January, the month of resolutions. Often a time when we endeavour to improve ourselves, whether by new health conscious regimes, abstinence from customary vices, or other resolves to better our lives. Perhaps sometimes we choose unrealistic goals (like giving up chocolate. I mean, really??) but all too regularly determination disappears and we are left making the same pledges the following New Year. Sometimes there are big improvements to our lives that we want to make, life-changing things that we aspire to do, but we are afraid to try. Frightened of failure, of possible consequences, fearful of the unknown. Or maybe we don’t even really consider them as options as they seem impossibly beyond our reach.
I am incredibly fortunate to have some amazing friends who have supported me through trying times (thank you!), but the singularly best piece of advice that I have ever had was from my brother, Matt Carter. He’s a smart cookie and someone whose opinion I value and trust implicitly. And he doesn’t let me whinge. Chatting with him at a time when my life was in a rut and I couldn’t envisage any change being remotely possible, if I had thought I could moan about my lot I was sadly mistaken. He suggested what seemed to me to be a hugely radical step and batted off all my protestations and excuses with the same answer… “Make it happen”
Simple. Make it happen. Three (fairly) little words. Three words that completely changed my perspective from ‘that isn’t possible’ to ‘is it possible? What can I do to make it possible?’ Turning the previously unattainable into a challenge, downsizing the inconceivable into a puzzle to be solved. Three words that started the ball rolling and prompted major changes to my life. But without that prod, without the adjustment to my mind-set I wouldn’t have made the changes. Somewhere along the way, circumstance had taken charge of my life. I had forgotten that in order to make changes, you need to understand what changes to make. And then do it. As mottos go, ‘make it happen’ works pretty well for me.
Nonetheless, I suspect 2015 will see me, yet again, resolving to give up chocolate! x