It's the same, every single year, right? The clock changes, the bells ring and it's a brand spanking new year. There's no expectations and nothing will hold you back. You dream big. You promise to lose weight, quit smoking, save money, join a gym, write that book...
How long do those New Year resolutions last? A few days, a few weeks? Maybe you manage to make it through to Easter before the call of the chocolate egg screams too loud in your ear (okay, so that may have been me. Shhh!!)
Don't get me wrong, resolutions are great for some people. A few of us have enough focus to carry on going regardless. They flick a switch on the first day of the year and never look back. They want something so badly that nothing will stand in their way.
Yeah, that isn't me. I've done the resolution thing before and failed, miserably. Oh, there's always a GREAT excuse as to why, of course. And I justify it to myself as to why I failed. It wasn't my fault - If I only had...*****...I would have succeeded. (Fill in the blank with whatever fits – chocolate, willpower, money, Hugh Jackman.)
So how can we make positive changes that last? We can make long-term goals. Three month goals, one, three or five year goals etc. And how do we get there? With baby steps. Rome wasn't built in a day and Hugh Jackman won't just turn up on my doorstep and declare his undying love. You have to work at it a little bit every day. And stalking is a great start for stealing Hugh. Sorry, just saying.
How do we start?
- Plan ahead. It's rarely works when you start on January 1st having made a resolution the night before, whilst doing the Macarena, after drinking too much fizz! And if it isn't possible to start on the 1st, start on the 2nd or the 15th or February. Make a deal with yourself that you'll start when it works for you, not when you're supposed to. Just don't slack off and give yourself an excuse.
- Make a lifestyle change. Many people who succeed will change their life completely to fit in with their new goals. I WILL make time to go to the gym. I WILL turn off the tv and read more or write down that idea. I WILL agree that chocolate and caffeine aren't food groups... *cough*
- Write those goals down and put them on display. Put them somewhere you can read them easily when you're feeling a little low or you've had a setback. And occasionally, you also need to be able to see where you need to change things up. By allowing the goals to almost have a mind of their own and grow, as you do, you're giving them life. Who says that having a picture of Hugh Jackman on your bedside table is obsessing? He's keeping you focused. And I am sticking to that one!!
For me personally, many of my goals seem to revolve around my writing career. I know that if I plan ahead, I have a better chance of making my dreams happen. If you don't know where you're heading, how can you get there? For instance a writing career will not chase you, you need to chase it. Like anything in life, if you want it badly enough, you have to fight for it. And don't worry, I'm done with the clichés. For now.
I'm lucky in that I've somehow managed to surround myself with writers who are dedicated to their craft (I'm not sure how I managed it, right place at the right time? Bribery?). But they inspire me, constantly, to be a better writer, and to demand a high standard as a reader.
Late last year I managed to fulfil a personal goal of mine to be published. My first book, Reluctant Revenge came out in December. Then, on the third of January, I managed to become a multi-published author with Shadow Justice. (I love hearing that, by the way. It almost confirms that it wasn't sheer dumb luck on my part in getting published the first time! lol). Now that I've managed to get over that first hurdle, I'm moving onwards and upwards to the next goal I've set myself. First and foremost, I want to complete books two and three in the Moon Magic series (Shadow Justice is the first), so completing the series is a big goal for me.
I would love to achieve everything I'm working towards this year. But if it doesn't happen? It isn't the end of the world. I just need to adjust accordingly and not beat myself up. Resolutions are good for one thing, to spur you on and make that change. Goals are even better to become the person you've always wanted to be and live the life you've always wanted.
I hope 2012 is a great one for you and that you're able to make it an amazing year!
Have you got any goals you're working towards this year? And, just because I'm nosey, do you write them down and look at them often?
Luka was a bounty hunter who just wanted to do his job and get paid. Being a banished Shadow, he'd learnt the bitter lesson long ago that he was alone, after he was expelled from his home world by his own blood. Now, he needed to understand why he was wanted dead whilst his desire for the fiery haired witch erupted, out of control.
As a rare moon-witch, all she'd ever known was a life of misery under the oppressive Fae-Guard. Nine years ago Cerys escaped the Meta-World after regretting the forced banishment of a Shadow. Now, she leads a normal life without her abilities and all she wants is to blend in. When a bounty hunter wants to take her back for a crime she didn't commit, she's willing to take a chance on her future by trusting the man who had no idea she'd wronged him years before.
Buy it now at Bookstrand. Amazon and other online retailers!
Xandra James has always wanted to write romance books. Even when she was sneaking peaks at the hot bits, too young to fully appreciate them, she dreamt of writing her own.
Now, older and wiser, she's got the opportunity to project her slightly dark and wacky, British sense of humour onto others, whilst still writing the hot bits - bonus!
When not writing, Xandra is thinking of excuses as to why she shouldn't be doing the housework, looking after a husband and cats that refuse to pick up after themselves and climbing the mountain in her house that's affectionately called her tbr pile.
She currently holds the crown for Queen Procrastinator – something she's very proud of – so you can usually find her online, somewhere, when she really should be writing.
Find her here: