As I said at the start of the year, I’m not into New Year’s resolutions, but I do like goals, and there’s been two in particular that have motivated habits that I am now practicing daily, with all the struggles and rewards that come along with it.
The first goal I set was to start writing consistently again, an admittedly vaguely-worded goal because I wanted it to be a source of options, not limitations. There are specific projects that I want to tackle this year, but I also wanted to rediscover the simple joy in the act of writing, of composing sentences and paragraphs. Although it took me a few days into the new year the get going, I’ve now been low-key blogging every weekday for the past month, a habit I will work to continue for the foreseeable future.
I say low-key because it was something that I started doing without any grand announcement or fanfare, just words to digital paper to screen, five days a week. I’ve had this blog in some form since 2002, using it with varying degrees of consistency every year throughout the last 16 years, which is no small feat. At no point in the past, however, I have taken upon myself a habit to write regularly, having used it more when the mood struck or when I had a project going and I was inspired.
This time I’m going for consistency, cranking out words weekly whether a topic comes to mind easily or not. Some days it’s a breeze to crank out roughly 500 words, others it’s hard to get even a title out, but either way, the words have been posted. The practice has forced me to think of topics to write about in complete ideas rather than in fragments fired off into social media, as well as stretching beyond my old usual set of only geeky topics.
The other daily habit I’ve been working on is reading the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelations. The church I attend when I visit Delaware started an online small group to read the Bible chronologically, and I jumped at the opportunity to do this. Over the last decade, I’ve read the Tanach, the Hebrew name for five books of Moses, various times, but I’ve only read portions of the rest of the books of the Old Testament, and very little of the New Testament. This way I finally get to read the entire book.
The chronological format is interesting, in that it organizes the different books of the Bible as they occurred. So we started with Genesis 1:1, and then after reading about Noah and the flood, we jumped to Job since he lived in the post-flood era before Abraham, and so on through the rest of the books. It’s an interesting way to read the Bible, underscoring the context of some books in relation to others.
I like having these daily habits. Not only they help structure my days, they build consistency into my otherwise random schedule, plus they build discipline that I can apply to other aspects of my life.