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I’m not sure if I want to go back to college but, after staying at the Graduate Ann Arbor, I definitely want to stay in these college town hotels which I wrote about for USA Today 10Best!

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challenge yourself!

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I never really thought of myself as competitive but, somehow, I find myself competing in four big challenges right now.

Yes, I signed up for them, but they’re hard, they’re sometimes stressful and they’re definitely called challenges for a reason. They’re also exciting and stimulating and, surprisingly, I’m loving them all.

I’d love to hear about the challenges you’re taking on and how you’re doing. If you need support or encouragement, just ask. What I’ve learned, above all, is that none of us can do it – whatever your “it” may be – alone, and that the communities I’ve become part of as a result of these challenges are worth everything.

Here are mine:

What: Jenny Craig

Challenge: Lose 6.5 pounds by Thanksgiving

Status: I lost 1.4 pounds at my Thursday weigh-in, so I’m just about halfway there with two and a half weeks to go. Most people chose a much more manageable under five pounds goal, but my counselor, Marne, and I decided to just go for it (or we were too lazy to find smaller pumpkins, which is a lesson in itself).

Hardest part: That’s a lot of weight to lose in that period of time at this stage of my program.

What I’m learning: I don’t need to eat if I’m not hungry.


What: Jazzzercise

Challenge: Attend 20 classes before December 24

Status: I’ve been attending four classes a week so this should be pretty easy.

Hardest part: The big holiday movie season is coming up and morning screenings are scheduled at the last minute to meet the deadline for our San Diego Film Critics Society end-of-the-year vote.

What I’m learning: Good music and great teachers make anything fun – even exercise.


What: NaBloPoMo

Challenge: Write a blog post every day of November

Status: Right on schedule

Hardest part: I have other things to do!

What I’m learning: Like anything else, writing gets better the more you do it.


What: Blogger Idol

Challenge: Stay in the game!

Status: It’s week 7 and I’m still in it

Hardest part: I have no control over who stays or goes!

What I’m learning: I have the best family, friends, readers who support me, encourage me, tolerate my weekly begging, share my posts and ask their own communities to vote for me – so, really,  I’ve won, no matter what happens.


*I received a free month on the Jenny Craig program in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. Note: Clients following the Jenny Craig program, on average, lose 1-2 lbs per week.


  1. Ruth Curran says:

    I think challenges make us better, stronger, and more resilient. What is really cool though, is that you are pushing yourself physically, mentally, and socially! Be careful, challenges and competition are both addictive!

    Go Lois!

  2. Go Girl!! Challenges are great, and they do fuel you. Good Luck!!

  3. Wow! You have your hands full in so many awesome, rewarding ways! I’m only doing NaBloPoMo and it’s been quite the challenge on its own.

    Best of luck to you on all you’re doing!

  4. Go, you!

  5. At least with you can combine the other three challenges with NaBloPoMo. Need a post idea? Update us on how one of the other challenges is going. Even if it is a one sentence post.
    Good luck!

  6. Just reading this post, I felt inspires to get back and stay on track with some of my own challenges.

    I have a love/hate relationship with challenges. I love pushing myself and I (usually) love the outcome. However, I can tend to bite off more than I can handle at times. Therein lies another challenge I working on; learning to say no. However, I’m mighty glad I didn’t say no to this NaBloPoMo challenge!

  7. Woohoo! You’re doing great!

    My challenge to myself is to polish off my book proposal and get it sent to the editor I’m hiring, this week. I’m not sure that’s even possible but that’s why we call it a challenge. If I don’t make it, then it will happen early next week so nothing lost. It’s all about progress.

  8. This was just what I needed to read today! I have been having a hard time getting going on a few goals. I need to make a few manageable goals for me to reach. Thanks!! Congratulations on your success!

  9. It’s wonderful to set goals and challenge yourself. Best of luck to you on all of yours Lois!

  10. Challenges certainly help us grow. My challenge now is to keep on blogging and finish NaBloPoMo. But with all the things going on in our country, I’ve had to cheer on myself several times today.

    You are a brave soul to undertake so many challenges at one time!

  11. Congratulations on your accomplishments thus far! I’m in the middle of several challenges myself so I totally get it. My initial thought is that I bit off more than I can chew but the very next thought is it’s all my choosing. NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo are two of my biggest challenges. Status: NaBloPoMo is currently beating out my goal (which is different from the NaNoWriMo 50K goa) for NaNoWriMo. The hardest part: Giving up on perfection and being proactive in scheduling my writing time. What I’ve learned: A lot of life happens in 30 days but, if we keep showing up, we get to put a few tick marks on the board as well.

  12. I’m sure you’ll reach all four. You’ve put it out there in this post, you’ve staked it, you’ve owned it – you’re half way there. I wish I only had 6 pounds to lose to feel good about my weight. I love to keep challenging myself and learning – it’s a lot of how we stay alive! Really alive, you know? Good luck to you, Lois!

  13. Wow! You’ve got a lot going on! I’m just trying to stay on top of NaBloPoMo, so far I’m keeping up on posts but way behind on reading!

  14. Sounds like you are challenging yourself plenty, enough that I can slack off and say “Lois is handling it”!

  15. Way to go on with your goals! You made them possible and doable and you are doing so well. Congrats!

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