Friday, January 3, 2014

in the beginning...

So when I first looked at the date of my last blog post, January 5, 2010, I thought, wow, it's been 3 years since I last blogged...Crazy! And then I remembered that it's 2014. 4 years. Oh well. I don't live overseas anymore, and my adventures these days are far more run of the mill. Living in New Orleans does lend itself on occasion to some pretty fun moments, but that's what Facebook and Instagram are for, right? If I lived overseas now, I don't really know how much I would blog...I'd probably have more today, but then again, pictures really say much more than words, so who knows... But that is not the point of this. I admit, I'm not 100% sure yet what the point is. My new year's resolution or goal was to write, and I figured blogging is the easiest way to get back into the swing of things and maybe stretch my creative muscles. It's more free form and unedited than an essay or something, but also more focused and edited than journaling. And, I mean, it's new year's--everybody's blogging! So we'll see. I had to stop myself from piddling and actually creating a whole new blog, just because it's new and a new year and a new resolution. I end up focusing a lot on stuff like that, stuff that really doesn't matter, in order to prolong the more important stuff, the harder forcing myself to actually write. But one thing that's already proved helpful is the idea of a "trigger." A few years back (maybe spring of 2010?), I read Dan and Chip Heath's book "Switch." It's all about making change happen when change seems hard or impossible--perfect new year's book. Anyway, I don't remember as much as I should or would like to remember, but recently, I got an email from their newsletter and it gave four suggestions for making new year's resolutions stick. They were all great, but I'll focus on the trigger idea, for today. A trigger is something that you do to automatically prompt yourself to take the next step, whatever that next step might be. It sets into motion a sequence of action that might otherwise take some degree of will power and/or self control (which are limited resources--another fascinating topic they cover). Anyway, my trigger for writing today was, when I have my coffee, I'm going to write. Pretty simple, pretty logical, really--coffee and writing just seem to go hand in hand. But it's really amazing the difference it made. I think it was two nights ago that I was skimming over the email and came up with the idea, and even though I just put it into play today, I thought about it several times yesterday and last night, and it had somehow already become this thing, this normative action: get coffee, write. Hopefully, it's a jump start to a habit. We'll see. Until next time!

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