Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Dorothonomics: January confession

I love New Year's Resolutions and make some every year. Normally I forget them, but I have been so impressed by the power of writing down what Benedict Ambrose and I spend and save that I have been writing down the results of my Resolutions, too. 

One of my Resolutions is to go to the gym 20 times a month, and I have done that for January. Yay me!

The second Resolution is to invest a Certain Sum by January 2023. I have invested January's portion, so yay me again!

The third Resolution is to write a letter to a young relation every month. I have written my January letter. Gold star! (More on gold stars later.)

Then we come to languages and no gold stars, for I have definitely not done the following:

4. Read a page of Polish every day.
5. Read a page of Italian every day. 

Can it be that one can keep only three New Year's Resolutions at a time? Why was I able to propel myself out the door to the gym 20 times, and to save a Certain Sum out of our slim purse, and to think of things to say to Generation Alpha, but not to read my daily pagina of italiano or even my daily strona of polskiego?

It is mysterious. 

Possibly the difficulty is one of reward. As I recently wrote to Generation Alpha, human beings like rewards. Recently I have been awarding myself a gold star for every day I go without eating something sugary. Truly--I have a sheet of gold star stickers, and every evening of every day I do not eat a biscuit or pudding or absentmindedly sprinkle brown sugar on my porridge, I stick a sticker in my diary. You might think, "But it's just a sticker." However, even just the thought of that sticker chases temptation away. 

I have another set of stickers for my household accounts book, and whenever we are in the black, I put a sticker reading "WOW!" or "GREAT WORK!" beside the ultimate sum.  

Some of the stickers in that set say "GOOD GIRL" which seems inappropriate for a household of two, so I stuck one on Page 20 of my pocket gym diary. 

I did not give myself a gold star or sticky pat-on-the-back just for writing to Generation Alpha; instead I ordered some glorious personalised writing paper from Papier (and if you are in Britain and a stationary fan, too, use this link and save both you (?) and me (!) some stationary money.)

When I think about it, I have mentally assigned myself large rewards for my larger projects, too. For example, if I go to the gym 230 times this year and stay off the sugar, I'll buy myself an exciting new coat this Christmas. And if I make it to retirement without dying, I'll enrol in an intensive Polish course in Poland. 

Therefore, maybe if I buy myself some green stars for Italian and red ... hmm, maybe not red stars ... for Polish, I'll do a better job of sticking (seewhatIdidthere?) to those resolutions. 

Any other ideas? 


  1. I would absolutely love to acknowledge all the domestic management guidance you've given out over the years by .... buying myself an expensive pen, but the code seems to have expired on Jan 31st, any chance of sending us out a new one?

  2. Now that's interesting! I'll see what is going on.

  3. Does this work?