How to keep new year’s resolutions

I’ve always loved writing a list of new year’s resolutions. The slightly less enjoyable part is loyally carrying them out on each day of the following year. Nevertheless, I subconsciously view them as yet another opportunity to fuel my self-growth addiction and faithfully composed a list of things to improve upon.There’s little a writer loves more than producing a meaningful document so even lists appear like a chance to use your noggin creatively. If the contents of that list intimidates or bores you however, you can kiss your future productivity a tearful goodbye.

Only 7% of people keep their new year’s resolutions until the end of the year.

I am not in that 7%. My sister falls firmly within that bracket for 2014, but that’s another story of Capricorn determination she can relay to you. The other 93% of us fail to adhere to our noble list of good intentions because we’re often trying to deprive ourselves when we should be adding value to our lives. In light of the above statistic, I’ve decided to take an abstract approach to resolutions for 2015. I devised a brainstorm so my resolutions appear less like obligations and more like a contract of emotional commitments. On an average day our thoughts are dominated by work and social commitments, so why heighten our stress levels with a list of “don’t”s when we can simply gain more by promising we will strive to do? It’s ludicrously simple and rails against our adult assumption of huge responsibility, yet some good life advice is to think of a way to make your life easier and then do it. Originally I read that sentence in a chapter of Gala Darling’s Radical Self Love e-book but I think it encapsulates the technique of setting achievable new year’s resolutions perfectly.

Resolutions should not be punishments

A resolution shouldn’t equate to an act of self-deprivation. Instead it’s comparatively similar to setting goals so you have a grasp on the bigger picture and your personal aspirations. By mindfully jotting down my aims for 2015, I reminded myself of my over-arching ambitions. You’ve probably been working towards something anyway – whether that’s a tangible goal like learning how to play pool or accepting that feelings aren’t facts, and this is your chance to maximise the scale of your everyday to-do list. I encourage you to write your 2015 aims down on a piece of paper or type up somethin’ pretty and print off the page. That way, you can keep the list somewhere safe and visible to you at all times. It’s important to treat the list like a possession beyond another rambling word document (or blog post!). Sticking the list on a wall in your home or office ensures you’re reminded of the promises you’re making to yourself and increases your chance of success!

Despite the advocacy of a materialistic approach, I urge you to refrain from envisioning a 2015 filled with banality. Everyday things are necessary and shouldn’t be avoided: sure, but there is so much more you can achieve in life too! If your list of changes are mundanely practical or relatively inconsequential, you won’t feel inspired to act. Contrarily, if you give yourself a list of mammoth demands that mismatch with your personality type, fiscal resources or lifestyle, you are also setting yourself up for a fall. The method illustrated above this post attempts to find a happy medium between soul-exposing generalisations and routine tasks.

Hopefully the spontaneity of the mindful timer test has produced attainable resolutions. In fact, while I was writing I recall discarding several ideas because the time limit forced me to emotionally connect with these aims and my list was consequently more inspirational for me. Sometimes we allow ourselves to think from a social perspective and imagine what we should resolve to change, but success can only come from a concerted effort. I also think the foreboding time limit could easily become a metaphor for life but unfortunately I’ve graduated from University now so won’t provide that analogy for you. I’m sure you don’t mind.

In summary, my filtered spider diagram of resolutions doesn’t feel like a list of burgeoning demands and that’s precisely why I think I’ll want to keep my resolutions, rather than feeling like I have to. Good luck with yours!

Happy 2015 everyone. 

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10 ways to know you were a teenage Emo kid

– You were not okay. You were not o-fuckingkay

– You would rather die than live be referred to as an ’emo.’ No labels thanks, you’re not a soup can.

– Your MySpace profile song always reflected your emotional state and you weren’t afraid to passive aggressively let them know it.

– Most of your selfies (as they were yet to be known) were taken with the camera held high above your head to slim your face and accentuate the sadness in your panda eyes. Location: strictly bathroom or bedroom.

– PC4PC was a way of life because you were too alt. to socialise with actual sentences.

– At least one of your friends was madly in love with Patrick Stump but you just didn’t get it. 

– ‘I’m just a notch in your bed-post but you’re just a line in a song
was the ‘personal message’ of your MSN profile at least once.

– Your turbulent love life engendered long nights of filtering through the ‘heartbroken’ quote icons uploaded to Photobucket.

– You skulked around in Converse or Vans at all times. Some of you even wore your black converse to school and for that you had my respect.

– Your straightened fringe impaired your eyesight so you had to habitually sweep it to the side rather than cutting it short. Hardcore.

Remember these? </3
ReMeMbEr ThEsE? </3

Also, Patrick Stump? The years have been kind.

How to shop for Christmas presents on a budget, last-minute!

Today I hurriedly hunted for gifts on the busiest shopping day of the year (UK-wise, the Saturday before Xmas) before meticulously wrapping each purchase to feign advanced preparation.

Last minute shopper like me? Keep reading…


HOW TO SHOP FOR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS ON A BUDGET, LAST-MINUTE

1. Shop alone: I’m an Aries. I walk fast, talk fast and do everything with purpose; shopping included. While others see shopping as a social activity, I see it as a necessity so will only attend with friends upon the promise of free lunch. More importantly, if I need to buy specific items (eg: presents) I make like Jason Derulo and fly solo. It’s not as much fun but your chances of focusing on your objective are higher when your alternative is facing a fruitlessly empty-handed walk home. Alone.

