A Word In Edgewise: Achieving 2020 Vision(s)

Photo courtesy of BigStock/World Image
Photo courtesy of BigStock/World Image

Photo courtesy of BigStock/World Image


I’ve mentioned before that we file our articles two issues in advance of publication. So writing today, 1 January, 2020, should be time to re-examine a few of those Resolutions made on 31st December, for auld lang syne.

More Time at The Gym: How many times have you listed that? How long does that intention hold, that it must be renewed annually?

Write that Novel: This can be parsed variously as, “Finish that novel,” “Write a short story,” “Write something daily.” Unless you’re already becalmed on the Sargasso Sea of your existing work-in-progress, a nagging voice will murmur, “Write about what?” Your Muse departs.

I Will Learn to Play the…: Really? Have you tallied up how many times you’ve promised this? Where’s that ukulele? The piano makes a handsome display stand for photos and tchotchkes, but when did you last sit down on the bench and tinkle through “Für Elise”?

I Will Learn to Play…: Choose a sport that doesn’t require the expensive tackle and protective armor of your other attempts; those sticks, bats, racquets to play with that are stacked in the basement, and the nose-guards, shin-guards, mouthpieces to prevent (your) blood being shed. Remember, most sport is combat, and you must wrangle up an opponent or team that is neither less prepared nor psyche-crushingly superior to you/yours.

It’s often said that it takes 21 consecutive repetitions to create a habit. Psychologist Jeremy Dean, in Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things We Do, and How to Make Any Change Stick, checked it out. In one study at University College, London, 96 participants spent 84 days working on a chosen “new habit.” On average, it took 66 days of repetition; fewer for simpler habits, and, extrapolating from the 84 days, up to as many as 254 to gel.

No accumulation of habits will assure your success as a talented lutenist, renown novelist, or Wimbledon finalist, but whatever your goal, you must ingrain the habit of its mechanics; thousands of foul shots, reams of dreadful sentences, miles on the exercise bike.

But first, make a simple, Yes/No decision: The Goal is Worth It; The Goal is Not Worth it. This single, honest answer may simplify or complicate your path through 2020. Happy New Year!

Lavender Magazine

5100 Eden Ave, Suite 107
Eden, MN 55436
612.436.4660

Lav Link Newsletter

©2021 Lavender Media, Inc.