Sunday, 8 July 2018


Kicking myself this morning for not going out last night, but trying to remind myself of how tired I really did feel. This was, I think, from lack of planning and also from the unseasonably warm weather. There was no-one at the MeetUp that I wanted to see in particular. I didn't cancel, just didn't show up, which strikes me as mean-spirited and I resolve not to do so again, even if it is just drinks. 
It is #26habits day again today. My last habit was to stay out of TKMaxx. How did I do? I went there twice, once this day last week, and the second time yesterday. I bought one item: a foot cream. Once a week might seem plenty and not like I have succeeded, but what is important is that quite a few times I went into town or to the shopping centre and didn't go in there. This is the test, it had become an automatic thing that if I were in town for any reason I would "check" TKMaxx, in a hunter-gatherer kind of way. That is hopefully a thing of the past, and I will endeavour to keep out of there as much as possible for the rest of the summer. (What am I saying? It's quite possible for me never to darken their doors again. Better to say I will keep my visits to withing reasonable limits and not buy things of which I have several already). 

Time now for Habit No 2. I have toyed with a few over the past fortnight. A serious contender was to stay away from Youtube, but I am postponing this to the next time because I don't want this to be some kind of Lenten omnibus of giving up this and giving up that. I have decided that every second habit, at the least, will be adding an activity rather than taking it away. The frontrunner than became to develop an evening routine...a kind of bookend to Elrod's SAVERS. This I have come up with in the form of FLOAT. I did think first of JOLT. Journal-Organise-List-Tidy, but that sounded too much like a morning routine. The letters of FLOAT stand for 
-Five-minute journal.
I am good at filling out the morning section of the FMJ, which I do as the A component of SAVERS, but lots of the pages are either blank at the bottom or have the headings but nothing filled in under them. I just forget, but making this part of a definite routine helps. The list is the right-hand side of my Moleskine diary, which functions as a bullet-journal to-do list (yes, I did try full-on bullet journaling and while I can see it is very clever, it just didn't work for me). In the evening I check off what I've done with an X through the box, and add in items that have arisen during the day so I have some kind of window into the future and this also minimises having to get out of bed because I've forgotten something. Then I organise anything I need for the morning/pack if I'm going anywhere. This isn't usually necessary this time of year, but will be a crucial step in September. Then T is for setting a ten-minute timer on my phone and tidying up, mostly in the kitchen. 

Life-enhancing as this routine is, it hasn't made the cut for this fortnight's habit because as soon I as conceived it, it's been extremely easy to stick to. Maybe when the enthusiasm wears off and I need a re-boot it could become one of the 26 habits at that stage. When it came to picking the habit, I decided to think about my priorities. Going out more is one of them. Another is writing, and this is where I finally settled. Drumroll....

Habit No. 2 of the #26habits is to use Dorothea Brande's two strategies to get more writing one. The first strategy is to write first thing in the morning. The second is to commit to another specific time of day to write. I plan to follow this five days a week. Five is enough, and I will pick the time five o'clock, or as close to five o'clock as I can manage. We will see how this will go. 

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