“The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals.”
– Melody Beattie
For many of these types of posts, I would skim through the article, decide whether or not I thought it was beneficial to share, and then share it. However, after skimming through this one, I realized that I was already doing two and a half of the six hacks they recommended. With that knowledge, I wondered how my time spent was comparable to their other recommendations.
I sat down at my dining room table, cup of tea in hand, Kindle propped up, and read the article carefully, taking a few notes in order to be able to express what it was that I liked about the concept of compound time and why I thought it was worthwhile to share.
Beginning to read this article took minutes for me to convince myself that I wzsn’t wasting time and that it was important for my writing as well as my life. That’s the first conflict for most of us in reading an article like this. Take naps? Seriously? I already waste enough of my day staring into space. But what if that staring into space is something that jump starts a project? Or a thought that takes us to a new idea to work on?
We’re constantly being told that daily rituals are good for our creativity as well as getting us motivated to start our day. For the last couple of years, I’ve read what I call “daily books;” books that are meant to be read a page a day, whether they be devotionals and religious, prayerful or secular, they are something short to read to begin the day; to know that the day has begun, and we can go on.
Some of those past books have been:
Currently, I am reading G’Morning G’Night: Pep Talks for Me and You by Lin-Manuel Miranda, illustrated by Jonny Sun. Every morning, I read the G’morning passage, and then before bed, I read the corresponding G’night. There aren’t enough to get through the whole year, but the beauty of this book is that I can restart it. The messages are universal, positive, and uplifting.
What is compound time?
I don’t really like resolutions. I think we’ve overdone that word. I like the sentiment of trying new things, and being a better person.
Resolutions – I don’t know, they’re almost a joke at this point. Have they always been this way? Or did people actually make a resolution intending to follow through throughout the entire year or at least for the first six months? It seems that whenever I hear someone make them, practically everyone in fact, they’ll state their resolution and then say something to the effect of, why bother or, as if, or I’ve already broken that one!
I rarely see anyone taking them seriously, and I think that has more to do with society than our personal willpower.
Watch less television.
Less screen time.
Go to religious services.
All are valuable, all are important, but I think that when we call it a resolution, we’re automatically setting ourselves up for failure.
Did you make resolutions this year? Yeah. Even the way we answer the question is with that Debby Downer voice, setting up the depression of stopping a habit rather than beginning a new focus.
Last year, I discovered two words that I really liked: focus and intention.
What will I focus on this year?
What are my intentions for 2019?
My plan is to use those words and those sentiments and make it part of my writing plan*. That asterisk is for me to explain that for most people they have business plans or school plans. I know that my writing is my business, but the words business plan don’t work for my mindset. As a writer, words are important to me on all levels, so for me my writing plan is my everything, my professional, my getting it done plan. What is your plan?
I’m going to spend the weekend thinking about my intentions, my focus, and my writing plan, and I will fill you in sometime after Sunday.
Last year, or maybe it was the year before, I gave up the word resolutions. The connotation of New Year’s Resolutions is the assumption that they won’t be kept. We go in thinking pessimistically and so our resolutions tend to be grandiose and next to impossible to accomplish. Then, as predicted, like clockwork or a calendar page turning, we give them up and go back to our bad habits.
I settled on goals for awhile, which was a little more proactive, and a little more doable, but for me, goals set a finite destination to what I want to acocmplish and goals wasn’t quite the word I was looking for.
My new word (third if you’re counting) for 2018 is Intention [s], either singular or plural, whichever one fits at the moment. I can wholeheartedly thank Gen Padalecki for the inspiration and the introduction to that word in this context. I must confess that I did not watch her entire vlog or read her blog for that day. As soon as I heard the word intention, I was off to the races. It hit me, inside and out, mentally and physically. That was my word, the word I’d been searching for.
So, now that we are here between the end of the third week and the end of the fourth week, not only of January, but of our new year, what are the intentions you’ve been keeping? Have you added any more since your initial goal-making or resolution claiming or habit-making or -breaking in the last three weeks?
