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Franklin's 13 Virtues

In 1726, Benjamin Franklin created a list of thirteen virtues to regulate his personal conduct. He did this by creating a small book, each with the description of a virtue at the top and a grid of seven days and 13 virtues for the rest of the page, and he kept this book in his pocket. At the end of each day, he looked at the column for that day and made a mark on each virtue that he felt he failed to uphold or came short in fulfilling. The goal was to better himself by recognizing his personal shortcomings that he could correct and, of course, correcting them.

The thirteen virtues are:

ID Icon Virtue Franklin's Description
[ T ] Burger and soda icon. Temperance Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.
[ S ] Speech bubble icon. Silence Speak not but what my benefit others or yourself. Avoid trifling conversation.
[ O ] List icon. Order Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.
[ R ] Certificate seal and ribbon icon. Resolution Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.
[ F ] Stack of coins icon. Frugality Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.
[ I ] Cog wheels icon. Industry Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
[ S ] Open heart icon. Sincerity Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
[ J ] Government building icon. Justice Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
[ M ] Pizza slice icon. Moderation Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
[ Cl ] Mop and bucket icon. Cleanliness Tolerate no uncleanness in body, clothes or habitation.
[ T ] Coffee cup with heart design icon. Tranquility Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
[ Ch ] Flower icon. 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.
[ H ] White flag icon. Humility Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Franklin tracked his progress through a book of 13 charts. At the conclusion of each book (13 weeks), he repeated the course, completing four per year. Eventually, as the need to track his personal faults lessened, he went through the series progressively less frequently until he stopped altogether, but he still carried the book as a reminder.

Each chart describes one of these virtues and has space for 13 rows, one for each virtue, and seven columns, one for each day of a week. The ID in the table above is typically the ID each row is labeled with.

I use a track group in the Android app Tickmate to track my personal faults in the same way. (The icons in the table above are the icons I chose for my 13 tracks in that group.) However, Tickmate tracks ticked boxes as successes, not failures, so at the end of the day when I look back, I have to do the opposite of Franklin and leave shortcomings blank.