I have been painfully aware as many podcasts and blogs pointed out recently that thinking about achieving goals is not the same as doing what is necessary. Especially to the point was Roy H. Williams' 7-Step Secret of Success post and Forging Habits of Steel: 7 tips on making and breaking habits from The Art of Manliness that have been rolling around in my mind.
So what the heck? In for a penny, in for a pound.
- Daily prayer time.
Yeah, I know. This is a constant renewed resolution for me. You'd think that was a no-brainer, right? Ok, it is a no-brainer. Want to love God more? Hey, spend some face time with Him daily just like I do with my family. Except I don't do it. I intend to, but somehow that time is always spent somewhere else. For the last couple of weeks though I have been fairly regular by dint of riding the exercise bike each morning and praying/reading the Bible (right now, the fantastic and eye opening translation of Genesis by Robert Alter). Thanks to Jen's reminder that "you pray before battle" and that every day is important in our spiritual battle, I hope I can realign my priorities and improve on my morning routine to the point where the prayer/reading is a non-negotiable "must" for each day.
- No book buying for a year.
Actually, this is just from curiosity to see if I can do it. To see what it feels like to be able to only buy a book if absolutely necessary for the book club (my one allowed exception). It isn't as if the Dallas Public Library doesn't have a gigantic selection, complete with new books coming in every day. I actually feel giddy about this one.
- Return to making a weekly meal plan. And to picking a recipe from a different cookbook each week.
Why I quit doing this last year I don't know. Well, except maybe because I was seduced by those many cooks who just waltz through their market and come home with a gourmet meal inspired by what they picked up on the way. Now, this has never been my style. I'm a planner. Not all that flexible. Well, wait, I am flexible about meals in that I may not follow my meal plan at all and do my improvising after I get it all home. In fact, I actually may improvise while buying groceries. But first I have to be switching from the plan I had to begin with. I just don't work well from ground zero on the run.
- Spend dedicated time every evening to writing.
I've got bulletin inserts to write, am constantly behind on book reviews, and there are various other irons in the fire that I've promised to this or that person. Also when mulling over these projects is when God does some serious tapping on my soul. This is reflection and, I suppose also a sort of prayer, that I'm not gonna get any other way as I have recently realized. Eventually it comes out as something that must be written down in some form, whether review, insert, or post. However, if I don't set aside some dedicated time to just write all this ain't gonna happen. I have to be working toward that goal for all the thinking to matter. And then, why not write it down? Just as with the prayer, I often find excuses not to do. That's gotta stop.
Oh the irony! Shortly after I wrote this yesterday, Rose and I went to Half-Price Books with two bags of books to sell. However, I (wo)manfully strode right past the books to the DVD section. Since the main point of the resolution wasn't to save money I felt justified ... and came away with three movies for $6 each that I'd been wishing to watch again but didn't have the forethought to have rented whenever that impulse came to mind. Lady in the Water, A Knight's Tale, and Die Hard.
Oh, and I scored Season 6 of The Simpsons ... which Zoe the Intense and Wash the Destructor (you must say this as "Destruct-or" is said at the end of Ghost Busters) had strewn over the back yard some time ago, complete with deep scratches.