Where do you stand? And where are you venturing? Give your intentions a thought or two, and get back to me. As this morning’s quote reminds us, writing down our goals makes them a little more tangible, and if they’re tangible, they’re doable.
The Weekly Prayer Project – this is a book that my husband got me for Christmas. I’ve only just started reading it this morning. It’s divided into seven sections, and can be used in order or jumped from one to the other. My intention is to read the week’s pages on a Wednesday, and then contemplate what it’s asking me to journal. I will probably do the journaling before the weekend, and then read what i’ve written in the days before the next Wednesday. I have decided that I will read from each section for seven weeks, and then go back to the first. For example, today I read week 1. Next Wednesday (1/10) I’ll read week 8. On 1/17, I’ll read week 15, and so on. On 2/21, I’ll go back to week 2, and begin the format again.
365 Days to Happiness – These are nice, short blurbs offering suggestions to finding happiness. They are little things to do or not to do. Again, as I keep coming back to this week, choose what works for you. When I skimmed through the first couple of pages, I read on Day 2 to fill in your planner. I laughed because I do that literally at midnight on the first. When yesterday arrived, and I actually read day 2, I discovered that in addition to filliing in my calendar, there was a surprise suggestion that I thought was wonderful, and so I did that yesterday. My point is, even the most mundane, seemingly routine thing can surprise you.
Grace by Max Lucado – another daily prayer book with prayers for both the morning and the evening. The version I have has room for a few lines of journaling. I have such a hard time writing in books that I usually just read this one. It is still filled with inspiration and time for mindfulness.
The Word Among Us – this is a worship aid that my church gives out every month. It lists all the daily prayers, and has a few articles for the cover topic that are usually very interesting. I have had a digital subscription for about three years now, and I enjoy it very much. Since I would take the paper copy from my church, I thought this was a way to go paperless.
Give Us This Day – Similar to The Word Among Us. This has a daily reflection as well as a daily introduction to a person of faith. There is also an app that can be used to read your subscription. I’m trying out the first thirty days free for this month to see how it fits into my other meditations.
The Writer – This is my professional go-to, and the only writing magazine that I subscribe to. Like the planner below, it has taken me years to figure out what works, and this magazine is the most comprehensive, covering every writing topic imaginable and of use.
Mead Day Planner – this link take you directly to Mead’s website. The photo is similar to the planner that I have and have been using for a couple of years now. I got mine at Target. I use the monthly for whatever needs to be on my calendar, and I use the weekly for writing and blog planning. It’s taken me years to figure out this system and discover that it works for me.
[Editor’s Note: When I’m including links, I usually will use Amazon, mainly because I use them for most of my online shopping. I receive no compensation from them. That is true of all recommendations unless otherwise stated.]
We can be lazy. Or we can be motivated.
We can lead. Or we can follow.
We can be visible. Or we can hide.
We can create. Or we can destroy.
We can do. Or we can watch.
We can cry. Or we can laugh.
We can be everything. Or we can be nothing.
Whatever it is, whatever’s at stake, whatever it takes, we must choose.
Choose to be compliant. Or defiant.
Choose to believe lies. Or facts.
Choose to lie down. Or rise up.
Choose to be cruel. Or kind.
Choose to wait. Or begin.
There could be so much good in this year, so much returned, so much shared, so much recovered, if only we choose it.
I’m still looking for my mantra, but my word for 2018 is CHOOSE.
Create, build, write, do, be, rise, lead, vote…CHOOSE.
Intentions are important. My decision to miss morning mass this morning was with the intention of going to tonight’s mass.
Unfortunately, I fell asleep this afternoon, and now I feel like Rip Van Winkle. My head is groggy, my mind is foggy, my hands are tingling, and the last thing I want to do is go out in the cold.
I will probably stay home, and read my devotional. Although I find that positive, it’s not the same as being in the community of church.
Intentions are important.
I must remember that follow throughs are more so.