Thursday, September 06, 2012
Yes. A Brand New Month - and Birthday Month at that - and I'm still thinking I can add another good habit to my life. I've been trying to make small step improvements to an already good situation all year. Looking back, I remember it was hard to come up with 12 habits given the criteria they had to meet:
take little time
be done every day
make my life more fun, happier, better
Of course I'm always enthusiastic about New Years Resolutions. I simply adore the idea of things being better tomorrow - at Tara or at home or on the job. I love progress and movement and the joyful spiral of Better Things. Habits, the experts say, are formed when one does the same thing for 21 days in a row. The trick is ... if you miss a day, those same experts say, you have to start all over again with day 1. So perhaps I did not, in fact, create new habits in all cases. Truth is - I am not a metronome and can neither tick nor tock with perfect consistency. But since the real aim is improvement, progress and Better Things, (after all - should I achieve perfection, that would mean the end of Better Things, right?) I am okay with my B+ efforts Since the October board meeting is when I report on the status of the 5-year plan I think it behooves me to add this one to my life in September.
5. Read my 5-year play every morning - because it is so durn easy to forget what I'd planned to do until it's review time and then I have to confess to all the things I failed to do! (a corollary to this is - have each of my staff read it at least once a week too - but that's another list)
Wise readers might think I ought to have added this much earlier in the year - and perhaps I could have but there were Other Things I wanted more. Also - most of these habits were not things I had never done before - were not steps into entirely new directions - they were things I sort of did slap dash, hit or miss and now or then. The idea was that if I did them more consistently, made them daily habits, I'd make More Progress and have Fewer Moments of Horror when I realized I was late for something, missing something, about to crash and burn. In short - I already did all these things sometimes. I just wanted to do them more often.
Also, I put this one off so late in the year because I feared I would get bored with my plan. I needed to figure out how to go about reading it. It's actually a pretty lengthy document, full of definitions and explanations and ... well ... words.
Maybe too many words. Maybe it needs to be given a serious overhaul. Or maybe it's a really good plan. But whatever - I am going to focus on it with deep and concentrated thought from now on - not just because it is Good For Me, but because I'm moving into a late stage in my career and it's time to think about succession - and about what must be done in the next few years to make a smooth transition into retirement for me - and what I hope will be an exciting opportunity for someone friendly and creative.
This is not to say that I haven't looked at my 5-year plan since last January. It just means that now it gets daily attention, sharper focus and more time. And if September will be to study the 5-year plan, October will be when I begin making daily steps towards fulfillment of that plan. That was another of Good Habits on the original list. It all fits in with the Back-to-School feeling of autumn.
And should you be curious about how well I am doing with the Other Habits - well here's an update:
August - draw 20 minutes every day - which I did - and watched my skills improve.
A+ for me
July - Charles Schwab List - August grew very fractious and difficult and though I'd make the list every day ... I didn't always follow it the next day. I will just say, I did my best and got through a rough month as lightly as possible. A- for me
June - One Step Towards a Big Life Goal ah well - See August, because a BLG for me is to become a better artist. So that's a pro forma A for me.
May - Compliment someone at work each day - Why this is so hard to do I don't know. I believe I am kind and thoughtful - and I certainly DID compliment someone sometimes. But I always felt that little moment of "Ah Ha" whenever it happened. This is not a habit yet. But I am aware of it when I do it. I'd say ... D+
April - Exercise - well. I love me some exercise and I get in 4 days a week almost every week. On other days I am just active period, so I give myself an A on this one.
March - Water .... Yup. I'm good with this one too - perhaps not perfect - but certainly I deserve a B++
February - Prayer ... daily prayer. Here I have to admit that with a month as difficult as August was I am sure I prayed Every Day - if not many times a day. Of course - I believe the idea was to pray thankfully more often than I prayed supplicatingly. I can't give myself an A since I only acted in deed, not in spirit. I shall, instead, give myself a fat C+ and try a little harder this month.
January - Journal my food - another A for me here - I am, if not the perfect weight, at least aware of how I got where I am. And I'm close. And my dining is healthier and better and I feel better for it. In fact, I wonder how I would have made it through Awful August without being nutritionally strong.
So. There you have it. 9 in 12 (so far)