Oh I know you want to move the numbers. You want the numbers in the bank account to go up and those on the scale to go down. To make this happen you’re going to eliminate all the things in your life you feel guilty about. Shopping, eating, drinking, gambling, et cetera.
All the et ceteras will be eliminated starting TODAY.
And we may or may not remember our good intentions in a month.
The only resolution, and I mean the ONLY resolution that ever worked for me was the resolution from January 1, 2010, to write in my journal every day. I like to think of it as a workbook. Janice’s workbook of things to do, work through, measure, rejig, reconfigure, reinvent, et cetera… It led to quitting my job, packing bags, moving to Paris, falling in love, getting married, starting a successful letter writing business, writing a New York Times best seller, traveling and landing in Western Canada. Five years. Only five years. That’s a lot of resolution success that happened as a side effect of writing in my journal every day.
BTW, Paris Letters is still $1.99 and the Kindle store but I don’t know for how long… not up to me… and it’s still #1 and #2 in three categories, so thanks for that dear reader.
Paris Letters is the kind of book you buy for yourself if you want to learn about New Year’s Resolution success. It’s like the KonMari book but instead of cleaning up your house, you clean up your life.
Julia Cameron refers to this daily writing as writing Morning Pages in her book The Artist’s Way. I rarely do the pages in the morning. She insists they be three pages long. Me? Sometimes I write the date and a list and that seems to do the trick. I don’t get mad at myself if I don’t make it to the end of three pages in a day.
All these rules harsh my mellow.
But the daily writing works. I think the DAILINESS of it is what works best. What time of day and for how long? Meh. I don’t know about all that. My advice is to open a journal each day, grab a pen, write the date and then see what happens after that. No need to be too precious about it. Personally, I’ve never had success with leather-bound books or anything heavy. Now, when I buy a purse, I have to make sure my journal will fit inside because I write on the go.
That’s what cafés are for.
A daily writing/doodling/list making practice will help you sort out life. It will make you more proactive in your day rather than just reacting to whatever comes along.
We are humans. We fill up our days. That’s what we do.
If you don’t plan and fill your day, someone else will do it for you. Then resentment starts to bubble up and a whole mess of unpleasantness ensues.
You don’t have to be a writer. Or an artist.
You just have to show up at the page and trust that something will reveal itself when you do. I do a lot of sketches, a lot of lists, a lot of calculations, a lot of bullet points of my day. In fact, when writing Paris Letters, most of that started as a detailed bullet point list in my journal. Then I smoothed it out from there. And every painted letter I write starts off looking something like this in my journal:
This is a Travel Letter about Rome. Can’t you tell? It was either going to be a girl on a bike or a rooftop view with the Vatican in the background. Obviously. Then I kept working at it and came up with this:
This is a story about the stove top coffee maker I bought when I was in Rome. Again, obviously. But it eventually turned into this:
(BTW, you can find this and the other letters over at my shop.)
Here’s the bottom line…
You may want to increase the wealth and decrease the weight in 2016. How you can make that happen is by planning out how in your journal each day.
For me, my resolution is the same as it was in 2010. And from inside the pages, I’ll see what else I can conjure up for the next five years.
Happy New Year beautiful reader.