Prepare the Goat Altar

3 May

It’s May.

The entire first quarter of the year is over, folks. Eddie Izzard ran 27 marathons in 27 days, Franky Zapata flew a Marty McFlyish hoverboard for over a mile, and Donald Trump has risen to become the harbinger of the Apocalypse.  How’s it going for you?

I’ll tell you what I’ve been doing: sucking. Just sucking really hard.

Last we left off, I set out to make this year count by incorporating a variety of daily habits into my life until magically, by the end of the year, I would rise to the status of casual superhuman. Thus, I embarked on my annual self throwdown: this time to see whether it was possible to develop a host of superpowered daily habits like getting a good night’s sleep, waking up early, reading the news, drinking something hot, and thinking about my day.

Basically, my 2016 challenge is to become the dad in a nuclear family Sunday comic strip.

I’m not entirely sure those people actually exist – the ones who plan their slumbers, rise early like Ben Franklin, make themselves breakfast, plan out their day, send up a prayer of gratitude, and sacrifice a baby goat all before lunch. Maybe Michelle Obama or Beyoncé, but they probably have a staff aide for the baby goat thing.

All that bleating.

As for me, at this point I’ve picked up a good breakfast habit and everything else is a bit shaky. At one point I’d worked up to four habits simultaneously but I had to think and plan and work to incorporate them, and once I got truly busy they got packed right back into my knapsack of good intentions.

I don’t like to fail at things.

So it’s quarter two and I’m running this ship like a business; it’s time to change strategies and dive in.

Now this next part is going to sound like I’m selling something. You know, like when you’re cruising through your news feed and a friend posts a picture of themselves looking fabulous and you go to click that new, awkward “heart” reaction until you take a closer look at the tags and realize it’s a plug for a body sculpting system that ships green goop to your door for a low monthly fee.

You know what I’m talking about, yes? If not, all you really need to know is that one of the names of such hawked product is called Soylent. It markets itself as an affordable, complete nutrition meal replacement. SOYLENT GREEN IS MADE OUT OF PEOPLE!

Anyway this isn’t one of those. That was the point before I got all Charlton Heston on you.

My quarter two challenge is going to be something called the Whole Life Challenge (note to self: such a better title than One Good Thing). It’s basically everything I set out to do this year with my white boards and my tracking systems and my gamification of challenge attempts, but it costs fifty American dollars to do.

“But why would you do it if it’s basically the same, Jackie? Why would you give away your hard-earned nonprofit admin dollars? 

Because I failed quarter one. And it looks like this whole “add a habit at a time and mark it on your white board before bed” thing isn’t working. I have the undereye bags of a woman twice my age. I’m starting to google neck exercises. I’ve even done some of them. It’s time.

Every day I’ll try to earn points by performing basic human functions. I will do this for 56 days. I’m not really sure what happens on Day 56. I’ll probably write a blog post because that seems to be in line with my 2016 consistency.

Sucking. Just sucking so hard.

I could also tend to these daily habits by joining the Amish (#backtothehomeland), but I’m probably going to need somewhere for this to go in quarter three and it’s been some time since I busted out a Lollipop Tuesday.

But let’s focus on the positives, shall we? I’ve begun to regularly eat a healthy breakfast. I’ll have eggs or cereal or toast instead of, you know, whatever strangely-shaped, dusty M&Ms I can find on the bottom of my purse on the way to work.

Four months to remember how to regularly eat breakfast. I had that down at age 6.

Of course back then it was a bowl of regular Cheerios with a mountain of white sugar I spooned on top.

So maybe I didn’t have that down at 6.

Twenty-nine years to get the breakfast thing down. Okay. That’s fine.

I’m going to go get my badass back. It all goes down on Saturday. I’m gonna throw down five Alexander Hamiltons, and maybe one more to snag myself a new set of aviators so I can feel like a boss while I’m drinking water and reading the daily news.

Quarter two. Let’s roll.

18 Responses to “Prepare the Goat Altar”

  1. Ice_Badger May 3, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    the first quarter of this year has had its ups and downs for me too…

    My eating has been rubbish and my exercise has been half hearted…

    so I have started a new exercise 365 (on my 40th birthday eeeek) and am press ganging my friend into cheking up on my eating to keep me accountable!

    on the plus side I had a lolipop tuesday which I forgot to label as such even though it was a tuesday…

    and I fed bears for my 40th birthday which was blooming awesome!!


    • Jackie May 4, 2016 at 9:50 am #

      Oh good maybe it’s just something in the air with us then 😉 you fed bears; so cool. And happy belated! Here’s to us both getting back on the straight and narrow.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ice_Badger May 4, 2016 at 9:51 am #

        thank you 😀 the bears were awesome!

        Yes! the start of 2016 has been wierd, but a reboot is totally possible! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dyl May 3, 2016 at 8:59 pm #

    JACKIE. I have been going to the gym 3 days a week since January and I have started the couch to 5k podcast (on week 4 baby!) ALL THANKS TO YOU. Thank you for the inspiration! On the days I didn’t make it to the gym when I had planned to, I didn’t let the suck get me down and I went the next day instead. Don’t let the suck get you down!


