New Year’s Resolutions? Good? Bad? Or Just Unrealistic?

Resolutions! Resolutions?

unrealistic new year resolutions

Made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Do they resemble the ones shown here, by any chance?
If so, you’re not alone. The Libertà Hive is with you!

Unrealistic Resolutions? #1 Write Bestseller

Writers make that one every year, without fail. It’s a goody.

unrealistic resolutions? writing bestseller like pushing giant boulder uphillJust one slight problem —
Algernon Author may write his “fantastic bestseller”, but if we, the paying readers, don’t actually agree with Algernon’s assessment of his own book, we won’t buy it. And his “bestseller” won’t be. As resolutions go, not such a goody then.
Because it takes two.

Actually, for a bestseller, it takes thousands or millions. And a little luck helps, too.

But there will be bestsellers in 2017. It could be any one of thousands. So we writers keep trying, writing the very best book we can. With fingers firmly crossed — though possibly not while we’re typing. 😉

Bestseller book icon.

We’d all love one of these. Maybe in 2017?

Confession Time for Joanna

Like many of us — readers, writers, whatever — I make unrealistic resolutions. As if I could change overnight into a different kind of person, simply because the number on the calendar has moved from 2016 to 2017.

Unrealistic Resolutions: #2 Write 2000 Words Every Single Day

Woman chained to her working deskHow many of us writers resolve, as the bells ring out in celebration, that Next Year, I will Write Two Thousand Words Every Single Day, Without Fail? Now, I know some writers who do that. I admire their diligence and self-discipline. But I am not one of that enviable tribe. And — confession time — I’m pretty sure I never could be.

Don’t get me wrong here. I do work every day. I edit for my writer clients, I prepare Libertà workshops, I update this website, write and edit blogs, spend time on social media, do loads of tedious admin things… And when my story is flowing, I might write thousands of words in a day, hardly moving an inch from my chair and ignoring everything else. But a minimum DAILY output of new words? No.

If asked, I tell people I’ve got a PhD in Displacement. You’d be amazed how attractive my accounting spreadsheet can seem when my subconscious is looking for an excuse not to write.

So my 2017 writing resolution will not be unrealistic. It won’t be 2000 words a day, every day. Not going to tell people what it is, though. Just in case that Displacement PhD kicks in again…

Unrealistic Resolutions: #3 Sew some Curtains Before the Fabric Rots Away

My Libertà partner, Sophie, splorted her coffee when I told her this one. She comes to my house on writing retreat about twice a year. We’ve been doing it for several years now, and it’s very productive. We both write a lot. There’s great cross-pollination of ideas. And we make plans for Libertà, too.

Joanna’s guilty pile of unsewn curtain fabric

Sophie obviously needs a bedroom. And workspace for her laptop. So, twice a year, I move the rolls of curtain fabric from the upstairs table next to my sewing machine where they normally live. Sophie has seen me do it, time after time. She must notice that the pile never gets smaller. She’s too polite to comment, though.

Anyway, Sophie gets her workspace. And I get guilt pangs. How many years has all that curtain material been waiting for me to sew it? How many windows are still uncurtained in my house? (Far too many, I admit.) Being realistic, I know I won’t sew it all, any time soon. So my 2017 resolution is to reduce the number of uncurtained rooms by at least one, by the end of the year.

And now that my curtain resolution is public, I’ll have to stick to it, won’t I?

Confession Time for Sophie

Um. I sometimes think that the moment I make a resolution is the moment I admit that an ambition has become unachievable. So here goes for 2017.

Unrealistic Resolutions: #4 Cartwheel

Young woman jumping on beachI’ve never been agile, not even as a child. At the beach I’d watch athletic juveniles doing  somersaults and star jumps. I didn’t care. Except … I really fancied the cartwheel. Never managed more than a bunny hop. Gave up.

But … maybe this year?  That’s my resolution anyway.

Unrealistic Resolutions: #5 Walk London’s Waterways

15330_westbourneopeningLondon fascinates me, in particular its water courses, now mainly subterranean. I know where the Westbourne (shown here) flows into the Thames. But not the route it has taken over the centuries. And what about the Fleet? Tyburn Brook? Counter’s Creek? I have books. Maps. The Internet. But I want to see for myself. Walk their routes. Imagine what they were like at other times.

