I realise I’m slightly late to the party here, but now we are out of the chaos of Christmas and the humdrum of the holidays, my main job this week has been to sit down and consider my new year’s resolutions.
I think resolving to change for the better is an important part of growing up, so I'm a big fan of it. But I personally think that New Years Day is the worst possible day to start new things.
I don't know about you, but by New Year I'm exhausted. We've normally travelled as a family to both sets of grandparents, so by the time the kids go back to school I'm frazzled. The thought of adding in extra things to do at that point is crazy. I did it for years, and never managed to hang on to my new, shinier life. And these days, by January first I can't even remember what normal life looks like (and our family life is fairly chaotic at the best of times...).
New Year just isn't clear. Everyday life goes out of the window. And whilst having a week long detox of all things unhealthy feels great whilst I'm doing it, if I really want to make changes that last, they have to fit in with everything else I do. A resolution has to be incorporated into the lives we live every day, not just easy to say on the day after what, for many of us, has been an overindulgent night.
So here's what I do. I send the husband off to work and the small people back to school, spend a few days getting on top of the jobs that got left undone whilst away, drink some coffee and do some knitting, and generally give myself a rest. Then, once I feel more at peace and back into the routine of everyday life, I can start changing things, because unless I figure out a way to fit them into my normal life all year long, there's no point in trying to do them at all.
My job this week is to take stock of my life. What was great about last year? How can I keep it great this year? What was pants about last year? Is there anything I can do to improve it this year? What did I achieve last year? What do I want to achieve this year? It's only when I've answered these questions that I can decide exactly what it is I want to change.
This year my resolutions have much to do with writing and building some sort of professional life. I plan to learn how to write better articles to see if I can manage to sell some. I plan to blog more regularly and stop getting caught up in not posting anything that isn’t perfect. I plan to get the mental health book I’m writing into better shape. I plan to spend more dedicated time on the intimate project of completing a second memoir. And, somehow, I plan on learning how to manage my time better in order to do those things, despite also having to be a mum, wife, an general dogsbody when it comes to family organisation.
Am I setting myself up for failure? As a perfectionist, I’m never sure. But writing it down is the first step, right?!
Abbie has been writing every since she could hold a pencil - her first self-published work was a short story about a magic key, which was displayed on the fridge. After struggling with self harm and eating disorders for a number of years she went on to write a memoir ‘Secret Scars’ published by Authentic in 2007, and later ‘Insight Into Self-Harm’ published by CWR in 2014. In 2007 she launched Adullam Ministries, an information and support website and forum on self-harm and related issues. She blogs at Pink and Blue Mummyland, tweets as @AbbieRobson and @AdullamSelfHarm, and is currently working on a book about mental health and the church. She lives in Rugby with husband John, two demanding children, and two even more demanding cats.