Happy New Year to all. New month; new year; new calendar. Everything begging to be new and fresh, even while the days are still too short and the air too cold, with the worst of the winter yet to come. What cheer!
Lots of people talk about why New Years resolutions don’t work and they’re right. Hence the quotation marks.
Technically what follows aren’t Resolutions. They’re not goals, or vague aspirations like “get in shape”, “lose weight”, or “Be nicer to your sister.” (Hi, Dr. Kensingon!) They’re more like items I want to add to my daily to-to list. Things you don’t even bother to make a to-do list for because you just do them every day, like taking your pills, brushing your teeth or making your bed (all of which I do.) They’re things I really want to do each day — and often do; just not always.
In order to help myself commit, I figure I should write them down. Even better, write them down publicly. So here goes:
1. Write every day; even just a little.
It doesn’t have to be just a little, and I’m sure once I get started, I’ll often do more. I just have to sit my tush down in front of the damn screen and do it (Nike style.) I’ve reclaimed my writing desk from DDS, and even though it’s in the bedroom instead of my writing room, it turns out to be better than the kitchen table. So no more excuses. At least once a day, sit down and write. It may be a brief blog post (or a longer one), or the next installment in Dr. Lucy’s Ridiculously Simple Guide to Health and Wellness, or who knows what else. But I really would like to get back to writing every day.
2. Read every day, even just one chapter.
Maybe this is the source of a lot of my malaise of the last year, but I somehow got away from regular reading. I had a whole stack of books, but I started having trouble getting into things. Now thanks to the Jock, who gave me two new Orson Scott Card books for Hanukah (the Mither Mages series), I’ve begun reading one chapter before bed. Rather like nibbling at a box of chocolates one at a time instead of pigging out on the whole thing, I’ve decided to savor these slowly instead of “waiting until I have time to read as much as I want” (which only happens on planes anyway). An added advantage is that it keeps me away from backlit screens (cough*Candy Crush*cough) right before bed, which seems to be improving my sleep.
3. Play the piano every day, even just a little while.
A far cry from the distant childhood refrain, “Did you practice yet?” Now that my piano is right out in the open (and tuned! Thanks DDS), my Handel album sitting open and ready, I’m getting great pleasure sitting down and re-establishing that old muscle memory. There has been talk of lessons, but like those who insist on cleaning up for the cleaning lady, I want to get better first. I know how the music is supposed to sound (because I used to make it sound like that) and all it’s going to take is time.
4. Clean the cat boxes every day.
Okay, this one is right up there with pill-taking and teeth-brushing. At the moment, I confess it’s not. But it should be. Which is why I’m including it here.
5. Read the newspaper every day.
I’ve gotten a little lazy on this one. I do eventually read it, often 2-3 days (or more) at one sitting. But if I do it every day, it’s much more efficient.
6. Eat only during an eight hour window every day.
This one’s new-ish. I’ve had good experiences with modified fasting, and bad experiences with eating at night. Following this guideline should be helpful. Whatever time I first eat something in the morning, eight hours later I’ll stop. I’m definitely going to continue writing down everything I eat, which I have done every single day for over five years now. No reason to stop. And I really do have to lose the weight I’ve partially re-gained over the last four years.
7. Walk every day, at least 30 minutes.
Who am I kidding? This one’s not going to happen at least until the weather gets nicer. I’ll give it a shot, but I’m not going to beat myself up if it doesn’t happen.