A new perspective on new year resolutions

The festive season is brilliant, isn’t it? Full of yummy festive food (one never seems to stop eating), the festive TV and movies that all have the same message (or are very depressing because they refuse to see the magic of Christmas), oh yes and all your family and friends.

This is all absolutely marvelous: but do you ever get in to the middle of that week between Christmas and New Year and completely lose track of which day it is?

Might I suggest you take some time out each day to explore how to become more yourself.

I am not suggesting a huge change right here and now. I am not suggesting that you become a completely different person in 2018. And most of all, I am not suggesting that this year you will keep all of your New Year’s resolutions.

However, how about trying the following:-

BOXING DAY (26th Dec.) = Figure out what you LOVE to do. Notice I haven’t said point out what you are good at nor have I asked you to acknowledge what everyone else says you should do with YOUR life. If you are having trouble with this, think of what you loved as a wee kid. Stuff that you had to be dragged away from. Wait, wait, stop that inner critic who is reminding you of authority figures (or role models) who told you your finished products were not good. Think of all ground-breakers :- they do not just churn out what everyone else thinks is good! Do they?

27th December = Sit down and start writing some lists, draw some mind maps or just get something concrete down on paper (or into some document(s), e.g. word-processing, publishing or any other type of software you are comfortable using). In my experience, allowing ideas just to go round and around in my head it just gets bigger and bigger and more and more difficult to put into practice.

28th December = Now you have some idea(s) about what you are dealing with, start doing some research (probably on the net). Google techniques, materials needed, practices required etc. If you are very interesting and have 2 or 3 or even more ideas, have a look into all possibilities. Top tip: don’t forget YouTube – lots of people upload lots of useful ‘how-to’ videos there.

29th December = I suggest it’s time to gather up any Christmas money and/or vouchers you received and if weather (and health) permit, head out to the sales. Or just get on the shopping websites. And see about buying the things you need to start/continue/re-start your chosen talent. Lets face it a bit of retail therapy never goes wrong.

30th December = Have a go. Try out all those lovely new things. Or try on any new sports gear you bought yesterday.

OK, OK if everything’s going just a bit too quickly: re-visit any or all of the above steps.

31st December = Make some special New Year’s resolutions. Instead of making resolutions to be someone else, to change yourself, to make yourself like celebs: make resolutions to be more yourself and to acknowledge what you love. Lets face it you will succeed if you resolve to be you: if you try to be someone else you are far, far more likely to fail.

1st January = If you are awake and have energy practice your resolution(s) and/or make plans about how you will. Enjoy this New Year where you will try to defeat self-destructive habits by developing your true self.

Doreen Kelly

Dyslexia Scotland member and volunteer

Be Yourself

10 things I appreciate about the Scottish Book Trust

The Scottish Book Trust changes lives through reading and writing. It is a charity, part-funded by the Scottish Government.  It supports me enormously as a dyslexic booklover and writer.  Here are 10 things about the SBT that I’m particularly grateful for.  They are just a sample of what the SBT offers.  I hope you’ll find something that interests you, either here or on the SBT’s website.

  1. Videos

The SBT has a wide range of videos, for example the Creative Writing Masterclass with Phil Earle and the Booktrailer masterclass.

2. Twitter feed

SBT’s twitter feed @scottishbktrust is very visual, with lots of images and video. I find it exciting, informative, and stimulating.

3. Opportunities for writers

The SBT compiles a list of opportunities for writers each month. This lets me find out about places I can submit my writing to. For example, in September’s list I found out about a poetry project, which I wrote a poem for.

4. E-Newsletter

I receive the list of opportunities in an e-Newsletter. The newsletter also includes advice and a prompt for the SBT’s monthly 50-word Fiction Competition.

5. Booklists

The SBT compiles its own booklists, for example this one.  I find these lists really helpful because they show the book covers and let me discover books to engage with. The lists are categorized by age (adult, teen, child); and type, including Scottish books.

6. Information on dyslexia

The SBT’s website has many interesting and useful articles on dyslexia.

7. Bookbug

Bookbug is an early years programme that aims to inspire a love of books and reading in every child across Scotland. As this introductory video explains, Bookbug achieves far more than that. The Bookbug programme has gift packs for babies, toddlers, 3-year-olds and Primary 1 pupils. It also has song / rhyme sessions for parents / carers and their pre-school children. There’s a Bookbug session in almost every library in Scotland. The Bookbug songs and rhymes are available here, in audio and video.

8. Book Week Scotland

Book Week Scotland is an annual celebration of books in Scotland. This year it runs from 27 Nov. – 3 Dec. There are hundreds of live events across Scotland and also a virtual festival. I’ve enjoyed a wide range of events in previous years. For example, author talks, a self-management event, and a book launch.   These events have helped me to grow professionally and personally, for example by letting me make new contacts and by exposing me to new books. Community groups and organisations can host event(s) during Book Week Scotland. The SBT provides funding and promotional materials.

9. Public participation campaign

Each year the SBT sets a theme for Book Week Scotland. This year’s theme is Nourish. The SBT invites members of the public to write on that theme, about something from their own experience. The SBT publishes on its website all the writing people submit that meets the campaign’s criteria. It also chooses some of the submissions for an e-book that it publishes during Book Week Scotland.

10. Live Literature Programme

The SBT runs a programme called Live Literature that part-funds events and residencies. Community groups / schools choose an author / creator from the SBT’s directory and run their event / residency whenever they wish.

How about you?

Would you like to share your experience of the SBT e.g. what you like about it, how it helps you, and how you take part in its work? Please feel free to post a comment.

By an anonymous adult member of Dyslexia Scotland

BWS-Logos-RGB-PinkBWS (3)