While I don’t believe in New Year resolutions (impossible to keep) or goals (too much pressure), I like the idea of incorporating small changes into my daily life.

I first read about the 6 Changes Method on Jamy’s blog.  The basic idea is that you come up with six habits you’d like to pick up, do each one every day for two months, and no more than ten minutes a day.  Ultimately, at the end of those two months, it will be a habit.  Then you pick up another habit – two months, ten minutes every day.  Six is a good number because well, six times two is twelve.

Also, you’re supposed to come up with a trigger – some action you already do that will trigger the new habit.

I could only come up with five habits I want to pick up, and I’ve started a couple at the same time, but I think that’s okay.

1) Sweep

I’m so awful about dusting and sweeping, tons of hair and dust balls accumulate between visits by the cleaning girl.  (Imagine if we had no cleaning girl?)

The trigger: When I’m about to leave the apartment.

Start date: Feb 1

2) Moisturize my feet

I know this sounds weird and probably TMI, but I’m also terrible about caring for my feet.  As a result, they get very dry and cracked.

The trigger: When I’m about to put on socks and shoes to go out

Start date: Already started

3) Write fiction

While I wrote a novel for NaNoWriMo in November, it still didn’t feel like fiction, maybe because I based it so directly on me, my corporate life, and people I knew. It’s been a long time since I’ve written real fiction – ie, fiction that is completely removed from my own life – I want to get back in the habit.

The trigger: The end of the day, after I’ve come home from working in a cafe

Start date: Feb 1 or March 1

4) Practice something new on the piano

I already have the habit of practicing a bit of piano every day.  We have a pretty good sized keyboard which I tinker at in the early evenings before MB comes home from work.  But I tend to just play pieces I’m already familiar with, reluctant to learn anything new.

The trigger: When I’m sufficiently warmed up from playing familiar pieces

Start date: Already started

5) Write BEFORE checking email/surfing the internet

My routine in the morning is to eat breakfast and have my coffee while reading my book, then get right on the computer.  I’d try to write and surf the internet at the same time, but inevitably, I’d spend much more time to surfing before writing.

So far it’s been working: take at least ten minutes to write before opening up Firefox.

The trigger: After breakfast

Start date: Already started

* * *

I like this method because it forces you to pick something very specific that could done in ten minutes.  Something like “lose weight” wouldn’t work because it’s so vague, but “vigorous exercise” would work (though you need more than ten minutes of it to be effective).


  1. I’m totally surprised that you don’t take good care of your feet. You are so good with the beauty products and stuff for your skin, I would think that would have extended down to your toes.

  2. Wow, that’s a pretty neat idea. And definitely more feasible than “go out more” and “lose 10 stone”.
    I like how it kind of breaks it down into almost baby steps for you.

  3. hey angela–I just saw this post today. thanks for the link. even though the instructions are to spread out the new habits over the course of the year, I’ve started more than one at the same time too. I’m both reading more (at least 10 minutes at bedtime) and doing moderate exercise (physical therapy exercises first thing in the morning). I’m going to try and slow down the introduction of the other new habits so I don’t overwhelm myself. But, it seems that I’m writing more now too…oh well. :)

    • i’ve been woefully inconsistent. while i’m in the habit now of slapping some lotion on my feet before i head out the door, i haven’t been sweeping regularly or playing new stuff on the piano. then again, i have been making sure to write before i start surfing the internet.

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