As each year draws to a close the question on everyone’s lips is “what’s your New Year’s Resolution?” There is a list of answers that are often repeated year after year; getting fit, losing weight, quitting smoking. Some of these resolutions are broken faster than they were imagined up, so is it worth making a resolution at all?
Over the years I have made only a few resolutions. To start with, as a kid, I used to make up some unrealistic goals for the New Year. They would perhaps last a couple of weeks before I ended up breaking them and feeling really bad about it. There’s nothing worse than beating yourself up over failure at achieving goals you’ve set for yourself.
One resolution I kept making and breaking was to stop biting my nails. I was really bad for it as a kid and I used to make my fingers bleed from time to time. When I was 13, I decided that enough was enough! I had to break the habit. But it wasn’t because people kept nagging me this time, it was because I had been given a guitar and I wanted to learn how to play. I didn’t want to hurt my fingers more through the biting of my nails. This was more than just a resolution to kick a bad habit, but it was in the hope to achieve an even greater goal, to play a musical instrument. 18 years on and I never looked back.
A year later, inspired by my huge achievement, I decided to embark on another life changing resolution. I decided I wanted to become vegetarian. I had been cutting back on eating meat for a while, but New Year marked a cut off point where it was all or nothing. It was something I was passionate about and 17 years later, I’m still vegetarian.
Achievement and competition can be a way to keep inspired. Last year my resolution was to read more books! As a dyslexic, reading was never a strength of mine, but I always loved stories. I set myself a target that I felt was achievable of 15 books in 12 months. I had friends who had larger targets, but I wanted to keep it realistic for me. I think if I had set it to 50 I would have become overwhelmed and given up by April. Reading books included eBooks and having my iPad read to me as well as paperback and hardback books. I smashed my target and read 35 books! A huge achievement for me which has helped me to realise that I’m actually a bit of a bookworm after all!
This year, my New Year’s Resolution is to write more. I have picked up a couple of books to help me to structure a novel, something which I have been wanting to embark on for a couple of years. The aim is not to write a novel, but to write more, an achievable goal which will hopefully inspire me to go that little bit further like I have in previous resolutions.
If you have already broken your New Year’s Resolution, don’t be too disheartened. Next year, set yourself a realistic goal that helps to boost your confidence rather than something that’s a little too far out of reach.
“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among the stars.”
Hannah, Dyslexia and Me The dyslexic student