Line-a-day success: a seven year saga

by Megan on Sunday, January 7th, 2018 No Comments

For three years straight, my solitary new year’s resolution was to write daily in the line-a-day journal I’ve been keeping (or attempting to keep) for seven years.

Here’s the blog post trail from this sad saga: 

Line-a-day resolution 2017

Line-a-day resolution 2016

Line-a-day resolution 2015

This year, though, the sad saga has a happy ending! In 2017, I finished the year with close to the full 366 entries.

Turns out, my secret weapon from last year’s post worked! (The secret weapon was reading Gretchen Rubin’s book on habits called Better than Before.) Along with habit-strategies, the book gives readers an understanding of how habit-keeping strategies vary across personality types, which is very important.

Pairing turned out to be my winning habit-strategy, which I had done before, but knowing that pairing was a real thing somehow cemented it for me. In the past, I paired the line-a-day journal with making my bed in the morning, but the timing of that was too hectic, and I had better success with pairing the diary with the minutes right after putting the kids to bed.

This time of day isn’t perfect, either, because the kids’ bedtime routine can be the most taxing activity of the day because everyone’s tired, attention spans are shot, and, as parents, we just want the kids in bed already so that we can kick back and relax. Once I shut the doors on the kids’ rooms, it feels impossible to muster up motivation for a chore, even if it’s as simple as scribbling some notes in a little blue book.

So, I used mantras, another technique from the book, to keep my butt in gear for another few minutes. Specifically, I would tell myself, “My job isn’t done for the day until I do this” or “It just takes two minutes now, but it will be daunting if I let the days pile up.”

Also, I learned from Better Than Before that my personality tendency is Obliger and that Obligers so well when there is a social element to habits and goals. Guess it makes sense why I chose to blog about this resolution in the first place. It is also why I’m promising now to write a fifth blog post on this topic, in early January 2019, to share how I did in 2018–when keeping the line-a-day journal was no longer the year’s sole resolution.

This year, I’m going to stick to a single resolution again, though I haven’t decided yet what it will be. One thing I need to be better at, though, is slowing down when I scribble my line-a-day journal entries! After all, what good is writing it down if I can’t even read my own handwriting?

FOR DISCUSSION

Just curious, what are your own personal mantras for keeping your butt in gear when all you want to do is go kick back on the couch?


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