It’s that time of year again when people are harping on about how they’re resolving to improve themselves and their lives in 2010. Now, don’t get me wrong. Self-improvement is always a good thing. And this particular New Year could quite easily be seen as a crucial time for personal commitment to major changes or doing something amazing; after all it is the start of a whole new decade.
Just browsing through magazines, and on the internet over the last few days, it occurs to me that many of us are likely to set ourselves unattainable targets and unrealistic goals this New Year based on what it is we think we should be trying to achieve, as dictated to us by random spoon-fed information. It also occurs to me that most of us will be setting ourselves up for a fall. And consequent disappointment. And ultimately feeling rubbish about ourselves.
I’m a real sucker myself for information and advice on “how to …”. I’ve soaked up entire libraries of it over the years. I’ve implemented some; completely dismissed most of it. There’s no shortage of techniques one can use to achieve great things, and I don’t doubt that they will all work in their own way for different people. Visualisation is a popular theory and if applied religiously we will get exactly what we desire. Apparently. This New Year I’m going to utilise fantasising, dreaming, visualisation, and developing myself a positive mantra or two, to achieve incredible things. I reckon if I work hard enough at this then that so far elusive date with the beautiful Jude Law will actually happen. No, not a word please … Anything is possible. You know that.
I shall also be exercising determination (that’s realistic?) in my quest to stop smoking. I can actually visualise myself as a non-smoker as I did manage to abstain for a full three years before starting again. This to me is a realistic goal, although there is no point in my taking advantage of the many expensive aids available to achieve a smoke-free existence, as they’ve all fallen by the wayside in previous attempts. Point is – how much do I want to give up smoking? Very much. And that’s the key that will ultimately unlock the “non smoker” box for me. How badly do I want to spend time with Jude Law? God, that would be amazing. But it’s not going to happen. That bloody Sienna Miller is back in the frame now. Be realistic Sooz, and slot in another DVD.
Getting fit absolutely has to be on my list this year. I’m no longer a spring chicken; a midlife woman to be honest, and know that I have to work at it these days, but there’s no way I’m going to saddle myself with the obligatory gym membership. I know that I’d start off with the best of intentions but then fail to find the time further down the line. It’ll have to be option #2 – we’ll buy a treadmill and install it in the garage, because I know that I would definitely go for a trot in my ‘jamas at 6am before anyone else is awake.
Another resolution of mine is to spend more time with my friends, and be better at staying in touch with people. (Hold tight Bernadette, I know I’ve not replied to your recent letter; I’m not going to – I’m coming to visit you instead.)
The goals and targets I set myself for 2010 will stretch me, and at the same time they will be achievable (but not too easy), otherwise the whole exercise would be pointless. I’ll have a few specifics. Like breaking my current addiction to Millionaire’s Flapjack. Mostly, though, I’m aiming to go for the general theories outlined below, all to do with ongoing development and attitude as I’m really not in favour of torturing myself unnecessarily. Self-flagellation does not float my boat.
TEN SIMPLE TRUTHS THAT LEAD TO AN AMAZING LIFE:
1. Say Yes to Stress
“An amazing life requires resilience.”
2. If Not Now, When?
“An amazing life requires living in the moment.”
3. The Light at the End of the Tunnel
“An amazing life requires optimism.”
4. It Is What It Is
“An amazing life requires acceptance.”
5. Laugh It Up!
“An amazing life requires humour.”
6. Put a Spin on It
“An amazing life requires creativity.”
7. Too Much of a Good Thing Can Be Too Much
“An amazing life requires moderation.”
8. Just Show Up
“An amazing life requires responsibility.”
9. But What Does It All Mean?
“An amazing life requires meaning.”
10. Join The Party!
“An amazing life requires connection.”
These ten simple truths are the basis of one of the best books I’ve ever read –
“Life Is Short – Wear Your Party Pants” by Loretta Laroche