New Years's Resolutions Our Life

Taking Stock and Keeping Track – Three new habits for 2017

It’s that time of year again. Time to take stock, reflect, and strategize. Last year I set five goals for myself and did a pretty good job. I orientated myself with the woods behind my house, re-connected with my father, played with some horses, and tried new recipes; but I didn’t do so well with Two Brauds Abroad book sales. This year I’m simplifying. I’m only going for three.

First, to my chagrin I kept a lot of people waiting in 2016. So this year I resolve to:

Get there on time

Sounds easy, but there’s obviously something holding me back, and I think I’ve identified the sticky wicket. It’s a transition problem. Happily immersed in my own little world, I’m slow to shift gears. I’m in my zone and can always think of one more thing to do before I walk out the door.

So I’m throwing down the gauntlet. I can be retrained, I assure myself. I’ve got discipline and don’t want the world to wait on me any longer. If I can just get excited about the task ahead, it will be easier to transition. Before I need to leave, I’ll start thinking about where I’m going next and what I’ll do when I get there. As a bonus incentive, I’ll add a dot on the calendar when I’m on time and an X for when I’m late. I love keeping track of things!

Second, it’ll be easier to anticipate my next appointment if I seed my calendar with exciting activities so I resolve to:

Try new things

Bob and I love our routines. The other day he said we’ve settled into our dotage. But I keep hearing how it’s important to try new things, so this year I’ll schedule one out-of-the-ordinary activity per month. Again, I’ll keep track because last year I promised to try one new recipe a month and have no idea what they were!

Third, my friends are sick of hearing me grouse about finding time to write so I pledge to:

Write at least 300 words a day

I just finished reading Anne Lamott’s “Bird By Bird” her hilarious writing primer from 1994 and was inspired by her advice to write at least 300 words a day. On those days I don’t write anything, I can always get in bed and write in my journal. I’ll make a check on my calendar for each day I meet my goal.

I’ve already practicing, giving myself credit for things I wouldn’t have claimed before I started measuring my success. If I say I’m going to get to a party at a certain time and make it, I get to put a dot on the calendar even if no one is expecting me. If I write an exceptional email or a couple of pages in my journal, I get a check mark. The checks are proof that I’m a serious writer. The dots make me feel like the kind of person who gets there on time. And the X’s remind me I’ve got room for improvement.

Well, there you have it. Five hundred and thirty-one words and three goals to make 2017 my best year ever.

By Camille Armantrout

Camille lives with her soul mate Bob in the back woods of central North Carolina where she hikes, gardens, cooks, and writes.

One reply on “Taking Stock and Keeping Track – Three new habits for 2017”

Good luck! I know you can do it. Smart to “reward” yourself even if it’s just a checkmark. I say go buy those gold and silver stars they used to give out in elementary school!

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