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Habits - December Update and 2020 Conclusion

My word for 2020 is habits, so each month in 2020 I selected one habit that I wanted to stop and one I wanted to start. I’ll list those by month below.


But first, a short recap of the year.


Like anything new, I had some successes and failures. I took some time in December to consider the new habits I attempted to develop this year—both habits in giving up and in starting. In short, this is how I would grade myself.


Habits relating to:

Writing – A

Spiritual – B

Exercise/body care – C

Food/drinks – D


My goal was to try something new each month and see how I responded and decide if I wanted to continue the habit. I realize now that I did not give up anything on a long-term basis. All of my attempts were for a month, or at most two.


Honestly, I had far less success in these goals than I did in the ones I started in 2020.


I think that tells me I should consider areas of my life that I need to make a change and give up something. I suspect that I am either blind to or in denial of things I should give up. Or maybe I am flat out unwilling to give us some unhealthy areas of my life. I don’t have an answer today.


My major successes in 2020 occurred in some new goals I started, primarily in the writing, but also in doing devotions.


I wanted to increase writing new fiction last year and set a goal to use a ten minute timer at least once a day for new writing. On December 31 I completed my 366th day in a row. Yes, I did not miss a single day. Yay!!! During the year I wrote 1,578 TMTs, which is 15,780 minutes or 263 hours of new fiction writing. I am beyond thrilled.


Although I maintained the habit throughout the year, the biggest difference in my writing production happened in the last 3-4 months. I reached the point where my TMTs increased significantly, as did the time I spent on other writing activities like revision and marketing. I contribute the increased discipline and production to the focus on increasing my writing habits all year long. I think my efforts of fighting through the struggles really bore fruit toward the end of the year and I hit a rhythm like I have never experienced before.


I hope, hope, hope I can maintain my pace.


I finished with mixed results with the goals I set relating to my devotional times, though overall I made very good progress. I only missed a handful of days of reading a daily devotional using the YouVersion app on my phone. And although it wasn’t a set goal, I believe I wrote in my journal more last year than I ever have.


I did really well at holding my devotional time in the morning for much of the year but waned off the last couple of months, often doing it before I turned in the for night. And while I succeeded more often than not with my goals of reading spiritual truths and praying, I still didn’t always stick to them the way I had hoped.


I don’t plan to do the goal setting each month going forward, but it is something that I could return to if I reach a point I believe I need the added focus in making some changes. I hope that having a year of intense focus on goal setting will help me be more conscious of patterns of behavior in my life and prepared to address those behaviors (habits) accordingly.




My stopping habits for 2020:


January - Watching shows for entertainment

February – Soda

March – Chocolate

April – Chocolate

May – No hitting the snooze

June – No hitting the snooze

July - Avoiding the national news

August - Avoiding the national news

September – Soda

October – Watching the Chiefs football games

November – No hitting the snooze

December – Quit Amazon Prime



My starting habits for 2020:


January - A daily devotion using the YouVersion Bible app and a ten-minute writing timer (TMT)

February – Read a list of truth declarations (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)

March – Twelve minutes in prayer (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)

April – Twelve minutes in prayer (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)

May – Two minutes of prayer after devotions (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)

June – Two minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)

July - Three minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)

August - Four minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing)

September – Five minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing); read truth declarations every day

October – Five minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running and one ten-minute workout a week; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing); read truth declarations every day

November – Five minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running and one ten-minute workout a week; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing); read truth declarations every day

December – Six minutes of prayer after devotions; Two minutes of core after running and one ten-minute workout a week; (Plus daily devotions and TMT writing); read truth declarations every day


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