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Starting a Benjamin Franklin Habit on January Second

Last night  I  fell asleep reading a book on how to create new habits. One of the habits I wanted to create this year was to go to bed at  ten, and wake up at five to write. I was reading the book on creating new habits at 11:46 P.M.

I woke up this morning before five, but didn’t get out of bed to write. The second day of the year and I already haven’t done what I want to do with my time.

Today is a fresh start. Tonight I will go to bed at ten, and tomorrow I will wake up at five.

I will do it today. I will go to bed at ten, and I will wake up at five.

Today will be different, because I am going to write it down. I will put my desires into writing. Pamela tonight will listen to what Pamela this morning wrote down.  I can help future Pamela by writing down what I want her to do.

Benjamin Franklin had a daily plan. There was structure to each of his days. Franklin accomplished a lot in his life. I want to do more with my life, then read the news eight times an hour, and check my e-mail every five minutes. I don’t want it to say on my tombstone: She undated her facebook status every five minutes, or  She never had a dirty dish in her sink.

No, I want more out of my life. I want time to create, time to be generous, time to read to my children, and make forts in the backyard. Okay, and a little bit of time to wash the dishes and dust. Just a little though.

I need structure.

Here is the new plan. Or, my new plan, Benjamin Franklin’s old plan. I will start each day asking the question: What good shall I do this day? And in the evening, I will ask myself, What good have I done today?  I will sleep from 10 until 5.  The rest of the day will be filled with written tasks.  If this plan worked for Benjamin Franklin, it will work for me.

Do you have a plan to create new habits? Please tell me. I need help.



About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

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  • What I find hardest is getting back on track after you’ve crashed and burned. This is what happened to my healthy eating commitment over the holidays. I find myself saying “I’ll begin again tomorrow” every day, and tomorrow keeps getting pushed further away.

  • Benjamin Franklin amazed me with his scheduled daily activities: so tight and neat. Like you, I require a high degree of structure-if someone else makes it for me. I began eating Paleo a month ago and it’s carrying over to the new year extremely well. This is my new habit and it keeps me focused and on task. The problem lies when I’m not preparing a new recipe or cleaning up in the kitchen or shopping for new ingredients. Beyond this, I fall apart. I write a menu plan for the week. Now, I will make a menu for accomplishing my other responsibilities.

    • pamelahodges

      Hello Shelley. The Paleo diet sounds interesting. I would love to hear your menu plan. I eat that way most days. No grains, and no sugar. All the best for a new year Shelley.

  • Robin Patrick

    I wish I had some great advice. I am a major procrastinator. I do this because I am lazy and sometimes because I am afraid I can’t do the things on my agenda, or at least not do them well enough. Trying to kick start my efforts to change.
    This was a very wise post, Pamela.

    • pamelahodges

      Good Morning Robin. You can do the things on your agenda, you can do them poorly. You can do them really, really awful. You can sweep the kitchen floor and leave half the crumbs. You can go for a walk, and only walk to the end of the driveway. Tomorrow you can sweep the rest of the crumbs. Tomorrow you can walk a little past the driveway.
      Robin, just change a little every day. You can do it. Just start imperfectly.

  • pamelahodges

    Winne, you are a lot like Benjamin Franklin. Now you just need to invent something.

  • Winnie

    I schedule most of my day, but I think that is part of my control that I need to let go of…I even schedule when I do laundry, and when I’ll sleep, but I don’t always stick to my schedule either…I guess I’m a lot like Benjamin Franklin 🙂 lol