Happy New Year to you all.635856536729266387-1590926749_new-years-resolutions-photo

‘A New Year’s resolution is a tradition, most common in the Western Hemisphere but also found in the Eastern Hemisphere, in which a person resolves to change an undesired trait or behaviour’.

This is the computer search definition of a New Year’s Resolution. Traditionally we all make some kind of resolution, but how important are these really?

I stopped resolutions years ago, but instead set myself a few well-chosen goals. For example in 2014 one of my goals was to become a doctor.  I knew I could achieve it, my doctorate thesis had been handed in December 2013, and my viva for the end of January 2014 was already arranged.  It wasn’t a foregone conclusion however so it still provided me with a challenge.  I passed my viva with minors, so I still had work to do to achieve my goal.  In fact as it turned out, I had many tables to prepare as the examiners apparently needed these to prove my work in a more visual way!  Click on this link to my thesis Perspectives of the Autistic Voice: An Ethnography Examining Informal Education Learning Experiences if you are interested in checking it out.

‘Resolutions’ or whatever you call them should be achievable, with practice, with work, with determination.   Adding a couple of definites; things you will achieve without question, can also help with motivation.

One of mine in the past has been put my keys in the same place every day so I don’t lose them. Meaningless to most, but to me a lifesaver and an act which has saved my sanity. I still remember the time I was walking around the house and garden with my keys, loading my car with charity bags, and I dropped my keys into one of the bags by accident.  Luckily I didn’t take the bags to the charity for several days (I couldn’t find my keys to drive there) so I eventually emptied out all of the bags one day in desperation and found them!

Mostly I try to make meaningful goals which may help others in some way as well, even if it means I am calmer or less anxious and therefore a nicer person to be around.

In 2015 one of my goals was to finish and get published my book Autism and Martial Arts: A Guide for Children, Parents and Teachers. (The details are on my website home page) This was achieved with a lot of work and countless edits and proofreading which was exhausting.  I wanted to achieve this goal to help autistic children; to give them confidence to achieve whatever they wanted to do; to guide parents to find the best clubs for their children; to provide information for teachers to give the best possible experience in martial arts for autistic students.

So, for last year’s goals. One was to take my yoga further and gain more knowledge; I am now in the middle of my foundation course with the British Wheel of Yoga so I have definitely achieved that.  I am aiming for teacher training later this year.  Another made mid-year was to give up eating meat; this was for various personal reasons, but aspects of my health have clearly improved since then.  I am also currently in the middle of my second book editing and I will blog more about this as it gets closer to publication.

I also made several small and seemingly insignificant ‘lifestyle decisions’ some of which I will share with you copied verbatim from one of my many notebooks!:

  • No more skinny jeans unless stretchy!
  • Comfort is key and constantly fiddling is not stylish!!
  • When hair is good colour – don’t change it! (I still change it!)
  • Quality rather than quantity

Now these are hardly life-changing goals but I am sure there are plenty of you out there who feel the same way and write similar things in your notebooks. By the way for those of you who know me well, the last decision has even applied to my ‘notebook collection’.  Yes, I actually pared down my collection last year and try to use the same good notebooks for most things – quality, the ones with the pockets at the back and elastic.  I just add pen loops.  If you need to know about these pen loops, contact me.  They are wonderful.  I digress…

So now, I shall leave you to ponder your goals or resolutions or promises to yourself… I am off to work on one of mine for 2017: finish this second book before my editor emails me again!!

Don’t forget to check out my website www.theautisticvoice.co.uk

Until next time