I’ve spent a fair amount of time thinking about what New Year’s Resolutions I want to make this year. I’ve got several in mind, and just decided on my main one.

I’ve written in the past about the power of “First Thing in the Morning.” For many people, first thing in the morning is the most productive and efficient time of day. I have many examples of that in my own life. I used to roll out of bed and plop myself in front of my computer before I was even fully awake. Whatever type of writing I was working on at the time, it came more easily and flowed more naturally then than at any other time of day. I often joked that I did my best work while I was still half-asleep, but the truth of it is that I wasn’t really joking.

When we first moved to Georgia – and right up until COVID closed down many businesses – my husband and I used to go to the health club first thing in the morning. I never enjoyed getting up early to go work out, but I always felt good once we were done, with the rest of the day still ahead of us.

I could name other tasks and activities I’ve done, consistently and successfully, when I did them first thing in the morning. The problem is that there is, by definition, just one period of time that qualifies as first thing in the morning. And for some reason, “Second thing in the morning” just doesn’t have the same power. By then the rest of the day has intruded, and there could be meetings, appointments, distractions, or other interruptions. And I have to admit that at this point in my life, I don’t write or exercise as often or consistently as I used to, back when I did them first thing in the morning.

So that’s what my New Year’s Resolution is going to focus on: “First Thing in the Morning.” I’ll begin by making a list of things I want or need to do more of – or do more consistently – starting with writing and exercising, as well as organizing and decluttering. Then I will spend each month of the New Year doing one of them – just one – first thing in the morning every day.

I’ve always subscribed to the school of thought that says it is our habits and routines that best determine how successful we’ll be in anything we set out to do. By concentrating on each one for a month at a time – roughly the amount of time experts say it takes to establish a habit so it’s ingrained in our behavior – I could have a dozen new, good habits established and reinforced in my day-to-day life by this time next year. The only thing I need to do now is figure out which one I want to work on first.

I’ll decide on that tomorrow – first thing in the morning.

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2021
©Betty Liedtke, 2021

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