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Thursday, 17 January 2013

Why your resolutions might be failing about now

Right after Christmas and the New Year, when your house is finally cleared of tinsel,we get all encouraged by a new year and the clean slate it seems to bring. We vow that we are going to loose weight, change jobs, quit smoking/drinking/buying new stuff and instead we are going to be godly saints of wholesome amazingness. It feels GOOD.

But we forget that our brains are still foggy from all those chocolates, and while we are restless to get a move on with a NEW LIFE, actually, this is probably the worst time to force a hefty life change on ourselves. The thrill of the season is over, we either have months of bleak Winter ahead or we're on Summer holidays, when we are supposed to be basking in the warmth of the sun.

I find what I need most is less expectation but more routine. I need a bit more of a settled pace, healthy food to straighten out my brain, a bit more sleep. Big expectations that I can't live up to don't help because I just feel let down, and then I get busy with the big stick, some of you will know what I mean, the one that you beat yourself over the head with (metaphorically of course).

In getting back to a routine, I can accommodate simple strategies, such as more water, early nights, clear one thing off the mending pile a day, get out for a walk. It seems a bit simple, and it is, but it does produce results and the difference is I don't heap a heavy load on myself or expect massive rewards. Simple steps and incremental change feels good too.

I may not quite know yet what I want to change. After all, change takes effort and sometimes can be scary.  I find this time of year to be much easier to identify what I DON'T want. This usually brings about an early spring clean and trips to the charity shop. This might seem like just a clear out, but in choosing what can go, you are also mentally choosing what activities you don't need, such as those second hand tap shoes that seemed like a good idea at the time, but that was 8 years ago and you still haven't made a class. Either you find a class and give the shoes a whirl, or let them go and have a bit more space for what you do need.

You are left with things that lift you, or maybe even with mental blank sheet. Either way it clears the decks for new things, people, opportunities, and for authentic goals to appear.

It is not all dull and boring though. This time of year is also great for tidbits of inspiration; museum trips, new films, trying something different, wearing something different. Tiny re-en carnations of who you might want to grown into next. Who knows where it might take you?

So for me the new year, if I was clever and broke it down, would be about the following steps:

1. Noting what I don't want and letting it go
2. Getting back to a routine
3. A bit of new inspiration
4. Rinse and repeat

Then, by the end of January I am usually quite enthused and have some new authentic goals that I want to move towards. And they tend to be smaller, like just month long, or 3 months long. Soon enough that the goal post can be glimpsed from tippy toes as it glistens in the sunlight.

How about yourself, do you have a bit of a theme for this time of year?

The pictures in this post have been bought to you by two calendars that are fun and inspiring to me. The first is Kitten von Mew's calendar and you can purchase it here. You can see how very good it is since I have taken photos of it and blown it up and it still looks great! That is thanks to Kitten and Candee Photography.
The funny quotable inspirations is a "Love every Minute" calendar from The Bright Side.

Shona x


  1. Your New Year's tips are some of the best I've heard! Sometimes its best to keep things simple.

  2. Love your goals! I like baby step goals like that so you don't set yourself up for disappointment. That's hardly a good way to start a new year. :)

  3. I saw the title of this post, and I *knew* it would be filled with useful gentle advice :) I agree with your approach entirely: one of my incremental adjustments this January is slowly whittling away at that stick you mentioned...

  4. this is a great post. to be honest I haven't come up with any solid resolutions. probably the typical, eat healthy, exercise, be organised, buy less, all the typical things. thinking about it now, it's probably this: to make the most of my last year of secondary school. I think this is a reasonable (though somewhat vague) goal for the year ahead. :D


  5. There is so much truth to that point. January can be such a transitional time and honestly isn't always the best point of the year in which to try and do a 180 with certain elements of your life. I've never been a big New Year's resolution maker, as I prefer to set goals and change my life whenever the need arises throughout the year (no time like the present and all that jazz :) ), and this year I decided that instead of even contemplating going down the New Year's resolution route, I'd opt for specific adjectives (i.e., brave, creative, adventurous) that I want to focus on in my life throughout 2013. Things are going well on that front so far, despite all the ups and downs that January usually brings with it.

    ♥ Jessica

  6. As a rule, I try not to make 'deprivation' resolutions, I try to make ones that are fun. They also have to be reasonably achievable; anything monstrously difficult will be dropped by March. This year I plan to finish one knitted thing a month. Any size, it just needs to be finished!


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