 2. Preparation is key: Buying presents for people is hard; it requires thought and carries expectation. That’s why I advise you to think of the category you’re seeking to purchase from (beauty, home decorations etc) and a £10/£20 price limit. Most people have materialistic preferences, i.e I’m a sucker for merchandising, while my sister prefers practical gifts. Analyse this area before you set off and where you’re likely to find certain items.

3. Don’t rely on impulse buys: It may be tempting to think “I’ll decide once I’m there” but I’m here to administer some tough love. A) that won’t happen and B) you’ll probably regret whatever you buy. Why? Because you haven’t had time to convince yourself it’s the ‘right gift’ and besides, you’re more likely to buy what you want and not what they want. This is a common predicament that most of us have experienced first-hand. In-store, we’re bombarded with different choices for the same product in terms of colour, design, style etc. so you have to deliberately steer away from your personal preference in favour of what’s most suited to the person you’re buying for.

4. Plan your shop route before heading out: Try to stick to a particular shopping centre if possible, especially given the fact you’ll be in a hurry to get it over with! Integrally: go in, source the items, pay for them and only then can you browse for pleasure.

5. Treat yo’ self: I have heard the refrain “I really like it but I’m not here to buy for me!” on too many occasions. If you’ve stayed within your budget and aren’t below the poverty line, you can afford to buy some gifts for yourself. You’ll have to part with your hard-earned cash eventually so throw some materialism into the self-loving mix. After all, it’s Christmas.

xmas

Where is the quote section on Facebook?

I’m just about old enough to remember life before it was dominated by social media. I can recall signing up to MySpace on an ordinary day in 2006 and promptly befriending my brother’s ex-girlfriend. She was a nice person and a younger sister never forgets their brother’s cool female friends so I saw nothing strange in this at the time, and I was about to find out how different social etiquette is online.

The next day, my 14 year-old self was delighted to receive a notification in the form of a comment:

“Welcome to MySpace. Though I warn you, it can get quite addictive!”

Needless to say, her words have proved prophetic in the current climate of social media reign – sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc. are no longer means of entertainment but daily cruxes of our lives. In fact, I’ve started to notice an increase in the number of people who tell me they use Facebook as a necessity but would rather it wasn’t so. I may not be one of those people yet (as my current open tabs’ will testify) but I sympathise with this view.

A historical tale

When the mass-conversion from MySpace to Facebook occurred circa 2008, our social networking needs evolved in shape. Facebook used to be the plainer, more bureaucratic platform for social interaction whereby personal information triumphed over creative self-expression. Partially because the marketing team thought it would be wise to condense certain aspects so they could appeal to an older and more sensible generation, thus eradicating the ‘song’ feature that enabled us to convey the dominant emotion of the day. Besides, it only takes a few years for teenagers to evolve into adults and therefore the promise of a huge scale of Facebook converts was inevitable.

MySpace default picture, 2006:
MySpace default picture, 2006: “My sad face”

Today, it’s a reality.

Nevertheless, I outline this abridged social network timeline as a member of the colloquially termed MySpace generation, – probably because ‘Facebook generation’ has zero poetic appeal. If we could allow ourselves some imaginative scope however, we might say the term ‘MySpace’ is a concise reminder of the postmodern myth of the Self and society’s ever-increasing proclivity for capitalising on the allure of personalisation in a disinterested world. My space; my sphere, welcome to my world, my hopes and dreams, my opinions, my body, my thoughts, my friends, my likes and dislikes, me me me

Alas!

Nowadays self-expression is only permitted where it’s statistically useful and therefore we’re encouraged to ditch the typing in favour of clicking ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ on a wide range of consumerist choices so companies know what sells and what sinks. Using social media is less fun this way.

Facts about ourselves that have little use to companies, corporations and other big bad’s are no longer catered for in headings sections. This is sad. Once upon a time you could attempt an authentic portrayal of yourself by publicly noting your favourite quotes and the people who ispired you.


Sadly, those days have gone. No longer will you roll your eyes upon reading Marilyn Monroe misquotes or a teenage nihilist’s ode to Nietzsche and maybe that’s okay.

On the other hand, wise words carry a certain wisdom that selecting your favourite brand-of-whatever for statistical purposes does not…

As an adolescent I can certifiably say I’d obsess over select quotes and analyse whether I agreed with it entirely, before vowing to live by it. Admittedly, my beloved ‘SHIT HAPPENS‘ sign on my bedroom wall is the first thing that comes to mind but there were other pearls of wisdom too.

Personal growth doesn’t have to be corny or false and self-love may sound like unrealistic spiel but remaining open to evolving as a person is half of the work.

are some of my treasured quotations sifted from a saved file, previously paraded on Facebook:


  • Killing time is an atrocity, it’s priceless and it never grows back
  • Live your life and forget your age
  • You are enough
  • Never think of failing – you don’t need to
  • No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent
  • We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with
  • Picture yourself as the kind of person you wish to be, affirm that you are that, then practice being it
  • The question isn’t ‘who’s going to let me?’ it’s ‘who’s going to stop me?’
  • Spend life with who makes you happy, not who you have to impress
  • If you want to get somewhere, you have to know where you want to go and how to get there. Then never, never give up
  • 2 great forces operate in the mind, fear and faith. Fear is very powerful but faith is more powerful.