Blog posts with the tag: "resolutions"

Wonder Woman


At this time of year, we often focus on the ways we can improve ourselves and the goals we wish to achieve for the following twelve months. We go on diets, join gyms and buy language courses, and a lot of us probably write down the same resolutions we have written for last year, and even for the year before that. We tell ourselves that this time it’ll be different and that we’ll somehow make more effort to change and to achieve the goals which we lust after. I’m totally guilty of this myself. So how can we avoid falling into the same old trap?


This new year was the first time I thought about doing a year’s review. I listed all the great things I’d experienced, the things I had achieved, the places I’d seen. It felt wonderful to thoroughly go through all of my highlights and give gratitude. I also realised that there were things that I didn’t achieve last year and things that I have failed at. I didn’t dwell on these in a negative manner, by mentally beating myself up and calling myself every nasty name under the sun. It’s important to analyse your failings and figure out why you failed, and how you can move past that and succeed in the future.


Sometimes we fail at things and it’s perfectly ok. A few year’s back I tried being in a netball team for the first time since high school. I realised pretty soon that I hated it, and it didn’t make me feel good about myself. I’m not a sporty person, and for me, that’s totally fine. But there are goals I consistently fail to see through to the end and I wanted to know why.


So ask yourself, how can you approach your goals in a different way? Can you change your approach somehow? Often, we become overwhelmed by our ambitions because we make them too big and scary. Sometimes we have to cut them down into bite-size chunks or be really specific. Sometimes we have to set realistic deadlines for ourselves. If you want to learn French, for example, don’t give yourself the resolution of ‘becoming fluent in French’. That’s far too broad a goal. Surely you don’t need to know all aspects of the French language, at least right away. If you dislike sports then there is really no point in trying to practice your French by reading the sports section of Le Monde. Instead, you could say you want to be able to converse comfortably in everyday French as your grand goal but break that down. Perhaps focus on learning weather vocabulary one week, and restaurant phrases for another. And don’t promise yourself you’ll work out for a solid hour every day. That’s enough to put off anyone. You have to build up to that. Start off doing 7 mins, or even by doing some squats as you brush your teeth. I’m using French and fitness as examples, but you can apply these principles to any goal.


For deadlines, you could maybe pick a date to start conversing with a French buddy online, or take that Paris trip you’ve always dreamed about. Instead of focusing on being a certain weight or dress size, you could run a half marathon or have an event you want to look amazing at.


If you miss doing your French or your workout one day, or whatever your goal is, don’t beat yourself up and give up, just carry on! And if you find you are lapsing again then you need to look at why. Do you need to adjust your schedule? Perhaps you have to look back to your reasons for wanting to accomplish that goal in the first place. Are your reasons still the same? Who are you doing it for? Yourself? Or to please someone else? If it doesn’t bring you joy, then consider doing something else. If learning French grammar fills you with dread, then don’t waste time learning the grammar. Find another way of understanding. If you absolutely loathe burpees, don’t do them – there are plenty of other exercises to get your heart pumping.


Reward your efforts. Start small. If you do your task for the day or week, then treat yourself to a bath, or a trip to the cinema. If you achieve your bite-size goal for the month then treat yourself to new lingerie, or running shoes, or even a weekend doing whatever you want, whether that’s taking a long walk on the beach or bingeing on Netflix.


Consider doing weekly or monthly resolutions, and weekly or monthly reviews of how you’re doing to keep yourself on track. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.


So, here’s a quick recap:


  • What did you fail at last year? Why?
  • Do you still want to achieve that same goal? Can you alter it?
  • How can you approach the same goal in a different way?
  • Can you be more specific? Can you cut it down into manageable chunks?
  • Can you set a realistic deadline?
  • How can you reward yourself?



(in which I become obsessed with coffee and Pusheen)


We all start off the new year with high expectations and a list of resolutions. I know I do. Enthusiastically I decided that January would be the month that I completed the novel, gave up sugar, started a proper exercise regime instead of a sporadic one, read more books and did the dry January thing. They are only a selection of the resolutions that I wrote. I was hoping it would all come together perfectly; the healthy eating and exercise would give me more energy and I would be more focused and creative with my writing projects. Well, it didn’t quite turn out that way, but then I am always overly optimistic when it comes to goals.

It is the penultimate week of the first month of 2014 and I’m not sure what I’ve actually accomplished because my memory has disappeared down a black hole, although I know that I’ve felt busy and stressed. I slipped once in my sugar-free diet by deciding to attack an enormous chocolate brownie slice in Malta. Big mistake. I didn’t finish it and I quickly felt ill. I slipped a couple of time on my bid for no alcohol. The exercise still remained decidedly sporadic until this week when I actually went to the gym three times in as many days. Today I can barely move.

So have I been feeling amazing? No. I haven’t been sleeping, I’ve been getting headaches and as a result my concentration is all over the place. Especially today. I know when I’m seriously distracted when I keep escaping my writing to go on Twitter, Facebook and Buzzfeed. I’m also convinced that my neighbour’s weed fumes are creeping in and ruining my brain.

This lack of concentration is at odds with the pure anxiety running through my veins that I’ll never finish my novel by my deadline, and that when I do, it will be appalling and I’ll be laughed at by everyone who reads it.

When I do sleep, I have weird dreams, such as the one I had last night, in which instead of tell-tale bags under my eyes, I had huge developing blisters, though I suspect this has more to do with the recent eye-gouging activities on season 3 of American Horror Story than anything a dream dictionary would tell me. Speaking of which, as an avid reader of witch stories especially during research for my book, I love AHS but I’m not sure that the witches are, well…witchy enough for me.

So the only resolution I am winning at is reading more. I buy loads of books, and I borrow lots of books, but last year I took ages to read a book and I’m a fast reader. I felt like I was missing out. So far, I’ve been getting through about two a week. I would love to join a book club of some sort, or maybe even create one.


How are your resolutions coming along? Don’t be put off by failure. Make sure you try and keep going.

Heather Blanchard

Welcome. Are you a writer, a bookworm, a daydreamer? Are you still clinging on to that magic that pervaded childhood? Pull up an armchair and get cosy. This blog is my dreamscape through an enchanted forest to a world of stories and the little things that make me happy; a chance to add a dash of sparkle to the daily grind. Here you will find the whimsical, the coveted, the Gothic and the romantic. Happy exploring!

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