At the end of October I purchased a lovely Baron Fig hardbound dot grid notebook and, eager to take both it and some new fountain pen ink out for a ride, I put it beside my bed and set out to write a brief summary of the day every night before I went to sleep.
I’ve succeeded in doing so every night since then; I generally fill a page or two with banal notes about what I had for breakfast and lunch, my main work activity, a note or two about Catherine and Oliver, and I always finish up with noting my bedtime and the outside temperature.
I’ve modified my daily routine a little to write the heading for the current day when I get up, which presents me then with a blank page to represent the unending promise of the day ahead.
The other resolution-like activity I’ve been engaged in since the fall is making my bed every morning.
Although I came up with this on my own, my reasons mirror those of that great guru of routine, Tim Ferris, who mentions this in a video about morning routines:
Number one: making your bed. I know this sounds odd. It was first recommended to me by an Indian monk; he convinced me of the merits. Because you are accomplishing one thing at the beginning of the day, no matter what happens with unforeseen variables for the rest of the day, you will return to a made bed at the end of the day, and as a bookmark, beginning and end, it sets you up psychologically to be more productive, and also to feel better even if things go sideways later.
Although I don’t worship at the altar of productivity as Ferris does–and I certainly don’t have it in me to adopt other aspects of his morning routine, of the “do 3,000 yoga sprints while yelling out Tony Robbins’ aphorisms for life” ilk–making my bed every morning has done exactly as he describes, and it’s now an inviolable part of my daily routine.