YA Author Rendezvous

Creativity Unleashed: Books for the young and the young at heart


New Years Resolutions

My New Year’s Resolution

new years resolutionWritten by George Sirois

By the time you read this, we’ll be more than halfway through the first month in January. If you’re like so many people in the world, you hit the ground running with your new year’s resolutions on January 1, and this is around the time when the gas starts to run a bit low, that projects you are started don’t seem as much fun anymore, when it’s getting easier to start using a treadmill at the gym because they’re no longer all occupied.

I get it. I’ve been there. And when I started my little “39 Bucket List” last August when I turned 39 and wrote down all the things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 40, that enthusiasm for what I was going to do took a big drop when I recently revisited that list and saw that I had barely scratched the surface on what I would do.

So on December 31, there I was, thinking up all these different resolutions that I would stick to this time! I would get back on the eating plan that resulted in me losing about 40 pounds between July and October. I would finish my novel. I would read more. I would find new ways to market myself as an author. I would figure out a way to get myself organized and stay focused at work. And so on, and so on, and so on.

Lofty expectations, one and all. But then, as I jotted them down, the voice in the back of my head said, “Who are you kidding? You really expect yourself to stick to these goals? You’re gonna have to do better than that, and this time, think realistically.”

I was bummed out by this sudden epiphany, but only for a moment, because I realized that a resolution shouldn’t be about a goal, but about what you intend to do to meet a goal. What do you want to change? What do you want to add to your life? What do you think will make it easier to get what you want?

That’s when it hit me. I have so much at my fingertips that I barely even use, and everything I have will make me feel much more accomplished about what I want to do. And so my original new year’s resolutions went into the garbage and only one resolution was all I needed:

Use the tools you have.

Think about how life was about 15, 20 years ago, when the Internet was in its infancy and people weren’t 100% sure about what it could be. Now, the possibilities are limitless, and when it comes to writers, we have the means to reach so many people now that it’s almost scary. Just a couple hours ago, I tried Periscope for the first time, and it was fun! I meant to just test my phone to see how if my settings would work on it, and all of a sudden, one person chimed in, then another, then another. And they started posting comments, encouraging comments, and likes on my page. Who knew? Just imagine what it would have been like if I planned it ahead of time and let people know I would be on to answer questions about “Excelsior” or “From Parts Unknown?”

Downstairs, we put together our own mini gym with a television, DVD player, Nintendo Wii, Wii Fit, some workout DVDs, and a treadmill. Why are we not using them? During my most successful weight loss period last year, the pounds went down faster once I started running in the mornings. What’s wrong with just going downstairs and using the equipment there? Better it be used rather than collect dust while I sit upstairs with my smart phone in my hand binge-watching another show on Netflix and wonder why I’m not losing weight.

I say I want to read more. Well, I got a mile-long TBR list waiting for me in my Kindle. I say I want to finish my novel. Why don’t I just go into the office, sit myself down, and finish it already? (Which is what I did just a couple hours ago. More to come on that in the future)

You get what I’m saying, right? We all say we want to do these things, and we’re now living in a world that’s making it easier and easier to do what we want to do. So why not look around, see what tools are at your disposal, and make them happen? You’ll be surprised when you see what’s out there for you. I know I was.

We’re more than halfway to the end of January, and my one new year’s resolution is still going strong. Hopefully yours is too.

New Year Resolutions

Pile of Books

Written by
Jeffrey Collyer

Okay. So it’s the New Year, and everyone is making resolutions, right? Goals for the year ahead.

Well, not me!

That’s always been me, anyway: the scrooge of New Year. Why make a resolution I’m only going to break in a few weeks? Two weeks, that’s how long most people make it before they’ve given up on their resolutions. Ever heard of Blue Monday? It’s officially the most depressing day of the year, and it’s about two weeks into January. The failure of our resolutions is a contributing factor.

Bah, humbug. So there.

The trouble is, most of the goals we set ourselves are things we don’t really like doing. Or, at least, there are other things we like doing more. That’s why we have to set them as specific goals, right? To try and force ourselves to do something we don’t really want to do.

But what if you could make a resolution for something you do enjoy? Only, your goal only really requires you to think about it, because once you think about it, it’s easy to do. And it’s not something you have to do every day, although you can if you want to.

What am I talking about? Books.

Not so much reading books (although that’s a great resolution, too).

No. I’m talking about… well, talking about books.

It’s not a topic I find myself often discussing outside of Facebook and internet chat-rooms. Which is odd, considering I’m a writer.

But, I love reading (you probably do, too, or else you wouldn’t be here), and I love telling people about my favourite books. On the internet is okay, of course, but it’s much better in person. To watch someone else as they explain what book had a real impact on them, and why… Well, you get to know someone in a way you can’t any other way.

It happened to me the other week. I was talking to a friend of many years. He wasn’t a close friend, but I really respect him. Anyway, we’d never actually talked about our reading preferences before, but he asked me if I’d ever read the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Well, that series is honestly my favourite EVER, so I got all animated and we had a great discussion. I’d never picked him as someone who would like that type of book, and it was great getting to know him a bit better. We had found a new connection to add to our friendship – through a book.

So, on a Monday morning when you get back to work, or school, and someone says, “What did you do this weekend?” Why not reply, “I finished this awesome book.”

You might find someone else jumps into the conversation, “Oh, I’ve read that, too. I loved it.” And someone else will say, “You know what’s a bit like that?” And then they’ll give you a great book recommendation.

And before you know it you’re having a really fun discussion, and getting to know someone else better at the same time.

So, I’m giving up on my resolution to never make New Year resolutions. In 2016, I resolve to talk to more people about books.

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