My intention being to acquire the habitude of all these virtues, I judg'd it would be well not to distract my attention by attempting the whole at once, but to fix it on one of them at a time; and, when I should be master of that, then to proceed to another, and so on, till I should have gone thro' the thirteen; and, as the previous acquisition of some might facilitate the acquisition of certain others, I arrang'd them with that view.
I have entertained even more modest objectives. In particular, having confessed to a particular gift for postponement and inanition, I have striven to raise my level of productivity and reduce the amount of time devoted to languor and lethargy. I chose three goals, thinking that they were eminently achievable and not unduly ambitious. Nevertheless, as I will now report, the results have not been impressive.
My success in this endeavor has been only partial. Half a dozen glasses have been known to gather together on the kitchen counter before their number suffices to impress upon me my neglect of my resolution. (And, no, hiding a couple more in the sink itself does not excuse my behavior.) If there were a report card, the entry for this item would carry a “needs improvement” annotation.
Since I am aware of the situation, even as it persists, I have taken the bold step of designating a laundry-folding day in hopes that a salutary force of habit might develop. Franklin kept a little notebook in which he charted his successes and failures (“I was surpris'd to find myself so much fuller of faults than I had imagined”). I have a little whiteboard in the hall outside my bedroom. Every day it reminds me that Friday is folding day, and now that I think of it, I do believe the last time I emptied the laundry basket and folded clothes it was indeed a Friday. Back in May, perhaps.
Oh, look. It's Friday again. Hmm.