It's that time of year where everyone feels compelled to make resolutions, a fresh set of 12 months lie ahead and we all want to do better. I tend to revolt against this, mostly out of principle as I really don't believe people actually keep their new found resolutions when they have the fallback excuse of "Well, it was just for New Year wasn't it? I can drink/smoke/eat carbs now - it's March!" I find resolutions made over a rather disappointing date in July or getting cramp after running for a bus in August a lot more effective and usually last longer than four weeks too. This January though, I actually have a few habits to break in order to get myself into gear. I need to get business for my new consultancy. I need to get fit. I need to be less lazy. It all sounds a bit unoriginal but a sense of purpose and enthusiasm is what's keeping me from going bust or insane this year. Since acquiring the Australian work ethic and having reacted against the relentless and pessimistic attitude to work in the UK, I've lost a vital sense of direction over the last year. Starting my own company has been one of the more positive decisions I've made since leaving Sydney and I don't want to lose momentum now, so may have to instill a few practical if not simple changes to my life to keep this going.
A NEW DAILY ROUTINE
The perils of working for yourself means you naturally want to rebel against 9-5 hours, which basically translates into "I'm going to sleep in and work late, go for long lunches and have my signing lessons during the day". Idyllic yes? Well, no. All these wonderful things actually become distractions - the biggest enemy of productivity as my freelance friends will agree. I'm so grateful to have my cousin on board as my business mentor and I'm determined not to give him too many reasons to kick me up the backside, so getting a routine is more important than ever and will have to forgo the weekday nail bar and spa treatments. Seriously, what I mean by this is really to be more efficient with my time, set deadlines for myself, my work and for things I want to make time for, rather than sit dither about like an 80 year old on a fast-moving escalator.
I am seriously lethargic. Obviously exercising is the healthy thing to do, I give myself a pitiful round of applause for acknowledging this. It's more the sheer daily exhaustion and failing to wake up with any sense of energy which concerns me more. Ever since the 'broken limbs' incident, which was my excuse not to join the hamster treadmill and Nazi recruitment camps affectionately call a gym, I've not done any regular exercise that consists of breaking out in a sweat. I do walk a huge amount but apart from this, I'm simply lazy. I loathe running, I have fantastical visions in my head of doing ballet but the reality of the situation may not be the same, so it's either dance classes or some other form of sporting prowess. I really have to decide what I should do, as all exercise seems as appealing as Gregg's pasty rubbed up against a door mat at the moment.
WRITE, WRITE, WRITE
It's my only creative outlet beyond singing and the fact I have only been able to write three posts on this blog during 2011, tells you how much my life has failed on this front. I did at least three posts a month a few years ago and I think I owe it to myself having a blog since 2006 to keep this going and to find the fun in updating it regularly. I love it so much, but it requires discipline and I've been reading a lot of books like Stephen King's On Writing and other guides on the subject, to remind myself I don't have to be so precious about it and can make the time if I really want to do it. Enthusiasm comes from creativity and I have as much enthusiasm as a flatulent cat with asthma at the moment, so it's more important than just blog posts and empty pages of half-finished novel to me.
SAY LESS, DO MORE
I know this post totally contradicts what I'm going to say next, but I really have to talk less about what I intend to do and actually follow through with my claims. We all do it, though I seem to do it all the time. Some of my friends may think I'm being a little harsh on myself, though I've noticed far too many intentions went astray last year, so the ratio could be strongly improved. I've read if you want to set yourself goals, don't tell everyone you're going to do them, as the more people you tell, the more you convince your mind you are fulfilling them and therefore lose the element of responsibility in seeing the task through. There are ways and means of going about it and issuing a press release amongst friends is not the way to go about it. It just makes you feel like a buffoon six months later when they ask you how's it going.
ACKNOWLEDGE "JIMINY CRICKET"
Finding out what gets you up in the morning, so you can march through life with a shiny baton of truth and purpose is bloody hard. You can read as many self-help books as you like, but until you simply listen to that annoying voice inside your head which has more sense than you do, you will never be truly happy. It's really clichéd and annoyingly simple and yet we spend hours, weeks, years and even lifetimes ignoring it and gravitating towards doing what we think others expect from us. The baton clumsily slips out of hands, usually during these vital moments when we have to make an important decision over the soulless but highly paid job offer, or the relationship with fit but inappropriate guy, or deciding to spend time with the selfish friend who no longer listens to you. Jiminy is there though. He told me I didn't need to work for anyone else anymore and now I have my own company, he also told me I didn't need a relationship to make me fulfilled and happy, so I can resist the "Singledom" paranoia when it rears its ugly head (you know, when you swear online dating is a waste of time or when yet another friend announces their engagement through Facebook). Listening to myself has gone a long way to making me a happier and more calmer person recently, so it's more a case of continuing to do this resolution.
I'm going to grab 2012 by the back the head like a cheap whore in a motel room and try and not let time take over these intentions. Perhaps the points will inspire you to do the same, I think changing your approach to life are much more realistic goals to aspire to strangely than stubbing out a cigarette or signing up to Weight Watchers:
- Organise my time.
- Be creative.
- Follow things through.
- Listen to myself.
If you see me not doing any of these over the coming months, please do walk up to me and slap me hard with flat side of your smart phone. Here's to not cringing at this when I read it again in 2013 and realise I'm still doing some of these.