Benjamin Franklin’s 13-week Habit Plan

Benjamin Franklin though of himself as a simple man with ordinary ability, but believed he could acquire the essential principles of successful living, with the right method. Franklin chose 13 subjects which he felt were necessary or desirable to master and he gave a week’s strict attetion to each subject successively. This way, he was able to go through his entire list in 13-weeks, and repeat the process 4-times a year.

When Ben was 79 years old he wrote that for this one thing, he felt he owed all his success and happiness. He concluded by writing: “I hope, therefore, that some of my descendants may follow the example and reap the benefit.”

Benjamin Franklin’s 13-Subjects:

  1. Temperance – Eat not to dullness, drink not to elevation
  2. Silence – Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; Avoid trifling conversation
  3. Order – Let all things have their places; let each part of your business have it’s time
  4. Resolution – Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve
  5. Frugality – Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing
  6. Industry – Lose no time; be always employed in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions
  7. Sincerity – Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly
  8. Justice – Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty
  9. Moderation – Avoid extremes; forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve
  10. Cleanliness – Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, and habitation
  11. Tranquility – Be not disturbed by trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable
  12. Chastity – Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation
  13. Humility – Imitate Jesus and Socrates

Benjamin Franklin was a scientist and his plan was scientific. Reject it, and you reject one of the most practical ideas ever offered. What subjects will be on your Habit List?