So, yet another year has rolled by. For years now, I no longer bother to watch, on TV, the ball dropping in Times Square at midnight, but I do follow a more practical tradition for the new year. I cannot remember where I picked up the tip, but it's a useful one.
On this very first day of the new year, pull out your checkbook and pre-write "2007" in the date field of about five or so checks. That way, the next time that you really need to write a check, it is almost impossible for you to write "2006" by habit. If you write many checks in a week, maybe you need to pre-write more checks.
Personally, I write very few checks nowadays. Most of the utilities bills are taken care of through direct payment. Credit card bills I pay at the ATMs inside my office building. Most of the rest of the bills are paid via credit cards, either on the phone or via the web. Sometimes I purposely use the automated system via phone just so I don't get distracted by the web/computer's many interferences, such as alerts about new email or banner ads on web site. So, occasionally, I do write a check and I would hate to fill out the check completely only to realize that I just used the past year's number.
Happy New Year!