On a new year and a new quote


New years resolutions are a thing.

A thing that a lot of people all over the world think about – I think about them. There are the common ones that everyone aspires too: get fit, lose weight, stop drinking alcohol. Plus the not so common ones, such as learn how to clone Nutella  (for some even  more interesting ones check out: (http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/bizarre-new-years-resolutions-twitter-weird-wonderful-web/))

But I don’t really write any. Because you see, when one thinks of resolutions, one also thinks about the fact that most of them are never met.

So instead of writing new years resolutions, I write down goals. And with each of my goals I write an action plan of how I’m going to achieve them.

I have recently just finished reading Gretchen Rubin’s book, ‘The Happiness Project.’ Rubin is a perfectly normal human, with a family and a job and a life that she loves. Yet one day she comes to the realisation that there are all these things that she wants to do, yet she’s just not doing them. Stuck in the constant flow of everyday habitual life. Rubin realised, “The days are long, but the years are short. Time is passing, and I’m not focusing enough on the things that really matter.” Rubin realised that although she was happy, she could be even happier, if only she started to do these things she wanted to do, instead of just thinking about them.

Because that is the problem with new years resolutions a lot of the time – you think about what you want to change, the first step. But then you stop and go no further, stuck on the hard part of “starting.” Starting to make a change.

Pushed into “starting” by her realisation, Rubin made an action plan. For each month of the year she focused on a value; for example January was Vitality – boost energy, March was Work – aim higher and November was Attitude – keep a contented heart. Within each of these months she had her individual goals – concrete goals based on abstract values. In January there was ‘go to sleep earlier; exercise better; toss, restore, organise; tackle a nagging task; and act more energetic.’ Based on Father Benjamin Franklin’s Virtues Chart, Rubin made a ‘resolutions chart,’ where she wrote down her goals and put a cross or a tick next to them after EACH day, depending on whether she had accomplished them.

And thus throughout the year, Rubin became happier through making habits out of the things she had always wanted to do. Although there were times where she slipped – we all do – she had her chart and her goals right there to push her back on track again.

SO, the question is how do you make the changes you want to make in your life?

1. Make them goals, not new years resolutions.

2. Think about what you want to change, what you want to do, then write them down – remember concrete not abstract i.e. rather than “be more friendly” try “say hello to new people,” which is something you can actually do.

3. Make an action plan – you want to lose weight and get fit? Think about HOW you are going to do this…e.g. exercise 20mins everyday, stop buying processed foods, by whole foods instead, etc.

4. Make a chart which you can consult everyday – helping you to remember your goals and to motivate you through progress achieved.

5. START, START RIGHT NOW! Not tomorrow, not next Monday, not next month. RIGHT NOW.

Get off your couch and go for a run. Go outside and take some photos.

Go right now and DON’T STOP.

Run tomorrow and the next day and the next. Make your goals your daily habit.

Because you see, You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” #quoteoftheday – John C. Maxwell

So go start and I wish you the best year yet!


A quotaholic xx


On a new day…

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

I like to think that there are three parts to me. There’s my inner core – which is this bright, bubbly, optimistic heart; my true self. When you’re there it’s like bathing in the sunlight. A soft breeze blows, and waves play piano on a sandy shore. Pure mountains stand proud in the distance, letting off clear air. Trees flutter their leaves. Flowers bloom in eternal fields.

Next comes my outer core – this is the part of me that is dark, that is gloomy. It’s all black there and you can’t see in front of you, you can only see behind.

Surrounding the core is my exterior. This is my outside that everyone can see. Naturally its like my inner core – bright, bubbly, optimistic, sunshine. It always resorts back to this happy glow, but sometimes it reveals the outer core of me. Some day’s I don’t feel like smiling, I don’t feel like putting on a show.

I’ve found these days have been more often than not lately.

Since the end of last year, till the beginnings of this one, I felt completely loved. I felt absolutely comfortable to be who I was. I felt secure in being who ever I wanted to be, in saying whatever I wanted to say – believing that this love would not go away, it promised it wouldn’t. On the days when I felt imperfect, this love was there to remind me of the best parts of me. This love made me feel beautiful, just as I was.

Love does that.

As Elizabeth Barret Browing once smartly said:

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.

I was utterly content in happiness of just being myself, with the belief that there was someone there who loved this “true me.”

But then this love went away and feelings of insecurity and doubt began to wash over me. I felt utterly imperfect. I began to criticise my body, my look – I couldn’t even bear to look in the mirror without feeling a terrible shame that suffocated me. I was drowning in darkness.

The love went away, making me question why it did. It had to be because of something I’d done, because of something I wasn’t, because I was too weird, too strange, too random.

This outer core cloaked my inner beam, meaning the light of my true self was prevented from shining outwards to my exterior. Instead I began to share more and more of these dark feelings with the outer world.

I noted how more and more I was complaining about how tired I was, with sarcastic remarks and moans about how life was such a struggle, all poring from my mouth. It made everything worse as I began to hate myself even more for the person I was becoming. I felt like I was changing and I could do nothing to stop it.

My true self was lost and I didn’t know where to find her again.

Wishing to change back to my former self, I stumbled upon this quote:

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.

The realisation suddenly hit me then that I didn’t want to go back to who I was before. I realised I hadn’t changed so much, as I was just growing and developing and this was a part of me that made me even more deeper and complex as a human being than before.

I couldn’t go back, I could only go forward through the emotional labyrinth that is life.

I realised that I had a choice in who I wanted to be. After all I am my own person. Suddenly life became different, the dark cloud cleared, the rain dried up, and the sun broke through stronger than ever. I thought about who I wanted to be. I wrote it down. I thought about who I didn’t want to be – something which this experience had taught me – and wrote that down as well.

I thought about the future and what I wanted out of life. I thought of all the things I wanted to do – writing, writing all of this down. Motivation bloomed within me.

And then, just like that, I shed the cloak that had surrounded me and began to bounce again. I began to dance around the hallways to crazy songs. I began to sing at the top of my lungs. I began to let my laugh tinkle out over that sandy shore, drifting away over the seas, echoing high up in the mountains, floating through the leaves, spiralling in and out of the flowers.

My self wasn’t lost after all, she was there all along, growing and developing, reaching for the stars, shooting for the moon.

And so from my experiences of this quote, this is my advice for you:

When something or someone has brought you down and made you unsure of who you are, if you are unhappy with yourself- rather than critiquing everything and looking back at the past, rather than wishing and hoping you were something else – just think about who you want to be. Actually take the time to think about it.

Write it down, paint it, design it, make a movie or a song about it – express who you want to be in whatever form that spurs on the passion. Then make a plan – how can you become this person, what do you have to do. Thinking about the future can plant seeds of motivation, which you can grow into a magnificent forest as you work towards accomplishing your plan and making your future.

Everyone of us is beautiful. Think about what you want from life, think about who you want to be, and you’ll find courage, strength and motivation, which you never thought you had, to make these dreams a reality.

Ka kite 🙂

P.s sorry for the delay! I wrote this all up and it deleted itself before I could publish it, so time had to be spent finding the motivation to write it all again! :p