Bella, Books, and Baking

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New Week’s Resolution: Success, Failure, and Trying Again

At the beginning of the year (or a week into it, anyway), I posted about why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.  I’m just so bad at keeping them!  Furthermore, I don’t want to tempt myself into postponing change in my life until January 1st.

My solution is to start each week with new resolutions and do the best I can.  I succeed at some things, fail at others, and keep trying each week to do better.

Some of my resolutions for the first weeks of January were to be more active, try new recipes, finish books and start new ones.  How did I do?

I have taken several walks, although not as many as I’d like.  I tried two new recipes and have a third new one I’m eager to attempt.  I’ve also finished a book (The Curse of the Pharaohs by Elizabeth Peters) and started the first Master and Commander novel by Patrick O’Brian.

It sounds like I did pretty well, doesn’t it?mistakes.jpg

The thing is, I don’t feel like I did very well.  My overenthusiastic attempt yesterday to start working out more rigorously resulted in a health spiral, a long evening of migrainy nastiness, an unintentional three-hour nap right before bedtime, and half the night up, which of course messed today up rather awfully.

“Oh my heart, how can I face you now
when we both know how badly I have let you down?”

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but to me it is.  I easily become fatalistic when my migraines get in the way of my plans, my resolutions, my optimistic goals.  I am soon spouting off Puddleglummy proclamations of despair about how I’ll never be able to stay healthy and I’ll continue to melt into a pile of goo on the couch and all is lost.

“the sun, it does not cause us to grow
it is the rain that will strengthen your soul
and it will make you whole”

Of course, my sensible husband tells me exactly how silly I am and I eventually snap out of it – mostly.

This is why New Year’s resolutions are so bad for me.  I cannot think about years.  I have to think about days, or even hours.  Sometimes, my very ambitious plans will go awry.  I have to accept that and move forward.  What can I do right now to turn this day around?  How can I move from a bad Monday into a decent Tuesday and maybe even into an excellent Wednesday?

I started with a leisurely walk today.  It didn’t do my head any favors and I think my body went completely numb from the frigid air combined with icy winds, but it gave me a much needed chance to think, to absorb some sun, and to listen.

“I have made mistakes, but I’ve learned from them”

Once again, my beloved  with one of my favorite songs: “I Have Made Mistakes.”  Perhaps getting a migraine from working out too much is not a very great mistake, but this song captures the apathetic defeat that failing to succeed can bring, as well as carrying a reminder that sometimes it is the difficult things that make us stronger.  By encouraging myself and telling myself that I can still rescue today and this week and do good and wonderful things, I am able, at least just a little, to push forward.

So what are this week’s resolutions (at least for what’s left of it?)

  • Try to work out again, more moderately, and find a good balance
  • Start working on editing that pesky novel… again
  • Bake some delicious French-inspired treats for writer’s group and get togethers
  • Not let my headaches control my attitude


What are your resolutions this week?


  1. I hate resolutions, too! I don’t like anything that restricts my “free spirit”. I don’t like schedules that, if they go awry due to some unforeseen bump in the road, make me feel like I failed when I don’t follow it. So I just have a list for the week. I don’t even assign days to my listed items. Ie, if I want to do a bunch of ironing, I’ll put it on my list , then when the inclination hits me, I do it and cross it off! But no day is assigned to anything. It makes for a lot of flexibility and if I don’t get around to it, I wait until I feel like it on another day. For exercising, maybe you can put down tally marks next to the word “exercise” rather than assigning an exercise per day or whatever. Don’t know if that makes sense. I just know that too many schedules and restrictions on my day makes me feel like a slave to The List! 😀

    • bellabooksandbaking

      January 19, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      Yes, I think that keeping some things “this week” rather than “today” is helpful because you don’t always know what will happen. I tend to like structure in my days to make sure they are productive, but if I tie myself up in too many knots, I’ll end up stressed and unproductive. Right now, I have really good times cut out for working out after I drop the husband off for work three days a week, but I have already told myself that if I can’t go on any given day, that’s okay. Also, it’s okay if I’m not ready for a marathon on Day Two. Or Day Two Hundred, for that matter.

  2. I like your attitude. Your novel or someone elses? have fun! :)

    • bellabooksandbaking

      January 19, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Hypothetically, mine! It’s the work of many, many years and really should be done by now, but I hate editing so I keep putting it off. At least it has a beginning, middle, and an ending now.

  3. I always over-commit with lists and then feel bad when I don’t manage to complete everything in my obviously too ambitious plan. This leads me to avoid lists, which does not help get things done any more efficiently than the list option. Eventually I suppose I will either a) learn to not beat myself up when I don’t get everything done, or b) start making more reasonable lists.

What say you?