So it's the first week of January, and that means that my first post back after a very long holiday is required to be about resolutions, right?  And since most of my posts have been about my goals, resolutions, and Happiness Project, this ought to have been easy.  Unfortunately, my head was about to explode thinking of all the aforementioned goals and I couldn't figure out whether to pick one, keep doing the five per month plan, change the whole thing, or what. 

And so, here we are on the fifth of January when I am finally figuring out what I'm resolving to do in 2010.

I am going with two resolutions.  I'm going to work on the first one until I've got it down, at which point I'll reward myself with the second.  Here we go.

My first resolution is to get back on track with my Daily Habits.  There are just some things that I hate doing or can't remember to do but which must be done so that I don't go insane or live in a garbage heap.  You know what sorts of things I mean because you have them on your list, too, and if you are anything like me you have become very good at finding reasons to do them tomorrow, Scarlett, because that is another day.  But after one too many people showing up unexpectedly at my door when my house looks like I live in a hurricane zone (rather than the earthquake/volcano zone in which I actually live), I decided I'd better get serious about my daily list.

I read some great advice over on Zen Habits about choosing triggers that will help remind you to do the new habit you're trying to form, and I realized that the only To Do's I had kept up with were the ones that were completed after one of these "triggers" - things I do every day, like wake up, pass the munchkin to his dad for a half hour in the morning, put him down for a nap, get him up for a nap, put him to bed, etc.  All of those events happen pretty much every day without fail, so if I can get two things done after each of those, that's already 10 items completed.  So for example, when I wake up, I'm doing a 20 min workout and putting any clean dishes away so the dishwasher is ready for reloading.  I wake up every day, so it's not like I'm going to forget to do those things, right?  When he gets turned over to Daddy, I clean the cat litter and start a load of laundry before I shower and dress.  You get the idea.

The problem still is motivation {because, really, was I forgetting to put away the dishes?  Not so much.} so that is where my second resolution comes into play.  I'm still using my charts with the smiley faces because I'm a dorky teacher who likes things like that, but finally I have figured out what my reward will be.

Once I can say that I've successfully completed my daily habits for a month, I'm moving onto phase two:

Making 2010 more musical.

I realized that so much of what I love to do in my free time (besides read, read, and read more) has to do with music - singing, dancing, and playing the piano.  I've gotten away from all of those things for various reasons like raising a small child and quitting my job that provided income for beloved activities, but it's time to get back to it.

Once I've got my habits firmly established, I'm going to add one more to them:  playing the piano every day.  No, I don't have a piano yet, but we have a keyboard that can stand in, we are going to be looking to buy a used piano, and I'm going to treat myself to piano lessons so I can relearn how to play correctly and get MUCH better than I was the last time I took lessons (probably when I was 9, right, Mom?).

I'm really psyched about this, but it's going to require me to shed a lot of my Procrastinating Self to get to this second resolution.  We'll see how well the triggers work at keeping me focused and on track.

Meanwhile, I'll use this blog to help keep me honest, since that's another suggestion:  be public about your resolutions.

So in all honesty, I will say that I got everything done on my list except that I did not check or sort the mail today.  And I have no intention of going out now in the dark and rain to do so.  Therefore, it's a good thing that tomorrow is indeed another day. 

Let's just hope I'm not still saying that on December 31st.


  1. Good luck! I really like the idea of having a reward for yourself.

    I'm already thinking of revisions for my resolutions and we're not even a week into the new year.

  2. Yes, you were about 9 when you had piano lessons and you did seem to love them. I like the trigger ideas and will have to resist my own urges to "do just one thing" before I start the task list. Good luck to all of us :-)

  3. I really like this post and really like this blog! You write well and are so honest- what's not to like!? I'm sad to see it go...on the other hand, I agree that life can't be compartmentalized and blogging while wearing hats, as an attempt to compartmentalize must just be hard! But keep us in the loop on these goals! Awesome!