Reflection on November 19

I prioritized my virtues in the following order: moderation, industry, love for family, resolution, and cleanliness. Oddly, I had the most difficulty working on the ones I prioritized, specifically moderation and love for family. I picked these virtues because they are all things I struggle with and think could make me happier if I followed them more. They are ranked in order of importance according to how poorly I demonstrate those virtues already — I’m the worst at moderation and the best at cleanliness. This assignment could be used as evidence of my character because my drive to improve upon these virtues reflects how much I want to contribute to society. Each day of implementing these virtues, I was motivated by wanting to better myself and become the kind of person I want to see in the rest of the world. I hoped the greatest contribution I made throughout this process was to my family. While I did little things like picking up around the house and spending a few extra minutes out of my day talking to them, I feel that these interactions made me happier and more appreciative of them. I’m thankful for this because, now that the holidays are coming up, I’m on good terms with my family, so Thanksgiving will be enjoyable this year.

I struggled greatly with moderation, which I selected because I too often alternate between hours on Tik Tok and days of straight studying in homework — either one extreme or the other. I’d like to spread my life out more evenly so that I’m not overwhelmed with one thing at once — thus, I need more moderation in my life. It’s important for me to have balance in my day-to-day life so that I can get through those long hours of studying and to make going on my phone more fun, which happens when I don’t use it in excess. Difficulties, like loads of make-up work to catch up on when I got back from a trip, got in my way and made it hard to do school in moderation. This had a chain effect that caused me to also spend too much time on my phone when I wanted a break. It was an unbalanced cycle that led me to be less productive than I would be with moderate time on each activity. If I want to master this virtue in the future, I need to force myself to limit the amount of time spent on each activity to a tee. It seems that telling myself that I have even one more minute on Tik Tok will lead to another hour, so exactness is important here.

I made the most improvement on time with family. I was worried about this one being the most difficult as my family is busy and it’s often difficult to coordinate everyone being home at the same time to spend time together. However, I found that by putting in a little effort, I could find some time to talk to my siblings or parents after school or before bed. I’m so glad I did, because my family is so important to me and I wanted to work on showing them how much I care about them. I benefited from this in that I learned that just shooting my dad a text to check in on him during the day or having a conversation with my brother after school lifts my mood so much.

My life improved from working on these virtues because I now know that just setting a goal for myself and setting time to think about it will make me more likely to get better at it. This may seem somewhat straight forward, but often times I think about how I’d like to improve in one way or the other — for example by spending more time with family — but it’s rare that I’ll actually act on that thought. By simply writing down “I am going to do this,” I held myself to that goal and was far better at remembering to do it. I’m grateful for this lesson as I can now implement it in future goals — either academic or personal — to improve my life in the future.

Day 10 on November 18

Today was a great wrap up as the conclusion of these virtue blogs nears. I was industrious during the school day and got finished with all of the work I set as a goal for myself to do. This left me feeling very accomplished and relaxed so that I don’t have to stress about too much schoolwork over break. I also worked on moderation by balancing all of this work out with some time to relax on my phone after school and at a workout class. Also, I had a nice conversation with my brother to count for family time. All of these things set me up for a good day and made me realize how much more fun life is when I set and accomplish goals.

Day 9 on November 17

The virtue I improved on the most today was moderation. While I was productive in getting some assignments done, working out and eating healthily, I also allowed myself some time to wind down and took a nap after school because I was exhausted. This balance made my day more enjoyable and made me more calm as I got ready for bed. I wasn’t my most industrious today, though, because I didn’t get any math assignments done that I had set a goal for myself to complete. As for cleanliness, I definitely didn’t do well because my room and bathroom are pretty messy right now and it’s making me a bit stressed, so I know I need to work on that more and clean this weekend. For love for family, I spent some time talking to my brother and also picked up Chipotle for my family’s dinner tonight.

