Happy and blessed 2010 to all! I always relish the new year. Seems I can visualize a clean slate easier on this day,
Several years ago, I was motivated by the self-improvement plan I read in Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography. Franklin created a list of 13 virtues he desired or felt were important for a man to be successful in life. The virtues, as written in his autobiography:
1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
9. MODERATION. Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
11. TRANQUILLITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
12. CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
13. HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Following in this learned man’s footsteps, I’ve created a checklist with the traits, dreams, and goals I have for myself. Each year, I limit myself to 12. I try to include goals or traits that are simple and measurable. After I decide upon my goals, I create a simple graph to monitor my successes. I can get a whole month’s checklist on one sheet of paper. I put the pages in my loose-leaf day planner and review my goals each night as part of my evening routine.
Here’s this year’s focus chart(Many return year after year and are just to keep myself faithful)
This year, to add incentive, I am awarding myself a dollar a day for each perfect day. This "reward pot" will be used to purchase an item on my wish list.
To read more of Franklin’s self-improvement plan: