No More Resolutions

It’s New Year’s Day and I’m wiping a considerable layer of dust off my personal blog. It’s been quite a while since I have posted here. This is not a surprise, because it’s been quite the year. But this post is not intended to be a 2018 redux. I’m looking forward.

(If you want to learn more about what I did in 2018, I suggest you Twitter stalk me. That’s where I post all the good stuff.)

The First and Only Order of Business

I’m not making resolutions this year. I’m making habits. I’ve read that you need about 30 days to give a new habit good footing. So, I’m going to tackle 12 new habits this year, one each month. I’m spending today choosing the line-up and order of some rad habits, big and small.

Here are the ground rules I am setting for myself:

  • One at a Time – Knowing myself, this will be the hardest part. I always want to do everything at the same time. But what I’ve read about habits suggests that I will have more success if I give my undivided attention to creating a single habit. So the plan is to focus on a habit for 30 days with the hope that, after 30 days, the habit will become more automatic and require less conscious effort. When the 30 days are up, I switch to a new habit.
  • Plan for Variety – As I build my plan for 12 new habits, I need to make sure to build some variety into the schedule. By alternating “big” habits and “small” habits and rotating through habits that pertain to different aspects of my life (e.g. physical health, emotional and psychological well-being, financial health, professional goals, creative endeavors, etc.), I’ll put myself in a better position to succeed.
  • Fill the Voids – Every new (awesome) habit that I want to make has at least one, and often more than one, corollary old (not awesome) habit. For example, I would love to be in the habit of drinking more water. That habit isn’t just about getting more water into my body. It’s also about addressing all of the habitual behavior related to drinking non-water beverages, from late nights with my coffee pot to my alarming love of Coke Zero to working happy hours. The point is if I’m going to do some awesome new things, I need to make sure I have given myself substitutions for the less awesome old things.
  • Expect Failure – Habits are hard to negotiate and, given that I am a creature of habit, breaking old ones is exceptionally hard for me. Though it sounds cliché, but I will have to remember and make a conscious effort to be kind to myself. I say to my students all the time, ‘F’ stands for the “first attempt.” The point is to keep going. Time to take some of my own advice.

The List (as it stands now)

  • January – Exercise every day.
  • February – Save $10/day.
  • March – 10 hrs/week uninterrupted writing time.
  • April – Channel your inner entrepreneur.
  • May – Daily gratitude.
  • June – Eat less. Eat better.
  • July – Figure out what’s fun.
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December

As of now, the list isn’t finished and I consider it subject to change. January is a lock though and I should have plenty of time to consider things as the days and weeks pass.