Day 8 on November 16

Today I worked mostly on industry and moderation. I had a lot of make up work to do for all of my classes since I’ve had to miss school lately, so I wanted to get some of it done and set goals for myself to complete many tasks today. I was very productive in finishing these assignments and make up tests, and ended up using my seminar time and staying after school to retake some tests and quizzes. I worked on industry by efficiently completing these things instead of putting them off to do later in the week. I’m really glad I did because now I don’t have to worry about doing them later. As for moderation, I wanted to balance all of this work with some relaxation time, so I also went to a work out class to take a break from school stuff and also spent time listening to music and relaxing when I got home before getting back to work.

Day 7 on November 15

Today wasn’t the best day for my virtues, probably because I was occupied with other things since I have a lot of makeup work to do for school. I improved on moderation by trying to balance all of my makeup work with a little time reading a book because I was getting stressed out. This was great because it gave me a little break and made it easier to continue working after relaxing for a moment. I worked on my industry by cranking out a few assignments that I needed to finish and doing them quickly without sacrificing much of the quality of the work I did. I unloaded the dishwasher for my family today to work on my cleanliness which was great because my dad said it was super helpful and I was happy to contribute. I sadly didn’t have any time to spend with my family, because they were all busy and not home when I got back from school.

Day 6 on November 14

Like the first day of traveling, today was a difficult one to enhance my morality. I woke up bright and early at 3 a.m. to leave for the airport and then slept during the whole plane ride. When I had time to work during a long layover, I edited stories for the Harbinger and worked on a little bit of Physics homework to improve my industry by utilizing the time that I had. Then, on the plane, I practiced moderation by spending half of the time doing random things on my phone and the other half reading an iBook. The cleanliest thing I did today was unpack right away when I got home so that I didn’t have to have stuff lying around for a long time, which I’m happy I did as it prevented unnecessary stress and allowed my to relax in my clean room. I spent some time with my family — really just talking to them about my trip and what’s been different since I left last week. This was nice because I really missed my family while I was gone and was glad to have time to catch up with them. I worked on resolution by making a decision on what to get for dinner at Chipotle. I couldn’t decide if I wanted a rice bowl or a salad, so I ended up getting a rice bowl with lettuce on top.

Day 5 on November 13

Today was as good a day as any to improve on my virtues. I spent 30-ish minutes on Tik Tok and the rest of the day barely on my phone for a moderate balance, and tried to conserve time and be efficient by working quickly on my designs at the workshop for the industry virtue. While I didn’t finish my design in the given amount of time, I got a lot of it done and was proud of myself for how it turned out. I texted my dad today a bit and sent him more pictures to count partially as family time. The only thing that challenged my resolution today was deciding whether to get a pretzel or french fries at a food court outside this haunted house-themed penitentiary, and I decided on the pretzel pretty quickly — I think my timer has made me better at making quick decisions because it came more naturally than normal. I packed up my stuff that night and tried to tidy up the hotel room to work on my cleanliness.

Day 4 on November 12

Today was a long day, and full of virtuous work. I tried to keep the hotel clean by organizing the bathroom a bit after things got tossed around and it became messy. I also had to make a decision on what to order for lunch — salad or a sandwich. Not an intensely deep decision to make, but challenging nonetheless. Successfully, I decided to eat a salad in under a minute. I didn’t do well with the love for family virtue because I didn’t talk to any family members today — I was so caught up in the activities of the trip. It also wasn’t my best day for the virtue of moderation. I spent an hour on Tik Tok when I got back to the hotel at night and didn’t get much work done either, so I definitely wasted some time. However, it was the first day of our journalism workshop today for designing, and I accomplished a lot at the workshop. Then, when I got back to my hotel room, I finished a design that was homework.

