One New Year, about 10 years ago, I made a whole list of resolutions and I stuck to each and every one of them. They were:
• Eat less;
• Drink more (alcohol, that is);
• Sleep less;
• Go out more;
• See more films; see more theatre productions;
• Get involved in more things I have never done before.
As a result, I lost weight, developed a taste for red wine and coffee which was previously undiscovered, saw much more of the world, acquired an opinion on recent films and plays and became involved with a London charity called The Food Chain, which in turn led to lots of other nights out, more wine, less sleep. Remembering this has got me thinking about how much easier it is to make resolutions about trying new things, taking up new hobbies, rather than giving things up. How much more positive might it be to say “this year I will…” rather than “I’m going to give up…”? At least, that’s what I’m thinking.
With that in mind, here are my aims and objectives for the coming year.
• Change my appearance. Everything from taking better care of myself and losing some weight, to getting a new haircut and new clothes. I might invest in the services of a personal shopper, thereby trying on different styles of clothing I might never have picked up before. I’ve already lightened my hair a couple of shades, just to help take the dingeyness out of the grey and overcast weather we had for most of last week. I was given some hair straighteners for Christmas which help iron out the kinks in my hair and alter my appearance a little more.
• Take the Italian classes more seriously. I’m enjoying them but find evening-class learning to be painfully slow. What I really need to do is decamp to Italy for six months and learn it the easy way, by immersion. Unfortunately that’s not going to happen any time soon! So in the meantime I need to get what I can from the evening classes.
• Get writing! I’m going to start with flash fiction (http://nationalflashfictionday.co.uk/), short stories and competitions. I’ve read two books over the Christmas break about writing short stories and I feel slightly less “in the dark” about the whole thing as a result.
• I’m going to look at courses in writing with a view to starting in September. I’ve already got the information for the Writers’ Bureau Comprehensive Writing course and will look again at the London School of Journalism’s Short Story Writing course, which can be taken as a distance learning programme.
• I want to spend more time in London, just (short) days to myself wandering around, sitting in coffee shops, watching the world and gathering ideas for my writing. Realistically, aside from family days out, I won’t be able to do this before the little man goes to school in September.
• Become involved with a charity. I loved my experience at The Food Chain and I gained a great deal from donating my time once a week or so. I’ve also been involved with the NCT and, years ago, with Age Concern. Now I’m looking for something new.
These are just my ideas. What do you think? Have you made any resolutions or is it all a waste of time? Can resolutions help change our lives for the better or are we just setting ourselves up for disappointment? If you are looking for inspiration take a look at www.kateonthinice.co.uk.