Good exercise too. Of course, it will take days. Lots of them. And I’m short of nothing so much as time. So … that’s my second resolution. Walk the route of at least one lost London river in the course of the year. Place your bets!

Do You Make Unrealistic Resolutions too?

Join us in the Hive confessional if you’d like to. Leave a comment to tell us about the good or bad or impossible resolutions that you make. As serial offenders, we promise to sympathise.

And, in the meantime…
Happy 2017 Resolutions to all Libertà’s Reader and Writer Friends!

realistic resolutions from Libertà -- well, two out of three ain't bad

Well, two out of three ain’t bad…

14 thoughts on “New Year’s Resolutions? Good? Bad? Or Just Unrealistic?

  1. Elizabeth Bailey

    Oh dear, yes. I actually gave up making resolutions and just keep a book now where I list what I’d like to have happen. I don’t look at it again until the next time. Tick off a few, hopefully, cross out others and then write a new list. Haven’t done it yet, but probably tonight.
    If it’s just an idea then I don’t HAVE to try and do it, do I? Besides, my memory is getting so bad I doubt I’d remember into the next day what resolution I made the day before! It would be a case of, a couple of months later – oh yes, I was going to do that, wasn’t I? Oh, well….

    1. Joanna Post author

      Had to laugh about the memory thing, Liz. Me too. Sounds like your approach is much more sensible than mine, too.

  2. April Munday

    I stopped writing resolutions years ago, but this year I decided I’d have goals. So, I did a bit of research and have two goals. I’m currently breaking down what I need to do to achieve them. I shall be interested to see how far I get.

  3. angelanoelauthor

    Hello! First, “splorted” is my new favorite word. Second, I’m not a fan of resolutions per se. Too often they are brittle, inflexible things unable to account for changing times or changing inclinations. Instead, I create a “Personal Objectives” page every year with a mix of pictures and phrases that remind me of what I want to “live into” or invite for the upcoming year. In 2016, I wanted to focus on ideas of openness, and seeing more beauty in the world around me. This underlying idea became part of the reason why I launched a blog to celebrate inspiring people and interesting ideas. My “resolutions” became less about what I wanted to accomplish, and more about what I wanted to contribute. Thanks for the post! (Cartwheels really are hard.)

    1. Joanna Post author

      I think “splorted” may be a Sophie Westonism. I agree it’s great. And your personal objectives sound amazing, Angela. (And no, I can’t do cartwheels either)

  4. Sue McCormick

    Like “angelanlelauthor”. have goals. I don’t usually list them, and the NEVER are limited (or usually never appear) to this first day of the year. I also don’t write them down unless I need to specifically chart out a course for that specific goal. They are made whenever such a goal occurs to me. And I usually get results. But I do confess my goals may be larger than my achievements.

    That doesn’t feel like a broken resolution does. I quit because I have reached a new place, or because I’ve improved, but something else is more important, and so on.

    1. Joanna Post author

      Incredibly sensible advice, Sue. Thank you. Our resolutions were slightly tongue-in-cheek, as you may have guessed, though I now do feel I need to attack that pile of curtain material. At some stage. Later, maybe…

  5. Evonne

    I’ve made myself a vision board, and that’s as far as it gets. The pictures are pretty, anyway. On the subject of material hoards – looking at you, Joanna – I have one of my own and an inherited one. I recommend a chest or trunk – wood or tin, as you prefer. Then every six months or so, opening the lid and looking into it is a delightful surprise. 😉

    1. Joanna Post author

      Oh thank you Evonne. You did make me laugh. Sadly my curtain material would need to be folded to go into a trunk and it wouldn’t do it any good. Mind you, lying unsewn does it no good either.

  6. janegordoncumming

    I made a whole list of lovely resolutions for 2017: Start the Mindfulness course. Exercise every day. Eat sensibly. Write my novel for at least an hour (I can’t do ‘words’), and go back to researching the biography of my grandparents.I like making New Year’s resolutions, and I couldn’t wait for January 1st to start carrying them out. But oh the disappointment when it turned out to be one of my ‘bad gut’ days, and all I could do was lie around reading Poldark! All my ambitions shattered on Day 1. I’m a total, abject failure, – Actually I did do most of them, except the research thing, and Mindfulness teaches that one shouldn’t be too hard on oneself. Okay, New Year’s Resolution #47: I will not feel guilty about not being able to carry out New Year’s resolutions.

Comments are closed.