I am writing a draft of this on Sunday afternoon (baby nap time) as the snow falls outside my window. We may be in for several inches. We went for a family walk as the snow began falling earlier. There was some whining about the cold — but oh, is it pretty. Fresh-falling snow is what makes winter worth it. (And yes, I say this as the person who shoveled the driveway on Monday morning right before I’m posting this!)
This first month of the year has been cold and dreary— and yet very good. On January 1st I began a new daily streak of what I am calling my “rituals.” I read a chapter of War and Peace (Tolstoy’s epic has 361 very short chapters). I write at least 100 words in my “free writing file.” I do some strength work: squats, kettle bell swings, etc. I did these rituals all 31 days of January. This is a pace that feels sustainable, so I hope to keep going through the rest of the year. I also did the hill work and speed workouts from my Many Happy Miles program every week. I ran 6.7 swift miles outside in 18 degree weather early Saturday morning. Putting those little hand warmers in my gloves helps a lot. Given that January is never a great month for running, I’m happy that I kept these resolutions.
I am moving forward in the house project, choosing appliances, plumbing fixtures, floor tiles, even a make of toilet that will go in every bathroom (when you buy an old house…you wind up fixing a lot). I keep thinking that I am glad I am a satisficer rather than an optimizer. I did not let the thought enter my head that I should choose a different toilet style for different bathrooms.
Work has felt slightly more sustainable now that I am down to two podcasts. I started the year a little sad about this, but winding down The New Corner Office was a good decision, especially since the virtual speaking business pace has picked up. Unlike in-person speaking, virtual work doesn’t need to have any seasonality to it. Pre-2020, most of my business happened between March and May, and then from September to mid-November. Trying to fly 500 people to Minneapolis in January for a conference would just be an exercise in masochism, but virtual events can happen at any time. I’m really interested to see how this will play out over the next few years. One of the month’s highlights: being on the Drew Barrymore show (and her calling herself an uber-fan)! I managed some little adventures, going to two art museums and to Longwood Gardens’s lovely greenhouse. We took some family walks. The kids had some outdoor playdates.
And I finished the Tranquility by Tuesday pilot project….Which brings me to the second part of this post’s headline! I’m now enrolling people for the full version of the Tranquility by Tuesday project — a study that will form the basis of my next book. People who participate take an introductory survey (5-10 minutes) that covers how they spend their time and how they feel about their time. Then, over the next nine weeks, I introduce nine different time management strategies. Each week, participants take two short (2-3 minute) surveys: one about how they plan to implement the strategy, and then a follow-up one about how those plans went. After nine weeks, they take a final survey. The time line for this phase is mid-February to late April.
Responses will be used (without names) in the Tranquility by Tuesday book. If there was a particularly good story, I would follow up to do a more extensive interview, and ask for permission to use names. Participants must be 18 years or older, but I welcome people of any demographic beyond that: kids, no kids, grown kids, employed, not currently working for pay, men/women/etc. I still need about 100 more people (I asked the folks who tried to enroll in the fall after the pilot capped out first). If you are interested and can commit to the full nine weeks you can sign up here. Thank you!
Update: Thanks to all who have expressed interest in the Tranquility by Tuesday project. Signups are now closed.