A Better Resolution
Make a life changing resolution this year. Everyone makes resolutions, whether they are formal, written goals, or just ideas in our heads. Most of the resolutions we make are to do or not do certain activities, i.e. eat better, exercise more, or, my favorite, get organized.
This year how about making a resolution to change the way you think. Instead of planning to start doing something better, why not resolve to become something better. This method of self-improvement is based on the system Benjamin Franklin described in his autobiography to achieve “moral perfection.” Franklin devised a structure to work on developing the character traits he believed would make him a better person. He created a list of 13 traits he wanted to enhance in himself. Each week he chose one and practiced it to the best of his ability. The next week he chose another and worked on it. Since there are four 13 week cycles in 52 weeks he applied his attention to each trait four times in a year.
My adaptation of Franklin’s system is to choose only one character trait or virtue each year and concentrate on it. I make it very simple by choosing a single word that represents what I want to enhance in my way of thinking. Last year’s word was “Begin.” I wanted to remind myself that if I just begin I can do the thing I’ve been putting off. So, this year my flower garden was in before it got too hot, and it’s ready for winter this year. I did not achieve anywhere near “moral perfection,” but I did change my thinking pattern and most of the things I had been putting off really weren’t that hard once I got started.
My word for 2020 is Grace. What’s your word?
1. Temperance. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. Silence. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. Order. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. Resolution. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. Frugality. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. Industry. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. Sincerity. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. Justice. Wrong none by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. Moderation. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. Cleanliness. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
11. Tranquility. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. Chastity. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
13. Humility. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Copyright© 2020 Elizabeth Tawney Gross, Organizing For Everyday, LLC