Tag Archives: new years resolutions

Happy New Year Text with Gold Fireworks in Night Sky

I quit and it’s only January

Is it really another year, gone, just like that?Diary of a sugar addict

It’s January not that you need reminding and I all I can think about is that it will be another year before I have to plan when the christmas decorations go up, make sure christmas cards are sent out on time, yes I still send christmas cards, and presents for family and friends are sorted.

On top of which my birthday falls on the 3rd January.

I am at the age where christmas and my birthday come around way to quick for my liking and so I want to make the most of the time.

I refuse to celebrate new years I’d rather pull up a cozy chair and hunker down with a glass of something fizzy and watch the fireworks in London.

I can’t see the point in starting the new year with an almighty hangover and I know I don’t have the discipline to resist the temptation of one.

I am feeling strangely optimistic even though there’s a hurricane blowing outside and we have what looks like three feet of water, with the threat of snow on the way.

Monday 15th is blue Monday the day when we are most likely to feel depressed and blue.

Happy New Year Text with Gold Fireworks in Night Sky

The harsh reality is the arrival of those bills you’ve been dreading and the ‘did I really spend that much on christmas’ moment hits you like a hammer over the head? A big gulp followed by a rapid heartbeat and then panic when you have to work out how you are going to pay THAT credit card bill.

Each year our christmas spending would probably feed a small country.

I love christmas or rather the lead up to the big day, christmas songs on the radio, decorations everywhere, children finishing school. I love the whole thing but, I’m glad when christmas is put away in the box for another year.

Then it’s time to get on and face the future without looking back.

I don’t believe in resolutions, a waste of time and by day four most of us have kicked them into touch or forgotten about them once the ‘dreadmill’ starts up again.

I do however set myself goals or rather things I want to get done from personal to business.

I should add I haven’t sat down and even thought about goals and objectives.

Except I decided that ‘Dry January’ should be my main goal for the start of the year.

I got to Saturday 6th and downed two bourbons for medicinal purposes of course, my hands and feet were so cold and bourbon has warming properties, apparently.

In my defence, my eldest went back to University and I felt sad again so go figure.

But as each year rolls around I question the whole point of my existence; to look after my family, to keep my head above water, pay the bills and if I’m lucky, make enough to go on a couple of holidays.

I also find myself playing the lottery more diligently in January I’m sure it’s something to do with my personal tax bill due 31st, VAT and credit card payments that ensures my interest is peaked.

Fingers crossed next time you read this I might be on a sandy beach somewhere with a large Mojito.

Realistically, more likely to be stuck in my office dreamily looking out of the window wishing for good things.

I have a love/hate relationship with January it was the month I was born, my dad apologised for this oversight recently when I suggested that I am at the age where I shall declare a second birthday in June. No one needs to know do they?

January means I am a year older and I am not enjoying the ageing process, it is lovely when someone says you look great then they finish the sentence with ‘for your age’.

I think June birthdays have to be the best, smack bang in the middle of the year with christmas or easter long gone. Lovely.

I am left wondering what I should do with this expanse of time until the next birthday.

I have this compelling desire to make sure I make the best use of all my time, like learn something new, (again!) travel (still waiting for the lottery win), read more books (did that one last year) learn a language (yawn)

Truthfully, I’d prefer to  binge watch on ‘Scandal’, a far better prospect than learning or doing something different, it’s my age you see.

What’s wrong with just ‘being’? And then if I decide to learn swahili or visit Bosnia well good for me.

For what it’s worth I came up with what I think definitely should not be on your new year’s resolution list:

  1. Forget about dieting if you haven’t lost weight you never will so what’s the point in giving yourself a hard time
  2. Decide to walk for 3 miles instead, say 3 times a week or swim and walk twice a week far better for you and you are more likely to want to do it than visit a slimming class only to be told your overweight for the hundredth time
  3. Keep a food diary – do this and I guarantee it will change your life especially when you read what you’ve eaten, you’ll want to get healthy
  4. Maintain a positive attitude – if I had a quid for every time I heard that. Since last week I’ve been walking around with a fake smile that says ‘yea everything is fab’ when actually all I want to do is crawl back into bed. Truth is if I start to feel negative then everything else turns to s**t so keep your head up and smile.

I’m done, until next time and thank you if you’ve made it to the bottom of this page.

Make things happen

What happened to your new years resolutions?

How are your new years resolutions shaping up?

Did you start with all those good intentions?

It is the start of March and let me guess you’re feeling disheartened Make things happen and disenchanted.

Nine weeks in to a new year and there’s already a sense of resignation.

Relief that January and February is over thank god and there’s only ten months before it starts all over.

Those new years resolutions you made with the best of intentions at the beginning of the year are now beginning to flag.

