Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ten Commandments for 2008

The year 2008 is here. Working to achieve these 10 habits may be difficult, but they're worth a try.

1. Thou shalt not put off until tomorrow what could be done today.

There's that email you have yet to answer, the laundry that's been sitting in the basket waiting to be folded, the knob on the cabinet that needs to be tightened. We avoid certain tasks because we don't feel like doing them. But the more we procrastinate, the more things pile up. Decide to make time to attack tasks when they occur instead of putting them off.

2. Thou shalt leave for work ten minutes earlier.

Today you were late for work, and yesterday too. Every day you vow to be on time, yet every day you're late. Your boss has grown to accept it, but for how long? If you left for work earlier, you'd arrive on time. Decide to do what it takes to make it to work on time. Set the time on your clock behind a few minutes. Don't touch your snooze alarm. Lay your clothes out the night before.

3. Thou shalt eat one cookie instead of four.

Diets are a temporary solution, but what about long term? Moderation is much more feasible for many of us. But we sabotage moderation all the time with gluttony. We stuff ourselves with sweets and then promise not to do it again, but soon we break our promise. Let's treat ourselves to sweets, but let's keep the consumption reasonable.

4. Thou shalt read an intelligent book.

We haven't read Faulkner. We say we want to. So why do we always end up on the path of least resistance with a quickie paperback or a mindless magazine? We're tired and Faulkner takes work. So - work. Buy a study guide. Join a book club and suggest a title. Feed your brain for once.

5. Thou shalt not buy another needless pair of shoes.

Our closet is full of them. Every time we feel a bit down, we buy a pair of shoes. When we need some excitement in our day - we buy a pair of shoes. We wear the shoes. We feel good. But soon the novelty wears off and the only way to bring it back is to buy another pair of shoes. We could use that money to pay off our credit cards. We could use that money to save. And we want to. We really do. So the next time we're tempted to make an impulse buy, let's look at why and let's determine if the money we're about to spend on shoes could be spent on better things.

6. Thou shalt not gossip.

Talking about a person behind their back feels good. It makes us feel better about ourselves, especially when others agree with our opinion. But it's negative and loads of negative conversation make for a negative person. Let's vow to take the high road and leave gossip behind.

7. Thou shalt pay more attention to the kids.

It's so easy to pop in a video and sit the kids in front of the tv. It gets even easier with teenagers. They just retreat on their own. But your kids won't be kids forever and quality time is important. Children need attention, even when they act like they don't. Get off the computer, stop cleaning the house and spend some time with your kids.

8. Thou shalt eat more fruits and vegetables.

Are you a connoisseur of fruits and vegetables? Great. Eighty nine percent of adults are not. Instead of reaching for that bag of chips, grab an apple. Hate apples? Make it a pear. Make a salad. Buy pre-cut carrots, cut and washed lettuce, or any other vegetables that will make it easy to throw everything together. If you never eat fruits and vegetables, start with small amounts and work your way to more.

9. Thou shalt do one good deed just because.

How many times do we do something for someone even when nobody knows it? Find one thing you can do without all the accolades. Donate money as anonymous. Shovel the neighbor's snow when they're not home.

10. Thou shalt tell your wife or husband that you love them.

You love your wife, but when was the last time you told her? Look your spouse in the eyes and say "I love you" often.

Jolie du Pre is a full-time published freelance writer and author and editor of erotica. She is pleased to be returning to The Blushing Ladies Journal.



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