Sunday, January 14, 2007

Simplicity, Systems, Schedules, Self Discipline

It's a new year. Time to decide what we want 2007 to be for us. Some folks make resolutions-not me. I am averse to feeling like I have failed before the first month of the year is through. Instead I make promises to myself that I feel pretty confident I can keep. This year I have promised myself to drink more water. I think somewhere in my remote past there was a nomad who rationed the precious liquid so well that her descendants do not experience thirst as acutely as the average population. So I have a drinking schedule -no, not the alcoholic stuff, just water- and it seems to be going well.

Last year, I promised myself to keep better records of household repairs. My new year began with a tree down in the yard that took out part of my fence and part of my neighbor's fence. Fortunately, my kept promise allowed me to quickly put my hand on the receipt for the tree company I paid six weeks ago to assess that tree and remove all limbs that posed a hazard. Hopefully they will make things right.

What does all of this have to do with fashioning 2007 for ourselves? Glad you asked. Because whether we make resolutions or promises to ourselves, there are four organizational principles that allow us to be successful:

Self discipline

Simplicity: The simpler, the better. I am going to drink more water.

Systems: I am going to buy an extra case of water every week and evaluate my progress prior to going to the grocery store for my next supply. I could get it from the faucet, but I would lose track and I am prone to err in my favor when estimating.

Schedule: In addition, to regular beverages, I am going to drink a bottle of water at 10 AM, 2PM, 4PM and 7PM.

Self Discipline: I just have to maintain the system and the schedule. I could call on a friend or family member to help me monitor and remind me, but I am pretty good at doing it myself and nobody kicks me harder than I do.

Using these principles with any project helps get it done. Try it and I bet next year you will look back and be glad you kept that promise to yourself.

Beverly and Kristen

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