He calls BS when he thinks he sees it, and I appreciate that.

Imagine getting advice from someone who likes you enough to tell you the truth. People who love you can certainly try to give advice, but they tend to lay back, to couch some things.

I have found a person who knows me well, but is not blinded by loyalty. This permits him to offer challenges and questions that allow me to consider options without feeling like I’m being told what to do.

I fail most of the time, you should know. I fail over and over again.  I can’t try and put up a facade of success, because it would be BS. Most of the time I don’t get it right. What I get out of this relationship with my friend is the motivation to try again, and this is the essence of the promises we make to ourselves. It’s an ongoing process, with dips and bumps and crashes. Things come up. Delays occur. Life happens.

Good luck on your goal. hope you told someone about it. If you tell me, it stays between us.

And good luck to all of us.

Need to talk? There’s a lot going on. Reach John here.


From the CDC: If you are struggling to cope, there are many ways to get help. Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.

Find resources here.

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