I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions. If something is important to your growth and success why wait for the end of the year? With bad habits the sooner you break them the better. With good habits, they only become habits if you put time aside and do it… then do it again the next day. With that said, I have a resolution I am going to start working on right now. It involves what I think are the two most important habits of successful individuals – reading and writing.
I’m not talking about having the ability to read and write (although obviously that is a helpful prerequisite), I’m talking about the habit of doing the reading and writing consistently. Reading exercises the mind, feeds ideas, builds knowledge and to many can be relaxing. I think it is important to balance reading selections with both work and play – enjoying both the fiction and “fun” reading and the non-fiction and reading related to your professional or business interests. Great ideas often come from unexpected places. Being bored and doing nothing can even be “productive”.
For many, like myself, reading is much easier than writing. At any given time, how much easier is it to pick up a book or a magazine than to sit down and write in a journal, write an article, or just outline thoughts and ideas. I outline and “write” a lot of great stuff in my mind but I lack the habit of consistently writing down thoughts and ideas that later can become interesting blog posts, articles, stories, songs or perhaps are just introspective musings.
The act of writing can be therapeutic in and of itself. I have an incredible amount of respect for writers. Not necessarily published writers or people who write as part of their occupation, but any writer who is in the habit of catching thoughts down on paper (or computer) before they float away. I’ve always believed writing consistently in a journal is the most powerful way to grow as a human being.
So, why have I only written in my journal a couple times in the last month? Why have I failed to capture those deep thoughts or those brilliant song lyrics? I think the answer is simple – I’m a bit disorganized, sometimes lazy, and writing is not enough of a habit. It’s not that I don’t know how important, enriching and beneficial writing more would be for me and my sticker business, it’s just that it’s, well… hard. Sound familiar? Just like those New Year’s resolution to eat better, exercise more, quit doing this or start doing that… habits are hard to break and hard to make.
So, my plan (resolution) is to set aside time each morning (before I’m caught up in the minutia of the work day) to write. I won’t specify what that writing will be, perhaps just anything I’m thinking about or working on, but I’ll write with no distractions. Perhaps I can get back on track with my goal of a blog post each week, more articles on stickers and marketing and maybe even one of the book projects I keep meaning to start. I’ll keep reading at night and avoid TV. I know with more reading and writing will come a healthier mind, more great ideas and more success in the different facets of my life.
Will you join me in setting aside more time for reading and writing? Don’t think to big – no need to tackle writing a novel, just write, outline, or revise a little something every day. The more you read and write the easier it will get, the more it will flow, and the healthy habit will grow. So, here’s to a good book, a well-worn journal and our continued success in the years to come.