Writing, Writing Advice

The New Year Self Sabotage Monster

Happy New Year one and all!

This time of year is good for one of two things, setting goals and sneering at people who set goals. I’m a goal setter. I want to lose the weight I’ve gained since moving to the US, drink less caffeine (I got into the habit of drinking diet coke or pepsi before bed and wondering why my heart felt like it was exploding out of my chest), and I want to be nicer to myself.

I also have writing goals. I want to finish and polish my 2nd book, The Ash Prince, which is a companion novel to The Thief’s Pardon. I would love to find a publisher for them both. I’m still working away on writing prompts for my #365prompts challenge on my Instagram page.

Oh, and I want to read more.

I know a secret though. I know I’m going to screw up at least one of those goals… probably all. I’m going to have days where I fall off the diet wagon and eat sooooo much food. I’m going to have days where I tell myself I’m good for nothing (Actually, I did that on New Year’s Day because I filled in my planner on the wrong day). I’m going to have days where I don’t write, or I think about deleting the whole thing and giving up. And that’s fine.

It’s fine because I know I’m going to have those episodes. We all do it. How many people do you hear say “I’ve ruined my diet” or “I’ve broken my resolution.” They haven’t. They had one slip-up.

New Years resolutions give us the perfect opportunity to wuss out. But the secret to succeeding is to know that slip-ups are normal. Between 2015 and 2017 I lost around 8 and a half stones in weight (about 120lbs). It was hard. It felt like it took forever. I exercised, I ate healthily, I said “no” to so many treats, but sometimes I said “yes”. I had to learn to climb back on that wagon so many times. Then I moved to America and then America happened and I gained some weight back. The wagon is kind of rumbling off towards the horizon but I know I can catch it again. I’m fine with it. Losing all that weight in the first place taught me to be patient and to believe in myself, because at the start I could barely walk, and by the end I ran for 10 miles. You can do more than you think.

Life never goes the way you intend it to, so you have to be flexible and cut yourself some slack. Giving up on your goals because of one mistake is like buying 365 eggs and throwing them all away because one egg has a crack in its shell. You might even have a run of bad days, a week of binge-eating, not writing, and all round hedonism. So? You still have 358 perfectly good eggs.

So, no matter what your goals are, work through the slip-ups, keep pushing to achieve the dreams that make you happy, and accept that every success worth celebrating is built on the bones of past failures.

 

Thank you for reading. You’ve got this.

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