I am a sucker for a plan. Especially this time of year. I can’t help myself — I love to challenge myself to do something everyday.
I tend to over do it. Every January I think I’m going to do a bunch of little things, every day. By February the weak have been winnowed out and I’m left with a few things that will make it a while longer. Maybe one or two will make the cut for the whole year.
Last year pretty much the only thing I actually did all year long was keep my movie tickets. Since we had Movie Pass, we went to a ton of movies. Dozens and dozens. Sometimes three or four in a week. I think we averaged something like $1 per movie for the year. It was so cool.
I miss Movie Pass. The theaters around our new small PA town don’t participate.
This is a little different from a resolution. There’s no real big end goal. It’s more like an effort to develop a few habits. And sometimes it works. Writing for ten minutes a day did, and I still do that daily more than a decade later. Sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve been trying to read the Bible in a year for most of my adult life.
That’s okay. It’s more about the effort and exploring things that matter to me and what works for me, than it is about the end result.
This year is starting out with these:
A daily tarot card pull
I have two tarot guides that I really love. One is Kitchen Table Tarot and the other is The Creative Tarot. My plan is to pull a card every evening and use these two guides to interpret it. I have a little planner where I’ll write my thoughts.
Daily reading from Tolstoy’s A Calendar of Wisdom
I picked up the ebook version of Leo Tolstoy’s A Calendar of Wisdom for $2.99. It’s basically a compilation, by Tolstoy, of interesting thoughts for the day. Some of them are his. Some are by other authors and thinkers. It’s divided into a daily reading.
Keeping a spending log for at least one month
It’s okay if I don’t keep this one for the whole year. I’m not even sure I want to. But I would really like to do this for at least one month. I always want to do this for at least one month and it never works. This is my year!
Keeping a reading log
I came across this other day. It’s a list of every book that Art Garfunkel has read since 1968. That’s 1228 books is 50 years. It isn’t that he reads a remarkable lot of books a year. He averages about 25. But it’s fascinating to me to see how that adds up. And to see what interested him, how one book flowed to the next.
I don’t have many regrets in my life, but man do I wish that I’d started a list like this in the 80s sometime.
You know what they say. The best time to start was in the 80s. The second best time is right now. I plan to keep a reading log starting in 2019.
Art Garfunkel Official Website
Since the 1960's, Art Garfunkel has been a voracious reader. We are pleased to present a listing of every book Art has…
The Commonplace Book Project
To go along with my reading projects, I have a writing project for the year. I plan to post a quote and my own little trip down the rabbit hole inspired by the quote, here on Medium every day.
Read the Bible
I told you. I’ve been trying this one every year for a really long time. I’m not even sure why. I’m not particularly religious. Maybe it’s because I want to understand the faith system I grew up in, even if I’m solidly agnostic now. Maybe it’s because I’m fascinated by the origin of so many stories.
Whatever it is, I start most years making an attempt, using different versions of the Bible and different plans for getting it done.
This year, I’ve bought a common language Bible — with journaling and coloring pages. Cause I’m fancy. And I thought maybe being able to easily work on some marginalia might help my efforts. And I’m using this plan. I can already tell that it’s probably too ambitious. But we’ll see.
The Good Things Box
On New Year’s Day, my husband shared an idea with me on Facebook. It involved writing down something good that happens every week on a little piece of paper and keeping it in a jar to look back over at the end of the year.
My husband never wants to do any of my weird projects. He sure never suggests one. So I was like . . . yes! Let’s do it. Only instead of a jar, because we didn’t have one, we settled on filling a cool vintage Bisquick recipe box I found at Goodwill last week for three bucks with index cards. Whenever something awesome happens, we date a card and write the awesome thing on a card and file it in the back.
We’re calling it the Good Biscuit Box. I hope this one sticks.
Shaunta Grimes is a writer and teacher. She is an out-of-place Nevadan living in Northwestern PA with her husband, three superstar kids, two dementia patients, a good friend, Alfred the cat, and a yellow rescue dog named Maybelline Scout. She’s on Twitter @shauntagrimes and is the author of Viral Nation and Rebel Nation and the upcoming novel The Astonishing Maybe. She is the original Ninja Writer.