yellow noteWe make resolutions, fight the good fight for a while, and then lose track and lose heart. Sigh.

This year,  break the resolution-defeat-discouragement cycle before it gets going. Start some rituals instead. These 10 help me keep writing, hit deadlines, and generally stay sane.

 1. Make a daily to-do list

Have at least 3 specific things on the list you want to get done that day. Nothing vague like lose weight. One should relate to a larger goal. The list needs to be written down—on your phone, on a sticky note. Don’t keep mental lists, they are easily misplaced and fatiguing.

 2. Own a Calendar

Put it on the wall, on your phone, in a planner. Get into the habit of looking at the month view rather than just the day or week layout. A month gives you a larger perspective for planning purposes. Don’t just let the year happen.

 3. Watch or Read Some International News

The world is a big place! Know what is going on beyond your own doorstep. It will stretch your brain, give you new perspectives and give you something interesting to say in an interview, cocktail party, or the first day in a new job. Try BBC News.

4. Keep a Small Victory List

Especially when things seem bad, you need to record the small victories. Got the child to stop crying, remembered to set up that automatic payment into your savings account, brought a mug to work to drink office coffee instead of buying a latte, etc. After a few weeks of keeping such a list, you’ll recognize talents you didn’t know you had.

5. Say Hello and Goodbye

We can enrich our relationships with just a hail and farewell. Greetings are such simple things but they provide acknowledgment and respect.

6. Thank the person who prepared or brought your meal

In our house, the dinner prayer always ends with a thank-you to whomever cooked. At a restaurant, we always thank the server. Gratitude for food sometimes gets lost in a fast food culture but it is basic good manners and always appreciated.

7. Eat at least 1 meal/day with an identifiable vegetable component

We can’t live by carbs and fried stuff alone. Eat something green, something fresh. Your colon and arteries will thank you.

8. Save Money

Put something in the bank every month or every payday. If you can set up an automatic deposit to a savings account, do it. Doesn’t have to be a lot. But the ritual of paying yourself first will pay dividends (pun intended) down the road.

9. Make a Schedule for Checking Your Finances

Every 2 weeks or so, check all your online banking accounts (write a reminder on the calendar!) Open up the statements that came in the mail and got dumped by the sofa. Have a folder for tax-related items and stick stuff in there. If you pay bills online, know when credit card bills are due and pay them ahead of time.

 10. Stretch in the morning

Get out of the bed and stretch. Feel the spine crack. Do a few arm circles. Touch the old toes. Get the blood going. See, a small victory already!

Hidden Light by Carmen AmaRisk. Power. Corruption. Cartels. And Relationships.

In 2014, one dollar from the sale of every book by Carmen Amato (Kindle format) will go to water.org. Clean water and the dignity of modern sanitation.

1 Comment

  1. pov53

    Love, love, love the small victories list. I need to do that…

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Your Best Year on 365 Fresh New Pages » author Carmen Amato - […] about chucking the notion of New Year’s resolutions and working instead on good rituals, which you can read here.…
  2. 10 Tips for Powering Up Your Creativity | Author Carmen Amato - [...] related post: 10 Winning Rituals to Bust the Broken Resolution Cycle [...]
  3. Sweeten Life with 4 Jars of Inspiration | Author Carmen Amato - [...] is a variation on one of the rituals I wrote about in a New Year’s blog post. Keep a…

more good stuff

What is Happening to Priests in Mexico?

  Priests in Mexico appear to be wearing targets as well as their vestments. Father Richard was the first My pastor in Mexico City was an Oblate missionary, Father Ricard Junius, who was murdered in 2007. I wrote about his death in this blog post and...

read more

Book Review: Claws of the Cat by Susan Spann

CLAWS OF THE CAT is one of those books you wish you’d written, but grudgingly know you’d never come up with the premise. Related: Author to Author with Susan Spann Author Susan Spann takes us to imperial Japan in 1565. The Jesuits, in the form of Portuguese priest...

read more

The Great Madonna Mistake

It took me five years to realize the mistake. The Madonna mistake. In THE HIDDEN LIGHT OF MEXICO CITY, Luz de Maria is a maid in Mexico City who returns home to the small town of Soledad de Doblado after losing hr job. There she sees a news report that...

read more

Get your #FREE Detective Emilia Cruz Starter Library today!

She's the first female police detective in Acapulco

She can take the heat. Can you?

© 2017 Carmen Amato.

Hello

I'm author Carmen Amato. I write mystery and suspense, including the Detective Emilia Cruz police series set in Acapulco. Expect risk, power, corruption. And relationships with heat.  More

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This