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January 1, 2018; Ringing in the New Year

Last night Pete and I rang in the New Year by playing Quiddler, a card game, and then watched the movie, the “Big Lebowski.” Every so often we’d look out the window and see the fireworks going off over on Ridge Runner Circle. I’m always concerned about the effect the noise will have on the animals, but these days the displays are at the distance. Used to be, when our nearby John set off fireworks, the horses would get upset because he lives so close. In fact, one year Mr. Siggi crashed through the gate separating the two main enclosures. But a few years back the person in question blew off his thumb setting off fireworks, and since, has resorted to differing past-times like tending to his place and riding his snowmobile in the nearby woods.

Alys cabin under snow

My previous year’s Resolution was to refrain from acquiring any more books. I kept it for two days. I am now at the point where I might not get to read all I have on hand in a year’s time. But I now want to read Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. I became interested in reading this book after listening to Fitness Coach, Ben Cagle referred to this book in a public presentation.

Ben spoke in a very articulate fashion about how we might better cultivate sustainable habits. He said it generally takes between 22 and 336 days before a habit becomes a part of one’s routine. He also recommended engaging in one’s habit; as writer Anne Lamott would say, “bird by bird, first on a daily, then on a weekly, then on a monthly basis. Cagle also reiterated his claim that we first focus on developing one good habit since taking on too many habits can be self-defeating.

I agreed with Ben that doing several pre-determined sustainable activities simultaneously can be self-defeating for the mind can only create several new neural pathways at the same time. Doing just one activity strengthens old pathways and creates new ones. The creation/strengthening of existent pathways then makes it possible for us to create others.

My single habit (which is now my New Year’s resolution) is to drink 64 ounces of water a day. This activity is specific, concrete, and will be easy to accomplish. I will fill my 32 ounce container twice a day, and I’ll take it with me when I go places. I might also use my Camelback when I’m outside for any length of time.

I’m tempted, but am not going to take on any other habits. However, my taking on this habit has already been analogous to dropping a pebble in a lake. My concentric ring has intersected with Pete’s. We’re already working on further developing more sustainable lifestyles. This morning we ate a very healthy breakfast that consisted of cooked quinoa, bananas, apples, grapefruit, and decaffeinated tea. I then took my vitamins and flossed my teeth. After, we ventured outside and put goat, dog, horse, chicken, and human manure in their proper places. Pete’s now doing his morning exercises. I’ll do mine later.

I’ll do some cognitive house-keeping later today. I’ll then feel less overwhelmed. And in feeling less overwhelmed I’ll remember to drink more water.

Next: 2. January 2, 2019: Knowledge is Power

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