I love resolutions when they’re proper and meaningful and heartfelt. All of my five below are, but in previous years, I’ve cast about desperately for things to resolve to do, and it’s all been very much for form’s sake. One year, for example, my resolution was to take better care of my nails and wear nail varnish more often! I didn’t stick to this resolution because it didn’t really matter to me. I’m all in favour of meaningful resolutions, though — and not only on New Year’s Eve. In fact, my sixth resolution would be to make resolutions from now on at any time of year, whenever I want to and feel the need to. Also, if I don’t stick to any of my resolutions, I’m not going to beat myself up about it at all. Life is emotionally draining and sometimes you need to — for example — eat too much cheese and spend a day reading Twitter judgmentally. If I slip up, I’ll just try to get back on my resolution wagon the next day, without blaming myself for the lapse.
I will sort out the way I work and live. For about the last five years, maybe longer, I’ve been insufficiently organised during the day time, and procrastinated too much or been too easily distracted, and this has meant that, in order to get all my work done on time, I’ve had to stay up till 2 am nearly every night. So, in 2019, I’m going to plan and use my time better, avoid distraction and procrastination, enforce my boundaries better (which means saying ‘no’ a lot more), and schedule more time for relaxing/sleeping/looking after myself. I will add to my schedule plenty of time for the things I love: seeing friends, swimming, deep-tissue aromatherapy massages, reading, watching musicals at the theatre, going on long walks with my dog, Brewster. I won’t allow myself to be swamped by work so that there’s no time left over for the things I most love doing.
I will ruthlessly cull, sort and tidy every single inch of my house in Cambridge so that, by the end of the process, there is nothing in the house that I do not actively want or need. This is my project for January. By 1 Feb, my entire house will be a model of order and minimalism.
I will eat and drink in the way that I have decided is The Best Way. (In case anyone is interested, this Way is the one invented by Brooke Castillo of The Life Coach School – I strongly recommended her books, articles and podcasts about eating and how to approach it/think about it.
I will make a five-year plan of what I want to write/create between now and 2023. I have all the books I’d like to write and all the projects I’d like to create at some point rattling around in my head, but I haven’t yet had time to focus single-mindedly on them, or to choose which to do first, so I’m going to sit down, organise and prioritise.
I’m going to continue, passionately and actively, to share the wisdom of The Grudge-Fold Path. ‘What is that?’ I hear you ask. Well, in 2018 I published my first self-help book, How to Hold a Grudge. I also launched a podcast with the same name. In both, I advance the theory that our grudges contain a power that, used correctly, can transform your life for the better and make the world a more just and compassionate place. Grudges can be great motivators and a powerful source of inspiration, as long as you manage them in the right way. Every single dictionary definition of the word ‘grudge’ is wrong, and I can prove it. Thanks to these incorrect definitions that we’ve had drummed into us, we’ve all bought into the belief that holding a grudge is an obstacle to forgiving someone and moving on, unburdened by past pain. In fact, the opposite is true: holding grudges in the right way allows us to forgive and move on faster and more easily. How often have you read a self-help book and thought, ‘Yes, that’s a great theory about how to be all Zen and enlightened no matter what, but I just know that here in the real world, I’m still going to lose my temper the next time someone treats me really appallingly’? I’ve thought that hundreds of times — which is what led me to create my own self-help program: The Grudge-Fold Path. Grudges can act like charms on a charm bracelet, protecting you and keeping you safe. They can act as a series of stepping stones, pointing you in the right life direction and reinforcing your highest values. So many people have not yet had a chance to learn how The Grudge-Fold Path can enhance their lives, and my mission for 2019 is to spread the word as much as I can!