Monday, January 05, 2009

Morning Readings

I recently heard a radio interview (on Humankind) with David Allen, author of Getting Things Done. There was a lot that was interesting about the interview, but one piece that struck me was that he talked about writing things that he especially wanted to remember about life on 3x5 cards, and reviewing them every morning. Once a given concept was well internalized, he would retire that card. But the simple act of reading them every morning would bring an intention or a way of thinking into his consciousness, and over time, this had an effect.

I thought it might be interesting to give this a try. I modified the plan a little: instead of using 3x5 cards, I use one of those tiny loose leaf notebooks. One day, I sat down, and thought about important things I have learned that I want to remember better in my daily life, and wrote them down, one per page. Some are thoughts. Others are intentions. Yet others are queries.

Some mornings, as I read them, I think of new ones I want to add. I include the date when I write a new one. As I retire pages, I will also include dates of retirement, and will make a section at the back of the little notebook for these retired ones. It might be interesting to revisit those once in a while. So far, I haven't retired any of them.

Here is what some of them say:

Current page 1: "What would be a Good Day today?"

Current page 2: "My Athletic Self: I always feel better about myself after going for a run."

Current page 4: "It is important to take care of myself. If I don't, then I am probably at some level hoping or expecting others to take care of me -- and then feeling disappointed that they are not reading my mind and responding! Far better that I become aware of and clear about my needs, and ask for help when I need it."

A later page: "What does it mean to be a good friend?"

I call this my Mini-Book of Intentionality and Affirmative Living. I am hoping that it will keep me centered and focused in the new year.


  1. What a great idea! I have a shifting set of sayings and reminders that are right next to my computer--at eye level--so I see them every time I write or go online.

    Current one"

    "Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken." Oscar Wilde

  2. Cath -- that's a great one! Thanks!

    General update: I am still doing this, though I don't always read them every morning. But at least I remember to read them when I sense that I need to. And I haven't retired any of them yet, but I do keep adding. Here's another more recent one:

    "Each person (including me) is a gift to the world."