A new year. New beginnings, new possibilities, an international celebration of renewal and resolutions. Throughout my childhood and teen years, I would spend weeks pondering my New Year's Resolution, only to usually settle on the same sort of thing. To get straight A's, to be more fit, to be a little less impulsive (turns out that having ADHD can interfere with that, who knew?). When I moved into adulthood I was fully prepared to start mirroring the resolutions of most Americans: to lose weight, to save more money, to eat less fast food.
But, as luck would have it, I happened to stumble upon a better way of goal setting, thanks to the online productivity and lifestyle creator Lavendaire. I purchased her 2018 "Artist of Life" planner and the way I saw my goals shifted into something deeper. The planner guides you through your goal setting, starting with where you are now. Forcing you to take the time to write out what inspires you, what drives you, what your dreams are, and why your dreams are.
I thought I'd take a moment to publicly share those goals with you here, where I'll be taking you along with me as I pursue them throughout the year.
I've been debating reading this book for months but never really felt any real pull to do so. Until last Saturday. Calls were few and far between and I was sick of Netflix for once so I pulled out my phone and checked to see what I could find on Libby (it's an app that allows you to checkout and read e-books from your local library!) and there it was, staring at me. Challenge accepted.
Cut to me falling asleep at midnight, phone in hand, with only a single chapter remaining.
This book is good. If you've read any amount of empowerment/self-help books, none of the concepts will be new to you, but I'm a massive fan of the no-bullshit way Bishop shares his strategies for combating your own self-limiting beliefs.
While the books primarily focuses on how self-talk affects your ability to reach your goals and be your best self, Bishop spends surprisingly little time talking about self-talk... at least... not in the way you might be used to. He doesn't tell you that you should recite "I am beautiful. I am strong. I am powerful." in the mirror every morning. He doesn't tell you put motivational quotes where you'll regularly see them, in fact, he expresses a strong distaste for what he refers to as bumper-sticker quotes.
Instead, he talks about the power you already have, though you might be wielding it in a way that isn't to your liking. My favorite point that he made was this - you are succeeding at everything you are doing. If you believe you're a procrastinator, and you procrastinate, congratulations! You did it! You succeeded at being what you believe you are! Of course, and he brings this up, that could seem like a really negative thing. "You're great at sucking!" isn't exactly motivational. But ultimately the entire book is about this innate power we have to succeed. All you have to do is start actually directing the traffic in your brain and make sure that those successes are ones you'll be proud of.
If you want a quick and engaging read to get you off your ass without sugar coating anything, read this. It'll do the trick.
As we close out 2019 I want to take a moment to reflect on the successes I've experienced this year. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of seeing all the goals you didn't complete, and all the places you feel that you're behind, which is why it's so important to acknowledge the places you've succeeded and the way you've changed your life.
Sometimes, we all need a little reminder that we have what it takes to build the life we've always dreamed of, and no matter how we feel, we move a little closer every day. So, here is my reminder to myself, and hopefully my little wins will inspire you just a little bit too.
I've had this book for quite a while, having received it in an OwlCrate sometime in the last year or two, but it sat in my "to-read" pile the whole time. Up until a month ago, when I finally added it to the equally large stack of books that I'm "actively" reading.
It was worth the wait.
The book is beautifully written capturing the main characters' incredibly different personalities in a way that keeps you rooting for both of them, even when they're at odds. No side character falls flat or leaves you feeling short changed, and the twists and turns left me utterly shocked. There were multiple parts of the book that I never saw coming, which is always an impressive feat in any fictional work.
If I'm honest, I have one major gripe with the book - the cliffhanger ending. I hate cliffhangers with a passion. If the writing is good, I'll read the sequel. If things are left unfinished, I'll read the sequel. But give me a cliffhanger and no matter how much I adore the story or the author or the characters I'll scrap the book and refuse to read it's brothers out of pure spite. At this point, the sequel is available for my purchase, but just the knowledge that I would've been left hanging for a year while the author laughed at my broken heart is simply, unforgivable.
That being said, if cliffhangers don't bother you, or if you're savvy enough to get both Grace & Fury and the sequel Queen of Ruin at the same time, I would recommend Tracy Banghart's brain child wholeheartedly!
Only a few of my closest friends will remember when this site had an active blog, pushing out daily content periodically for years. A bout of serious mental illness pulled me away from my writing in mid-2018, and at that point, the blog was abandoned, sitting stagnant for months until, when I decided to revamp the entire site in the spring of 2019, it was simply deleted. I knew that eventually I would return to blogging here, I simply needed to decide on a direction. And I believe that, at long last, I've found one.