Day 3 on November 11

Today was the first full day of my trip. I worked on moderation by spending very little time on my phone and instead enjoying Philadelphia by walking around and appreciating the city. I made a quick decision early on when picking an outfit to wear and tried to work on cleanliness by organizing my suitcase after making a mess when I was looking through my packed clothes. While it was impossible for me to spend time with my family as they weren’t there, I texted my dad about how the trip was going and sent him photos we took that day because he always asks me to do that. As for industry, I didn’t do very well on this today because I didn’t have time all day to work and didn’t want to do homework when we got back to the hotel at 10 pm as I was exhausted. Instead I gave myself a break and went to bed early.

Day 2 on November 10

Since I was traveling most of the day, there weren’t too many opportunities to work on my virtues, but I did what I could. Starting off, the only family time I had was a 45-minute car ride with my dad at 5 a.m. on the way to the airport. This was actually more family time than I get most days, but we were both tired and I could barely form words. I excelled in moderation today because I hardly went on my phone as there wasn’t wifi on the plane and then when I got to my destination, I wanted to talk to friends rather than watch tv or Tik Tok. I didn’t have a chance to work on resolution, because decisions for the trip were already planned out, or cleanliness, because I wasn’t at my own house and didn’t have anything to clean. Industry was also difficult to improve on because I wasn’t able to do much work without wifi, but I did edit some stories for the Harbinger.

Day 1 on November 9

My first day of working on my virtues was successful and boosted my confidence to continue my journey to moral perfection. I only watched 20 minutes of Tik Tok today in the middle of doing my homework and then went back to work. This was a nice balance because it gave me a break but didn’t stall my productivity as I didn’t go overboard on it. My strategy for resolution was especially helpful today as I packed for a trip. I’m a notorious over packer and couldn’t pick clothing pieces to choose from when I had to narrow outfits down for the sake of space. To decide, I set my minute timer and the time crunch really helped me decide what was actually important to me to bring. Industry was useful today because I had little time to work on homework, but also wanted to get some work done before leaving for my trip. So, I made use of about an hour to get two assignments done. I also cleaned my room one last time before leaving and washed the dishes for my cleanliness goal. Sadly, I couldn’t spend any time with my family as I was so busy preparing for my trip.

Francesca Stamati — Introduction

My goal for writing this blog is to strive for Benjamin Franklin’s “moral perfection” by attempting to master five morals inspired by his own list. Like Franklin, I want to make myself a better person and get rid of bad habits that restrict my happiness. However, Franklin and I differ in our end goals. While he wanted to achieve perfection, I recognize that failure isn’t inherently bad and just want to do my best.

The morals I’m working on are moderation, resolution, industry, cleanliness and love for family. I chose the first one, moderation, because oftentimes I go overboard on things — whether it’s junk food, Netflix or time on Tik Tok. My plan of action for this virtue is to allow myself no more than an hour on Netflix or Tik Tok every day. Resolution, I chose because I’m an indecisive person and want to work on setting my mind to something and sticking with it. I’ll set a minute timer when I need to make a decision for this virtue. I’d like to improve on industry because I want to be as productive as possible so that I can get all of my work done every day with efficiency. I’m going to restrain myself from going on Tik Tok or spending too long talking to friends when I have work to do. Next is cleanliness. While I’m a clean person and always keep my room tidy and organized, I could do a better job of cleaning my bathroom and also contributing to my family by cleaning the kitchen when it gets messy. For this, I’m going to clean one thing in my bathroom and kitchen every day. I want to improve on showing my love for family because I often get caught up in my work and own life, so I forget to check in on my family members and spend time with them. To show my family how much I love them, I’m going to spend at least 30 minutes around at least one family member every day.

Now that it’s almost winter and getting colder, I want to make sure I’m staying happy in the darker weather. It makes me sad to spend every day on school and activities while I’m in a bad mood, just going through the motions and not really being in the moment. Practicing mindfulness by being aware of my actions will make me more present and hopefully make long days more enjoyable. I predict that I’ll have the most trouble with moderation as going overboard is a tough habit to break, and that cleanliness will be the easiest since I’m already clean. While these goals may be ambitious with my busy schedule, I hope that I can improve in these areas and put myself in a better mood.