posted on January 19, 2021 by N.J. Walters

New Beginnings

We’re almost three weeks into the new year. Christmas seems like it was so long ago—the baking, decorating, and shopping nothing but a dream. Many resolutions—made with the best of intention—have fallen to the wayside. But that doesn’t change the fact that January is traditionally a time for new beginnings. Even if you haven’t kept your promises to yourself, don’t despair. Simply take a deep breath and begin again.

We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make huge changes all at once and that’s what dooms us to failure. There are some things you can do to help you succeed:

1. Start small. I’ve found that one small change is easier to keep up and can yield big results. If it’s a health-related resolution, instead of trying to completely flip how you eat, maybe cut out or add one food. Once that’s become a habit, you can make another change. If it’s exercise, commit to fifteen or twenty minutes three or four times a week. If it’s a new skill, promise yourself you’ll practice it at least three times a week for whatever time seems reasonable.

2. Be realistic. This one ties in with starting small. You must be honest with yourself. I know I’m not giving up chocolate. It’s not going to happen. So, I’ve changed the quality and amount I eat. I love 95% dark (I started at 50% and kept working my way up) and it’s surprisingly low in sugar and has antioxidants. That’s a win. I break the bar into squares and have one or two with tea in the evening.

3. Build in rewards. This will vary depending on what you’re trying to accomplish, but they should be meaningful to you. And they don’t always have to cost money. I allow myself reading time once I get my writing done for the day.

Maybe you’re wanting to journal more consistently. A new journal or pen would be a great reward.

If you want to increase your exercise, maybe a new outfit once you’ve kept to your schedule for a month.

You don’t get to buy new crafting supplies until you finish your latest project.

You get the idea.

4. Get support if you can. This one can be tricky as some friends and family don’t always like it when we try to change. But if you have someone in your life you can trust, then do it. A walking or workout partner can be motivating. Doing a class with a friend will encourage you to keep at it. Meeting once a week for coffee (assuming the pandemic allows in your area) just to check in can boost your resolve.

5. Change isn’t easy and patience is key. Face it, human beings love routine. Most of us have set ways of dealing with all aspects of our lives. I’m not very adventurous and have to force myself to shop at new stores or try new foods. The thing is to have patience with yourself. I know I tend to have more patience for other people than I do for myself, which is something I’m working on. I encourage myself to take tiny steps out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it doesn’t work out well. Other times, the results are something special. The trick is to keep trying.

New beginnings play a huge role in my latest book Bjorn Cursed. No small steps here. The hero and heroine have been separated for years and they’ve both been changed by the challenges they’ve faced. What has remained the same is their love for each other, but that doesn’t mean things will be easy for them. Change never is, but the reward is worth the work and the risk.

I wish you and your families a healthy and wonderful year!

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N. J. Walters

N. J. Walters

N.J. Walters has always been a voracious reader of romance novels and decided one day that she could write one as well. The contemporary story, Discovering Dani, was the very first novel she wrote while living in a little town much like the one Dani O'Rourke lives in, though all other similarities to Dani's life pretty much end there. Then she wrote another one that followed up on Dani's friends and neighbors. But she didn't consider herself a "real" writer yet. Just a few years later N. J. had a mid-life crisis at a fairly young age, gave notice after ten years at her job on a Friday and received a tentative acceptance for her first published novel (an erotic romance) from a publisher on the following Sunday. Happily married for over eighteen years to the love of her life, with his encouragement and support she gave up the job of selling books for the more pleasurable job of writing them. She now spends her days writing, reading and reviewing books. It's a tough life, but someone's got to do it. And some days she actually feels like a "real" writer.

10 thoughts on “New Beginnings”

  1. Avatar Mary Dellenbusch says:

    I agree NJ to start with changes slowly. I hate change so it takes me a long time to adjust. I’m glad to see what you do. Thank you. As for this book, can I just say that I cried within the first 15 minutes of reading it! This is going to be a hell of a read! I’m still reading it so I will let you know once I’m done. Stay safe everyone!

  2. Avatar bn100 says:

    interesting post

  3. Avatar N.J. Walters says:

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book, Mary. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe!

    Thanks, bn100.

    And thank you to Writerspace for having me as a guest blogger.

  4. Avatar GB says:

    I completely agree with your ideas on how making small changes can lead to big changes/impacts without so much difficulty as we would face otherwise. Last year’s challenge for me was healthy eating. Happily, I was successful using similar strategies that you mentioned in your post. Right now, I am trying to be mindful in incorporating more movement into my day. 2020 made things too easy to be sedentary, but onward and upward we go.

  5. Avatar N.J. Walters says:

    GB, glad you were successful with your healthy eating challenge. Small changes do make a difference. Good luck with working movement into your day.

  6. Avatar Cherie J says:

    I agree. Change is difficult so I always have to cut things into bite-sized pieces to make it more doable. Right now I am trying to better organize my home so I am starting with one room at a time and doing a small part each day.

  7. Avatar N.J. Walters says:

    Doing a small smart each day is the smart way to tackle it, Cherie. Good luck with it.

  8. Avatar robert cabe says:

    Had a bit of bad luck, tripped and might broke a few ribs. Not much I can do for a few weeks. I have always wanted to write a short story using this wonderful imagination I have been blessed with ( maybe a curse for others ) .Never had much time to slow down , I worked two jobs for about 30 years now.
    Sometimes the next page gets turned and then we realize even if the wind did it….well there you are .

    here is to new pages ,

  9. Avatar N.J. Walters says:

    Sorry your ribs were broken, Robert. I hope the rest and slower pace leads you to a fresh new page. Here’s to new pages.

  10. Avatar AuntySuzany says:

    Change is inevitable in life. Thank you for sharing sounds great!

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