January can be a depressing month; the aftereffects of all that indulgence in December, plus generally grey and cold weather can lead us to despair-but it doesn't have to be that way!
Making New Year Resolutions is a traditional thing; but how many of those resolutions do you actually manage to keep?
I know from personal experience how hard it can be; my favourite failed resolution was one I made 20 odd years ago... I decided that I needed to lose some weight (which I did), but by January 3rd I had given up my diet and was back on the chocolate!
So why do many resolutions fail? It is really quite simple; nobody plans to fail, but we sometimes fail to plan!
If we start something, if we have a cherished dream, or an ambition, then in order to achieve, we need to plan how we are going to get there.
So this is my guide to making-and keeping, and achieving-those New Year Resolutions.
1. Make them realistic; it's no good resolving to be a brain surgeon by March!
On the other hand, you could resolve to research how to become a brain surgeon, what qualifications you require, what you already have and what your first steps would need to be.
2. The 'personal' resolutions: Losing Weight, Stopping Smoking, etc.
I did lose weight in the end; 4 1/2 stones of it...but I could not have done it alone, and for most folks, I think that is an important point. Find a local group that fits in with your personal circumstances and be prepared to have to work at it, after all where my weight was concerned, I did not put it on in two weeks, and therefore I could not expect to lose it in two weeks!
Make sure you can live with the diet you choose, and be prepared to make some sacrifices!
3. If you have a dream or ambition, remember they cannot come true unless you are prepared to actually work towards them...
If you want something badly enough, the universe will hear you, and you may find that things begin to fall into place to allow it to happen, but you still have to actually take positive action yourself.
In 2005, I desperately wanted to be a writer, but I did not have the first idea about how to actually get my meanderings into print!
In October that year, I was working at an Angel and Faery Fair in Penzance; the organisers did not realise that it clashed with a Festival of the Sea, and it was very quiet... On the second day, I plucked up the courage to talk to a lady who had a stand near mine; that was Jacky 'The Angel Lady' Newcomb, and she is now one of my closest friends...
She suggested I start by submitting articles to magazines; you might get rejected at first, but you have to keep on going and eventually someone will take one!
I bought copies of lots of MBS magazines and sent off articles, but heard nothing. Then, the following month at another event in Haslemere, I met a man who knew the editor of a new magazine looking for writers! I bought a copy, studied the articles, and wrote a couple of samples in the same style and to the same wordcount and submitted them-and Diana Jarvis, who was the editor, took one of them and published it!
I can still remember the excitement I felt at seeing my writing in print for the first time!
The point here is that whilst the universe will do what it can, it is up to us to take those opportunities and make something of them.
4. The 'I want...' resolutions...cars, holidays, homes, etc.
These are the resolutions requiring money, sometimes lots of money! You have to work out where it will come from, and it is no use relying on the lottery!
If you need more cash, it may mean getting another, better paid job, which brings another set of questions of course!
5. Back to the Brain Surgeon!
If you want or need a new career, but are not sure what sort of job you would be suited to or like, then there are lots of online resources these days, but you can always start by writing a list of all the things you are good at, and like to do...and discover which career choices would play to those strengths.
I started out as a clerical trainee, something I was completely unsuited to! After a very uncomfortable 18 months, I was made redundant and got a job in a busy town centre newsagent/record shop which I loved!
Make your New Year Resolutions count!
This year, make not stern sounding 'resolutions' but rather kind and gentle 'promises to yourself'; things that you know you can keep to, that you can discover how to reach, and above all promise that you will make the effort!
Happy New Year!