That is because we are programmed to see the new year as a new start, a new beginning both personally, professionally and emotionally, and we feel compelled to start a new year with goals, plans and resolutions.

This year I drew a mind map in different colours of all the things I wanted to achieve in 2015.

When I looked back at 2014 guess what they were the same goals I had set for myself.

All I had done was carry them over into the new year.

But then I took a closer look and realised that they are all work and business related rather than specific goals, there was nothing that I had set for me personally.

Time to PlanWhen I look back on 2014 I actually got a lot done. I started and finished an art journal which included sketches, a diary of my thoughts, and daily inspirational quotes to help me focus and keep motivated.

It may not be up there with Picasso but it’s a start. I completed my womens freelance journalism course and got a distinction so that was an achievement.

But I genuinely believed that I had not accomplished anything of real value in 2014.

I’ve been on too many courses in my working life that always end with the SMART acronym and for those of you that don’t know or always forget like I do it stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely.

The top 2% of the world’s most successful people are successful because they set goals that are written down, goals they refer to daily and are ingrained in their psyche, they work to achieve them in the timescales they set for themselves.

Without having a written set of goals how can we expect to achieve them?

Brian Manley, a leading expert in goal setting states that this is the Empty asphalt road towards cloud and signs symbolizing success acore requirement to ensure we reach our goals.

In other words having a written set of affirmations, goals, resolutions whatever you want to call them is key to ensuring success.

I thought I had done that in 2014 but couldn’t honestly put a tick against many of the tasks or goals I’d set myself and decided that maybe I had been unrealistic in what I wanted to get done in a time frame that really didn’t suit my goals.

And then the realisation dawned on me that I had set myself a whole load of work tasks to finish and no real long term resolutions or goals for example retire in five years, buy a house in Portugal, aim to work a four day week, improve my basic italian.

One of the biggest resolutions I hear talked about is ‘I must go to the gym more, or I need to exercise’.

We’ve been so programmed to think that we should or must be making changes because we believe it is the right thing to do that we don’t actually stop and think why we are making them.

Making a list of all the things we want to achieve and then establishing why we want to do it, encourages us to stick with the plan. But most of us start out with the best of intentions only to fail at the first hurdle or be discouraged by a latent comment.

Most of our resolutions tend to be habits and this makes it difficult for us to change, the old adage, you can’t change a habit of a lifetime rings true.

If our resolutions are merely habits then we are likely to fail because we have no real reason to change; if there is no reason to believe in changing then nothing happens.

If one of your goals is to lose weight than the real question is why?

It should go beyond because you want to look better, fitter, healthier often there is a more deeper personal reason why weight is an issue and not just because of wanting a better body for the beach this year.

iStock_000017646689SmallI also think that by setting so many objectives ends up in defeat and so I’ve decided to stick with one main goal for 2015, it is a personal goal.

I am making more time to sketch and paint, the reason I want to do this is because I want to develop my creativity and I’m doing it because I enjoy it.

Here are my top tips that have helped me start 2015 better than 2014

  1. Start with the end in mind taken from Stephen Covey but it works. I imagine a finish line before I actually start so if I’m working on a project I think about what I’m going to do when I’ve completed it. It might be a small thing like watch the next episode of Scandal.
  2. Don’t look at the whole year and decide that by December you want to be or have done, break this down into chunks of time and aim for smaller timescales; by the end of March I want to be, or have done, that way it doesn’t seem so big and impossible. As you know I’ve had a heel operation and I can not even think about any type of heavy impact exercise or running until maybe June/July so rather than focussing on hoping I can start running then, I’ve decided to set a goal for each week. This week I started swimming, my heel was painful but it felt great to be doing something, next week I’m aiming to try and walk on the treadmill, the week after to be able to walk properly rather than shuffle my left foot. Each milestone is like a breakthrough.
  3. Decide on one or two goals only, then ask yourself why do I want to do this? Is it because you love it or because you are having to do it, if it is the latter and it is work related it maybe you have no choice in which case focus and get it done quickly. If it is personal ask yourself what will it mean if you don’t achieve that goal and how will you feel when you do reach that goal.
  4. Make sure you have your goals written down in your filofax, on a sticky note next to your computer, on the fridge, in your diary ~ doodle them as pictures or take photos and stick them wear you can see them as a reminder and when you start to recognise those signs of giving up look at them again to remind yourself I’m doing this because.
  5. This final tip I’ve only just tried, it isn’t my own idea but I found it on Pinterest. Write a letter to yourself ~ list 3 things that worked for you last year ~ list 3 things that didn’t work for you last year ~ write about all the best things that happened last year ~ the worst parts of last year ~ your hopes, wishes, dreams for 2015 ~ what one goal you will focus on for 2015.
  6. Then make it happen.

Let ‘s compare how well we do this time next year!