Write It Down

Reader Contribution by Paul Gardener

First off let me say Merry Christmas and Happy New year to all. I hope everyone was able to enjoy a wonderful holiday season with friends and family and are looking forward to a very fine 2009!

As we all know, each new year brings a bevy of New Year’s resolutions and goals. It’s a natural thing isn’t it? A full year has passed and there’s a break, a natural point of delineation when we just seem to feel right making promises and goals with ourselves for how we want to be better or more productive in the future. And that’s really what we’re doing aren’t we? I mean I don’t know anyone that says I want to sit around a little more or eat a little less healthy or make a goal to get less done, do you? We seem to naturally feel like we can do more, or perhaps more to the point, that we should be doing more or at least doing what we’re doing better.

The other half of this is that we also have a natural tendency to be able to conveniently “forget” the things we wanted to do so badly on December 31st. I know, for myself at least, that around mid June I find myself thinking “What resolution? I don’t remember saying that.” Or maybe “No, no, no … I didn’t mean that I wanted to eat healthy all the time. What I meant by that was that I just didn’t want to eat junk food everyday…. Yeah that’s it.”  And because of that I’ve come up with a little bit of a way to back myself into a corner so to speak.

Write it down!

This is a prime opportunity for anyone that wants to accomplish something, change something or get better at something to really try and commit to it. It’s also a perfect time to get those goals on paper. I started doing this a couple of years ago and have found it to be a great aid in focusing myself. Personally I don’t use paper, instead I use my blog as a digital catch all for the things that I hope to accomplish and have found that putting it out there for the entire world to see seems to make me take them just a little more seriously.

So how does this relate to country living, the Grit lifestyle or even small scale growers like myself? It applies because as we look forward to this next year, no doubt we’re making plans. It’s just part of who we are, isn’t it? Perhaps we’re living on a 100-year-old homestead that we’re working to bring back to its former glory or we’re trying to simplify our lives a little by doing more with less. Maybe you’re like our family, pretty average except for your desire to work the little bit of suburban ground that you have to make it productive and provide food for your family. Either way, regardless of your circumstances, those plans are what give us direction for the future. They allow us to define how we will move forward, and what is important to us. They give us a road map for the next year, keep us focused and in the long run will make us more successful.

Whether it’s a calendar pinned up in the office, a handwritten list of goals stuck to the fridge with a magnet your 3 yr old made in school or a journal that you post up to the great expanse of the blogosphere, take the time to write those goals down and revisit them once and a while. And if you don’t meet them all that’s OK too. Hey, there’s always 2010 right?

I’m Looking forward to a great new year here at Grit getting to know you all a little better.


You can reach Paul Gardener by email, or check his personal blog at A posse ad esse.

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