Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sticking with Resolutions by Michelle Styles

Because January is a time of resolution and guilt or at least it is for me. I always start with good intentions. In fact you could say as my great grandmother did if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, I am the contractor in chief. But two weeks into 2011 and I can already see things starting to slide. It is easier to fall back into old habits. The shiny new resolutions go on the backburner because life throws up distractions.

Change is hard. There is no doubt about it. It takes dedication, desire, determination, discipline and a lot of persistence to change. I know this to be true because for many years, I kept saying – I am going to write a book. Somehow, something else would always get in the way.

At the end of 2002, I decided to do something about it. It took until 2005 and seven full length manuscripts until I sold to Harlequin Mills & Boon. It is why when unpublished authors speak to me about their dreams, I listen and know that the dreams can become reality if people are serious about working at it. Yes some of it is luck but you do make your own luck and sometimes dreams change or alter.

It took getting seriously ill to make me focus and decide to follow my dream, even though it had long been a resolution of mine. And there are times when it remains a struggle to focus. You would think habits like being disciplined and writing the pages first would become ingrained in the psyche but they don’t. I always struggle and have to work at it. But it is worth at the end when I do hold another of my dreams in my hands or when I hear from a reader that they enjoyed a story of mine. Remembering the joy helps when it gets tough.

So whatever your resolutions or whatever change you wanted to make in your life, know that if it is truly worth it, it will take longer than 2 weeks to achieve. And even if you do fall back, you can always try again. Each day is a chance to start anew and to make things happen. Sometimes it is helpful to look and see how far you have come. Or as Thomas Edison once put it, he had to find 10,000 ways how not to make a light bulb before he found the one way that he could.

So to all of those who are struggling with their resolutions, I am struggling as well. But this year, I am determined to do better. Discipline, determination,dedication, desire and perservance are the key but  oh how I wish it was easier. Does anyone else struggle?

Michelle Styles writes historical romance for Harlequin Historical and her current US release is Impoverished Miss Convenient Wife. You can learn more about her books on her website.


ev said...

I struggle with my weight constantly. I try to do better, slip and start over. At least I am holding steady which is a goal in and of itself.

The only resolution I have ever kept was to quit smoking. I did in 1984 and haven't picked it up again. Works for me.

As for being disciplined about work, well, years ago it was that or lose a very good job. So I stay organized and disciplined at work and home goes to hell in a handbasket. I am working on that now. Little by little it gets better but then I slip. And I tie it all into the weight problem too.

If I can conquer one, the other will fall into line.


Nas Dean said...

Hello Michelle,

I remember your words, discipline, determination,dedication, desire and perservance and this year this is my resolution.

You story and you're an inspiration to me. Good luck with your resolutions.

Pat Cochran said...

After many years of resolutions
which ended up by the wayside, I finally made a resolution which I
have no problem keeping. It is a
resolution to not make resolutions.

Pat Cochran

Sarah Morgan said...

The problem with resolutions is that you tend to make them while you're relaxed and full of good intentions, away from the realities of daily life. Then you're plunged back into reality and wonder why it seems to hard.....

Great post Michelle