Posted on January 2, 2012
I am not known for my willpower. Just ask the entire cake aisle of my local supermarket. We are well acquainted in a most intimate, excessive way. I also have the terrible, Aquarian habit, of starting things with the best intentions and then getting distracted halfway through and starting something else (case in point, at least 10 unfinished short stories and 4 novel manuscripts languishing in a file on my desktop). But I do love making plans, and there is something quite thrilling about setting a goal and working towards it (in the beginning, anyway). I also love lists and new leaves. All of which leaves me in the completely ordinary predicament of wanting to make resolutions but knowing, quite honestly, there’s a large chance that within 14 days, my resolve will have disappeared under a pile of paper. Or into a cake.
A couple of years ago, I came to a simple, obvious conclusion. It is always easier to do more rather than cut back. ‘Stop eating so much shit’* sounds so confining and bossy, whereas ‘eat more good things’ is encouraging and kind. It also deals with the tedious psychological issue of immediately not wanting to do something if you are told to do it. If I am told not to eat more shit, I will defiantly eat more shit, even if it is my own list of resolutions, penned by my own hand, telling me not to do it because it is in my own, self-acknowledged interests. If that same list says, ‘eat more!’ I will think to myself, ‘pffft, no, I won’t eat more.’ I am my own worst enemy.
One might suggest I avoid making any sort of resolutions altogether, but I feel far too shiny and new and resolute not to. So in the spirit of compromise, here is what I resolve to do more of in 2012:
Three books a month. And not just crime fiction. Preferably a touch more historical fiction.
Finish two of those scrappy manuscripts.
Finish at least three short stories.
Write more feature articles.
Watch More Films
At least two a week. I fell far, far too far behind in 2011 and spent far, far too long unaware of Melissa McCarthy’s excellent comic timing.
Make the most of Germany’s borders and, when I am home for December, see more of my own backyard. Like, for example, that reef the rest of the world bangs on about, but I have never seen.
My Mum gave me Neil Perry’s The Food I Love for Christmas. We will be getting a new kitchen in March. I need to expand my repertoire beyond Greek food and (excellent) Thai curries. All of this means I must … cook more.
* But I really must stop eating corn chips, Berliner donuts and wine gums. And on a totally unrelated note, I really must wear eye cream more often.