In Year Three We’ll Find The Space Between Stimulus and Response. Together.

Two Years and Counting! And a big Happy Birthday to Put That Cookie Down Now!

It’s hard to believe that it has been two years since I first hit ‘Publish’ on my very first article for Put That Cookie Down Now!  Here I am two years and 336 posts later thinking about how it has evolved and exactly where it is going.

At times I’ve considered turning it into a recipe blog, other times I think that I want it to be entirely about goal setting, motivation and personal achievement.  Instead it continues to be a hodge-podge of health and wellness topics, healthy recipes and exercise tips that motivate, enlighten and entertain me.

Let’s Celebrate!

Birthday photo

To celebrate our birthday I wanted to share the highlights from the past two years.  Below are links to the most popular posts just in case you’ve missed them:

Not Epic But Popular

1.  What Happened To Exercise TV – I had no idea that on December 13, 2011 when I got up and selected the Exercise TV app on my iPad to get some ideas for my 5:30 a.m. exercise class, I would be greeted with a notice that says the site had been shut down.   Even more surprising is that the article I wrote in response to that notice has driven the largest number of visits to this site.  Over the past two years thousands of people have asked the Google search bar: What happened to Exercise TV? Those people found their way to my site and that traffic gave my blog the jump-start it needed. I’m forever grateful for that.

2.  Moving Beyond Exercise TV: There Are Plenty of Options – In the What Happened To Exercise TV? post is a link to an article that provides alternatives to Exercise TV which proves that my idea to capitalize on the traffic I was getting from the original Ex TV post worked. Not only did readers click on the ‘plenty of options’ article, their comments provided we with additional ideas that I was able to research and write about.  I wrote two more follow-up posts which continued to increase my site traffic.

3.  Skip the McDonald’s Sweet Tea – In third place is the article I wrote about the high sugar volume of McDonald’s sweet tea.  Looks like not just a few, but thousands, of people are interested in getting a handle on the amount of sugar they are consuming and that’s a good thing.  I’m glad I could be helpful by providing that information.  I hope they’re taking my advice.

4.  Color Block Dresses – This post is one that I wrote in about 30 minutes on a gray, boring Sunday afternoon.  Famous writers that make their living blogging will tell you that the way to site traffic is through ‘epic’ (meaning 800 words or more) posts. Not true.  At least not in this case. I was actually disappointed that this post drew as much traffic as it did and at one point considered taking it down.  I think it’s weak and has no real value.  I wrote it because I was bored. I would never create a post like this now.

5.  Acorn Squash Quick Bread – This is the most popular recipe on my site. I’m fine with that because the bread is really good.  Typically, when I post a recipe my site stats jump the next day.  People are always looking for healthy recipes. I wonder if this site is destined to be solely for healthy recipes? Not yet, but maybe someday.

6.  Ballet Beautiful: The Dance-Inspired Workout Program – This post gave me tons of visitors the day after I posted it.  I’m not a SEO (search engine optimization) guru so I’m not sure why or exactly where they came from, but I’ll take it.  The day after I posted Ballet Beautiful my site saw the highest volume of visitors and it hasn’t had that many since.

7.  Five Reasons Why Drew Manning’s Fit2Fat2Fit Experiment is Flawed – This article was more of an opinion piece, borders on controversial and drew reader engagement.  I don’t happen to think that personal trainer Drew Manning really knows how an overweight or obese person feels even though he purposely gained weight so he could ‘walk in their shoes’.  I think he’s closer to knowing.  I think he thinks he knows.  I don’t think he knows.  So far no one has been able to convince me otherwise.

8.  Raising Your Glass To Longevity – This was the article I wrote about the health benefits of drinking wine.  I love that this article has been one of the most popular because a.) I like wine and b.) I think the picture in the post is one of the best on the site. I bought the bottle of Pinot Evil and set this picture up one sunny afternoon in the breakfast room off of my kitchen.  When I re-visit this post I’m reminded of that beautiful summer day.  Plus, I enjoyed drinking the Pinot Evil. (Notice I set up the champagne glasses for the birthday shot (above) in the same spot?)

Pinot Noir - one of the healthiest wines.

Pinot Evil wins in two categories: Best wine and best picture.

Year Three

So there you have it, the top eight most popular posts on my site.  They are far from my favorites.  My favorites are the ones that I’ve spent hours researching and writing that attempt to help people find their healthy tipping point. Two of my favorites are Changing Behavior By Taking The Smallest Possible Step and What You Can Learn From Chris Cardell, J.D. Meier and Pink.

In year three, my goal is to focus more of my writing on behavior change and less on color-block dresses. Of course, I’ll always feel the need to enlighten you about the sugar content in various food and drinks, help you find free workouts on the web, and warn you about the ridiculous diet fads that Dr. Oz is promoting.

But beyond that I want to you to take your life off of auto-pilot and find that space between stimulus and response where you’re living in the moment, embracing optimism, practicing gratitude, and kicking your goals in the you-know-what!

I hope you’ll follow me on the journey by subscribing or following me on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+. There’s a lot of work to do in the year that’s ahead.  Let’s do it together.  Invite your friends to come with us.

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