New Years' Resolutions: A Realistic Approach

A dusting of frost on the roof top
I’ve been AWOL*, y’all. Sorry, I didn't mean to worry you! I can actually hear Mrs. Weasley’s infernal scolding (‘Bed empty! Car gone!’) as I type. I have a terrible work ethic: unless I must, I don’t, most of the time! Maintaining this little patch of the internet feels a bit like tending a garden. You plant the seeds, and you hope something will take root and flourish. The sad truth is, though, plants require a level of diligence, and a lot of tender loving care (I learnt THAT from the Sims). Oh man. Not my strong suite.
Do not fret, readers! A change is afoot! This year, I plan to do more of what I love, and I love nothing more than WRITING.** This blog, therefore, should get a great deal of attention….

Today’s blog post focuses on those dastardly New Years Resolutions. 

  I’m not a big fan of them. It seems slightly presumptuous and just a little arrogant to assume that, because the year has changed by one numeral, all of our goals are suddenly within our grasp. I’ve been trying to lose my Freshers’ fifteen (15lbs you typically gain during your time at university) for two years now. January’s no miracle worker.

Maybe it’s time we took a fresh look at that word. Like all good amateur essayists, we shall turn to the dictionary*** for wisdom.


1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination: faced the situation with resolution.
2. a. A firm decision to do something: made a resolution to get more exercise
b. A course of action determined or decided on: His resolution is to get up early.
3.  a. The act of solving or explaining a problem or puzzle.
     b. The resolving or concluding of a dispute or disagreement.
     c. The part of a literary work in which the complications of the plot are resolved or simplified.
4. A formal statement of a decision or expression of opinion put before or adopted by an assembly such as the US Congress.

What can we glean from these stark definitions?
The key to resolution is having a definitive end-point to achieve, and the determination to get there.

Despite my cynicism, I’m going to give resolutions a shot for two reasons.

Firstly, I have a new job, which gives me a whole new arena where I can spar with my shortcomings. It’s easy to get into a routine, and fall into a rut where you make the same mistakes every day.
I’m also now using the amazing Passion Planner to sort out my life, which has a pretty unique take to journaling. It is designed to help you PLAN, rather than just record, your day to day life, so you can achieve your goals. Excellent. 
A free PDF is available online - but make sure you share it with your friends!

Why the tune-change?


I had a bit of an epiphany recently. My good friend Alice Hayes has just had a book published. Can you believe it? She’s just 24! Her blog is here.
Oh, and she’s a single mother to a two-year old and a dog after divorcing her cheating husband.
And she holds down a full-time job.
And she’s studying part-time.
Also, she lives on the other side of the Atlantic, in the land of the free (from benefits, free health care, cheap utilities, and her parents’ help).

Despite all of this, she’s managed to write a novel, which is an amazing achievement. I’m so proud of her – and just a bit jealous! She’s done what most people only dream of doing (or, just pretend to do *cough* ghost-writers *cough*). When I asked, slightly incredulously, how she’d managed to DO all this, she was totally honest.
‘I have a schedule’
Yeah, that's how she is so productive. No super power, no time-turner. Just pure, unadulterated organisation and determination. That got me thinking.

We all get the same amount of time in a day; it’s how we spend it that matters. (playing Sims 3 or binge-watching Archer isn’t a good investment) So, my New Years Resolution in 2015 is:

Use your time better.

I couldn't help making a comprehensive list, though....!

Here come the bullet points…



·         Publish 115 blog posts in 2015
·         Write for at least half an hour a day, every day. Typed out during by lunch break, or  scrawled on the back of a pocky box, it doesn't matter - I need to write more.
·         Try to have a sit-down art-session once a week, and commit to finishing at least a piece a month.
·         Take a photograph every day for 2015.


·         The food I eat shouldn’t be processed. I am too reliant on unhealthy packaged snacks and meals from the freezer. I have the equipment to cook properly, and the finances to buy nourishing foods. I ought to be looking after myself. There are many people that can’t.
·         Exercise is good for us. We’re always being told that, and I DO feel better after a run or cycle. I will exercise four times a week, at least.
·         Ride 600 miles in 2015. I have a 12 mile round trip to work, which I love to do on my bike when the weather permits. That’s a mere 50 journeys out of 226 working days!


·         Renovate the bathroom to a high standard before March 2015
·         Maintain a clean, tidy home by spending 10 minutes tidying up every day.
·         Donate or sell a quarter of my wardrobe before spring 2015.
-      Create a budget, and stick to it

So, there we have it. A new approach to goal-setting and resolution-making in 2015. What are your strategies for making the most of the new year?

*I had to google what that actually stood for – isn’t it funny how some acronyms have taken on a life of their own? I’d love to write a dissertation about that)

**MASSIVE LIE, SORRY. I love cake MUCH more. Oh, and gin, and playing Sims 3 in my pyjamas.

***There were also four or five other meanings which I chose to disregard because they didn’t support the point I wanted to make and that’s my right as a writer; to be totally subjective and claim it’s objectivity!

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