Tanner is crazy with excitement.

There’s something about deadlines that appeals to me. It hearkens back to my newsie past, I suppose.

The end of the month signals one, and so I’m stepping up my game so I can hit another weight-loss milestone by the first day of August, my birthday month.

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We cows are constantly warned against doing stuff like that – say we’re going to lose “x” amount of pounds by “y” deadline. But as a professional nonconformist, the fact there’s even a maxim for this just makes it all the more appealing.

It’s not that I think all rules are meant to be broken; it’s that many should be, if only to shake things up.

So today’s the 19th, meaning 13 more days until July 32nd, also known as August 1. It’s wicked-hot here in N.C., my grass is crispy and the finches are feasting on roast gardenia. I’m frazzled because of my busy schedule, and that’s been affecting my sleep.

Can’t think of a better time to blow up my routine.

I’m going to add a daily walk to my gym routine, soon as I find a good bug repellant that doesn’t stink to high heaven, and cut carbs even further – but not the real sugar for my coffee and tea. (Oh, be quiet: Splenda sucks in hot beverages and you know it. I don’t do honey or agave, and don’t wanna.)

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I’m also going to really focus on my (rumored) abs and wimpy triceps. From now until August 1, I’ll be doing a couple-hundred sit-ups and push-ups each day. Here’s hoping that by doing so over the next 13 days, I’ll have created a routine, if not a habit.

August marks the halfway point of this weight-loss quest. I won’t be in the best physical shape by my August 30 birthday, but I’m in a great mental and spiritual space.  In my case, heart follows head.

Speaking of head cases . . . Thanks to Harold T. Fisher, host of WHUR-FM’s “The Daily Drum.” He had me on his show again Friday evening, and it was a blast. I enjoyed talking with the callers, and off-air Fisher can be screamingly funny.

OK, time to fill my water bottle and head for the gym. I’m still running, a minute at a time, in between walks on the treadmill. Not much progress there, yet. It’s still a difficult slog, but clearly good for my heart and lungs since I end each run by clutching my chest and gasping for breath. **LOL**

Onward and upward.

We need to dream big dreams, propose grandiose means if we are to recapture the excitement, the vibrancy, and pride we once had.   ~   Coleman Young

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Leslie J. Ansley is an award-winning journalist and entrepreneur who blogs daily for TheRoot. She lives in Raleigh, NC.