On New Year’s day many of us think of resolutions, changes we hope to effect in ourselves for the coming year. For me the word resolution tends to strike a rebellious chord in me since as soon as I make them, I thumb my nose and break them. I tried looking at the word in a different vein to see that helped. Re-solve. To solve something again? Well that would work if I ever felt like I had a handle on things but I don’t and the word resolution just isn’t working for me.

So I’m changing the name of the game. I’m calling it habits. I want to create new habits in the coming year. A lot of new habits which could, by count alone, set me up for failure but the thing is, I don’t expect to do them all at once and in the reaching for them, I will be effecting some changes in my life.

Here are 30 habits I hope to cultivate in 2011. They are listed in no particular order except the way they’re coming into my head. And yes, there’s the whole eat less, move more thing to be added in but right now I’m thinking in terms of enriching my literary life. And I’m sure there are those who will think that 30 habits are about 29 too many. In my mind, I want to see these all out there, listed on my bulletin board and sitting beside my computer to remind me every day that making 2011 better than 2010 is 100% up to me.

  1. Be a better friend.
  2. Let go of relationships that are obviously not two-way
  3. Reach out to people locally that I can meet with face-to-face.
  4. Reach out to friends I connect with online by doing phone calls and Skype chats.
  5. Record the books I read during the year.
  6. Apply for more grants.
  7. Submit poetry.
  8. Write some essays.
  9. Get back to morning pages.
  10. Short-circuit the negative voices in my head.
  11. Keep an observation journal of three things per day.
  12. Maintain a garden journal.
  13. Do at least one collage a week.
  14. Write a rough draft poem a day.
  15. Blog daily.
  16. Read and comment more on other blogs.
  17. Participate in Poetry Friday.
  18. Participate in the Carnival of Children’s Literature.
  19. Participate in 15 Words or less poems.
  20. Participate in Trisha’s Poetry Stretch.
  21. Get back to Tweeting in a way that works for me.
  22. Record five things I’m grateful for, every day, in my gratitude journal.
  23. Work more in my office, in the garden and in the courtyard.
  24. Read and study more poetry.
  25. Do at least one poetic exercise per week.
  26. Take time to be still and learn how to focus on breathing.
  27. Say thank you.
  28. Ask for help when I need it.
  29. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
  30. See the me that others see.