Today, I screwed up. Not in some major catastrophic way, I’m still married, my dogs are fed and watered, the house is still standing, and no ER visit was required. And yet, still, all I can do is laugh at myself.
You see, in my infinite wisdom (note the sarcasm) I decided that cleaning my office—a task that really clears out the cobwebs, calms my anxiety, and tends to be a real key to deep work periods for me—would take me two hours. Two hours, especially as I’ve been getting up at 6AM to start the year in order to see if a shift away from my usual 10 AM start might yield me some new insights, felt like an eternity. I could get so much done! I could be done by two! I could brag about it to members of my family!
Reader, it took me six hours. It blew apart my schedule. If a Google Calendar could be set on fire then my second-bedroom turned work headquarters would be the arsonist blamed for it. I did have the good foresight to not schedule too many other things for today, so those can be easily shifted around, but today just wasn’t my day.
Similarly, Another thing I’ve focused in on in the early part of this year is being more intentional in how I track my habits. I’ve talked before about how you need to limit the number of habits you try to implement at any one time. Cut to me, in late December, plotting out the 10 habits I wanted to achieve Ten or, in other words, about 7-9 more than I should have. Here are those ten habits, by the way, in no particular order.
As you can see, I’m really great at moderation when it comes to implementing changes in routine. For those curious, I use a journaling template from Better Creating and the default habit tracking template in Notion.
In the past, and we’re talking about within the last sixty days, I would have judged myself really harshly for today’s snafu or this year’s absurdly optimistic habit forming approach. Now, I see it as an acceptance of myself who is deeply (sometimes frustratingly) self motivated.
You’ll notice that some of these habits are basic human hygiene things (note basic does not mean easy, hence why they are on this list, just that they are automatic for some and a real intentional choice for others), some are connected to work, and some are deeply focused on self care and recovery. I do not expect others to even contemplate what I’m working with here, I’m just choosing to be hopeful as the new year begins.
Whether I succeed at sticking the landing on these habits for another day, another week, or another month is not the point. The point is making the plan, laying things out in front of me, and letting things fall away as they no longer serve me. I had a record freelance year without identifying five pitches a day, I haven’t meditated regularly in my life, but holding tight to my aspiration has always felt crucial at this time of year. Making a list, especially as a disabled person, does not mean I have to follow through. Just making the list and making movements on these things is a win that shouldn't be discounted.
So, today’s invitation to you is to identify where you’re finding joy in this year’s first few days. Where are you overcommitting in a way that you can quickly course correct? Where are you seeking comfort in the chaos of new beginnings?
I've decided to shift CRPL to a 5 times a week newsletter about productivity as I am fascinated by the topic, am in the early stage of writing a book about it, and want to have a place to think, and write, and create work about this vital area of thinking. Click below to join the daily newsletter and/or to help financially support this project.