    • Jackie May 4, 2016 at 9:52 am #

      Yes!! Couch to 5k is great, isn’t it?! You’re about to surprise yourself at how much of a badass you are. That’s so great! Thanks for the encouragement. I feel a changing wind coming. 🙂


      • Dyl May 11, 2016 at 6:36 pm #



        • Jackie May 14, 2016 at 12:21 am #

          Oh man, all I know is to rest. You can’t keep pounding on them or they won’t heal up. If you’re running on hard surfaces, switch it up to some soft ones as you get back to normal, but rest and ice first. Don’t let it get you down!


  3. knotrune May 4, 2016 at 4:22 am #

    Um, I really hesitate to point this out, but 4 months is a third of a year, not a quarter… sorry!

    I’ve done pretty well at sorting my house out, I’ve done a lot of upstairs plus the hall, although my husband is not convinced it’s an improvement and he really wants the lounge doing, which I seem to have a mental block about. But I will get it done!

    I have somewhat backslidden on buying less though. As I have made more room to put stuff, I seem to think that means I can buy more stuff and my ebay addiction seems to be creeping back… And I tried really hard to stop buying Victorian clothes, but there was this really amazing bustle dress at the antiques fair we just went to and the seller wouldn’t take no… So you’re not the only one with a mixed bag of success and failure!

    Also I need to sort my wardrobe as well, I really want both things done by the end of the year. I can do it, I will do it! And you can do it too, I know you can 🙂


    • Jackie May 4, 2016 at 9:58 am #

      Oh no. Oh no it’s everywhere. I can’t even edit it. I did this at work too. THE PAIN! Ugh I’m glad you told me. I’d rather know. I could backdate it… But I think I’ll just own it. It’s a post about owning anyway.

      I hear you on the house struggles. Hey, I just read this book called spark joy by Marie Kondo. She has this great system for sorting through and organizing your things and for how to come to terms with the things whose time has passed. She basically judges all of it on whether it sparks joy in your life and helps coach you through how to know that. It can be corny occasionally but for the most part it’s been spot on for me and now everything in my place has a real home. I’m essentially clutter-less! It has a companion book too; I think I skipped the first and just went to the second. Anyway I’m rambling but if you need some encouragement, I would check it out. Good luck, and thanks for the cheerleading. I look forward to an excellent 2nd third report 😉


      • pegoleg May 5, 2016 at 3:40 pm #

        Must admit my first impression was about the whole “quarter year” thing so I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets just a wee bit hung up on stuff like that. Thanks.


  4. pegoleg May 5, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    I’m sorry this first THIRD of a year has been the sucks for you. It has been the blahs for me – not sure which is worse. I have not abandoned my couch for any “k”s, 5 or otherwise, but I have dragged my at once bloated and saggy butt out for more walks in the last couple of months, so that has to count for something.

    Are you really feeling low, Miss Jackie Blue, or have you been too busy to write? I hope it’s the later. If the former, hope you get a spring in your step right quick. 🙂


    • Jackie May 9, 2016 at 1:33 am #


      More walking is plenty enough to celebrate, I think. The blahs and the sucks – perhaps the former is the lack of motivation and the latter is the lack of results. Yes: we shall create together a lexicon of un-winning.

      Truth be told, my lack of writing is a mix of things but I think the biggest factor is that I’m out of practice and am held back by all that comes with that: crippling self doubt, deep criticism of postworthiness, general discomfort with posting mindvomit. I need to get back to my roots and write about nothing again. That was fun. I can do what I want, right? Are you the one that gives permission on these things? They told me you run the place now.


      • pegoleg May 10, 2016 at 11:40 am #

        I am. I do. I am OZ, the ALL POWERFUL AND MIGHTY, AND…. pay no attention to that guy behind the curtain. Absolutely nothing to see over there.


  5. Jeremy July 11, 2016 at 7:11 pm #

    About the only thing I accomplished from what I’d planned this year was get a facebook page for a business. And a couple really easy administrative things. I was going to run. I haven’t. At all.


    • Jackie July 20, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

      Well, hopefully at least the page is really good 😉 Running is hard to motivate myself to do on a regular basis as well.


  6. bike752 August 16, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

    Jackie: Congratulations (I think). I’ve nominated your website for a Liebster award. You can find the details in my latest blog post –

    You are supposed to write a post about the award. However, if you don’t want to, that’s OK too. Wait a minute. No its not. I did it so you can do it, too!

    Dennis Levin


    • Jackie August 18, 2016 at 1:30 am #

      Well this is super nice of you, Dennis! Alas, I have previously received this. And double alas, I have previously posted about my hesitation for passing on such awards (but my adoration of receiving them – seriously, thanks!). So I cannot waffle now – I must stay the course. My post from yesteryear is here: and I assure you that if having answers to those 11 lovely questions from the other nominees don’t satiate you, I will gladly respond to all 11 in this comment thread. Thanks for dropping by, and for the shout out!



  1. Half Birthed Brain Sludge | The Jackie Blog - March 29, 2017

    […] about how much I wanted to tell you. I even GOT ON A PLANE THAT WENT ACROSS AN OCEAN. And that One Good Thing challenge I started for myself? It actually worked. I may have only posted three total times in the […]


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