Out with the Old and In with the New Year

Image: Renee Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001), Miramax.com

My Bridget Jones Life

My December 2017 Resolution Stats

(See my original resolutionsJanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMay, June, July, August, September, October, and November stats here)

  • Averaged 210+ minutes of exercise per week (v. good, above goal)
  • 2 special recipes tried this month (v. good, at goal)
  • 8,000+ written words for the month (v. good, above my 5,000+ goal)

Looking Back on the Year

Have you ever written a diary? If you are like Bridget Jones, you might have kept track of your New Year’s resolutions. If you are like Bridget Jones, you may have put down a few choice words for people who’ve done you wrong. If you are REALLY like Bridget Jones, you likely wrote some down you could regret.

That’s what comes to pass when Mark Darcy and Bridget Jones finally get together after all those mixed signals get cleared up, only to get mixed again. When Bridget sneaks off to put on something a little more comfortable (which is usually anything but ’comfortable’), Mark gets a peek at her diary.

Mark Darcy is rude. He’s unpleasant.

He’s dull — No wonder his clever wife left him.

I hate him! HATE HIM!

Yikes!

Mark storms out of the apartment, and Bridget chases him down the street in little more than a silk robe and her underwear. Looking back on all that they’ve been through, looking back on the year, she now sees life in a whole new way. Mark was not who she thought he was. He was someone much more. She had misperceptions and misgivings that were unfounded. She apologizes, and he hands her a new unused diary, for new beginnings.

It’s always a good time to start over.

We’ve Come a Long Way, Baby

I started the year looking to prove something to myself. For that, I embraced the New Year resolution, much like Bridget Jones did back in 2001. I used the quirkiness of her character to bring out the cheekiness in my own. It’s amazing how much I have in common with a fictional character!

Still, Bridget is my hero. Not because she gets it all right, because, honestly, she doesn’t. If anything, she fails repeatedly, and she does it on a grand scale. That’s life. What I respect is that she dusts herself off and gets back in the game.

I stuck with my New Year’s resolutions, mostly. Did I experiment more in the kitchen? You bet. Did I get and stay fit? Most definitely. Did I write a book? No. But I did write and a lot, by my standards. If you tally my word count, it exceeds the length of the average novel. That may be a stretch, but hey, it works for me!

Research (can you believe they search this sort of thing?) says 80% of people give up on their resolutions by mid-February. Ultimately, only 8% actually keep them by the end of the year. When you think about it that way, I did not do too bad.

What I Did Do This Year

I Exercised. I may not have run a half marathon, but I ran more than 700K miles this year. I am also the fastest I have ever been, able to run mile after mile in under 8 minutes. I may not have lost weight in the process, but I am more consistently active than ever before. That feels great.

I Grieved. I lost my 87-year-old maternal grandmother Alzira to cancer. I lost my 103-year-old paternal great aunt Helen to dementia. I lost my 13-year-old miniature dachshund to heart failure. I lost and I mourned, but all the same, I felt blessed for having been loved and having had the chance to love.

I Started Over. I started a new job and built a name for myself in a new healthcare field. I also started a writer’s blog and got back into fiction writing. I did not let circumstances stop me from succeeding, or at least trying to. I took the bull by the horns and charged forward with a clean slate.

I Wrote. I may not have published a new book this year, but I still have two books selling on Amazon. I wrote a blog post every week this year. I wrote 4 articles (or the equivalent) as the Medicare expert for Verywell.com every month. I posted one to two articles on my health and wellness site Diagnosis Life every week. I attended a writer’s conference and opened myself back up to writing fiction. I would say this writer’s writing goals are building steam.

I Did More. I made new friends. I enjoyed old friends. I cooked. I laughed. I journaled. I loved. I meditated. I played. I read. I saw Wonder Woman. I was a Wonder Woman. I traveled. I vlogged.

What did YOU do this year? Cherish the good times and learn from the hard times. Would you do anything different?

You have a whole new year to make a change, if you want it.