Own your destiny

So another new year dawned and is already whizzing by.  I can hardly believe we have already had pancake day and Valentines day for another year!  I’m sure the older we get, the faster time passes.  Mum turned 70 in January which was a big wake up call of how fast the years pass, with the realisation that I am now half way there myself!  I still feel the same as I did at 18 but the reflection in the mirror tells me otherwise!  After all, you know you are getting old when Radio 2 plays your era music in the afternoon!

This year, I made some of the usual and most popular resolutions such as to lose weight which I have so far showed little commitment and therefore little success at.  I guess I’m not alone with that, given only 8% of people stick to their new years resolutions.

It’s funny, growing up, we think that once we are an adult we will be able to do whatever we want, but that doesn’t always bring you happiness.  Life is full of boundaries and consequences; yes you can eat that extra slice of cake, but you won’t be slim.  Everything is a choice and a new year is the perfect time to reflect on our choices and make positive changes.  You only get one life so you need to take charge of it.

I did for the first time do Dry January.  Dry January is a recent term which came into existence after Alcohol Concern’s first Dry January in 2013 and became a public health campaign in 2015.  I must admit I have always thought of January as a depressing month, so why make it any worse by not drinking?!  However this year I decided to do it and raise money for the National Autistic Society.  It is a wonderful cause and particularly close to my heart, being that my nephew suffers from it.  As much as I love a drink, I felt a month’s abstinence would be a minor sacrifice compared to the difficulties that he overcomes everyday.  I managed to raise an incredible £377.50 which far surpassed my expectations so a big thank you to everyone who supported me!  It might not have turned me off the booze for life but has definitely made me review the quantities I was putting away.  Statistics show that 64% of people who do Dry January are drinking less, even six months after it’s finished.


New Year can be a good time to clear out your past that has perhaps been weighing you down.  Too often we live in the past and look back through rose-coloured glasses.  It’s human nature to reflect on the paths you have chosen and how different things could have been if you had only picked another.  Essentially though, you can’t change the past but you can change the future.

A spring clean can be a good way to de-clutter your mind and set you on a path of change by letting go of the past.  I felt throughly cleansed after clearing out the cupboards and also spent time down memory lane while going through my parents loft where, amongst other things, I found my old diaries and also my first shoes!


Reflecting on new starts, I revisited a great book – The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.  I first read this in 2007, when I was going through a relationship break up and felt I had reached a crossroads in my life.  It talks about the power of positive energy and attracting things to you and advocates creating a vision board.  A vision board is like a collage of our dreams and helps to inspire and motivate as well as attract these things to you.  I made one back then and when I revisited it recently, I noticed that at least 75% of it had come true.  So I decided to make a new one, some ten years after first reading the book.  I bought a lovely board from Maison du monde and some affirmation cards from Kikki K.  I’m looking forward to finding images of what I want to bring into my life as well as reminders of places that have made me feel happy and content in order that I continue to attract those emotions.


Hopefully 2018 will see me achieve some of my dreams and I will end the year a better person than I started it.

I’d love to hear what resolutions you made and if you are still sticking to them.  Remember, we are all in charge of our own destiny’s and life really is what you make it.




What’s the lesson you live life by? How has it shaped you?

That was the question asked to Glamour readers in a competition to take over Dawn O’Porter’s column for a month.  Unfortunately I didn’t win, but thought I would share my column with you, my loyal blog readers.  Hope you enjoy it.


Heading for column

“Before embarking on the journey of life, always read the manual”

Life doesn’t come with a manual and if it did, we probably wouldn’t consult it until all else failed. Through their own experiences, our elders try to guide us, but we have all been young, with the mentality ‘I know best’.

When I was nine years old my uncle wrote in my autograph book ‘love all, trust but few and learn to paddle your own canoe’. At the time I didn’t really understand what it meant, let alone its significance. Now in my 30’s I finally realise just what a good piece of advice this was.

I strive to ‘love all’, putting others first and being thoughtful. A birthday card, a thank you note – little things that don’t cost a lot, but can really brighten someone’s day. There is so much hate in the world today and we could all do our bit and spread a little love. But I often forget to include myself in the ‘love all’. We all make mistakes in life; learn from them and then forgive yourself. Love the body you are in; if you want to make changes in terms of a healthier lifestyle, do, but you should never be made to feel in anyway inferior because your body doesn’t conform to the latest media ideal. Confidence is far more attractive than any body shape.

‘Trust but few’ has often tripped me up. I always see the best in people, assuming they will share the same values as me and unfortunately that means that I’ve been taken advantage of.   At work, a colleague from another location used to regularly pop in for a cuppa and a chat. Unbeknown to me, when I went to put the kettle on, they were helping themselves to my till! I thought the discrepancy was because I was rubbish at my job and it was only when they did it to someone else that the truth came out. That taught me to be careful who I put my trust in; trust needs to be earned.

The final part ‘learn to paddle your own canoe’ I have always found the hardest to follow. I have allowed others to dictate how I feel, when really only you can be responsible for your own happiness. Of course it’s nice to be popular but 1,000 friends on Facebook don’t equal happiness. For the most part they are barely acquaintances! Quality not quantity is what is needed in terms of friendships; otherwise, even with lots of people around you, you can still feel lonely and isolated. I wasted too much of my childhood wishing to be more popular but by the time I got to secondary school, I settled into a nice group and those friends are still my friends today. Never worry what path you should be following in life. I have come to realise that we all do things at different times and you should follow what you feel to be right.

This neatly brings me on to my final point about envy. We have all looked at others and thought ‘I wish that was me’; it’s natural but as my Dad once said ‘be careful what you envy’.

I learned some of these lessons far too late and I hope these small words of supposed wisdom can help you to bring happiness into your own life today; after all as the old saying by Dale Carnegie goes ‘today is the tomorrow I worried about yesterday’.

Sign off