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I don’t usually do New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve thought of two that would improve my life that I think I can actually carry through for an entire year.

One is to draw a leaf every day of the year. In this I was inspired by my friend Janet, who drew her way through a field guide to butterflies and posted the drawing each day. I like the field-guide approach because it skips right over the choosing. Whatever leaf is next in Audobon’s guide to trees of the western United States, I draw.

The other is to take a tech sabbath, just as Casper ter Kuile describes in his book The Power of Ritual–relevant excerpt here. Phone and computer away on Friday evening, not to be taken back out until Saturday night. I will permit myself exceptions for being on call or on family outings for which I ought to have my phone, but only to use it for necessary calls or texts (you know, the “Where are you? I thought we were meeting at Mission & Hayes at 2” type).

What about you? Do you use New Year’s for resolutions, as a rule? Have you had any particularly successful or unsuccessful ones?

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