Resolutions for a new year: “With a Little Help From My Friends”

Jan 5, 2018 | 10 comments |

Now that the holidays are over, and it’s time to look ahead to the New Year, I’ve decided to devote this first blog of 2018 to resolutions—not just mine, but also those of three good friends  from across The Pond. Tara Greaves, Kate Field and Susanna Bavin are all fellow-writers, but the resolutions we’ve made are to do with our lives in general.

My friends are a great support to me in life, as well as writing, and their resolutions have given me inspiration and food for thought—as I hope they do for you as well.

Tara Greaves is a freelance journalist whose “After The Rain” website covers lifestyle, books and writing.

If you’re planning a UK holiday, including going to the Norfolk area (one of my favourite parts of the country), “After The Rain” also has a useful section about things to do and places to visit.

 Tara says:

‘In 2018, I’m going to try and embrace one of my favourite quotes and ‘start each day with a grateful heart.’ I have so much to be thankful for but it can get a bit lost in everyday life so I’m going to make a point of thinking about it first thing in the morning (and maybe last thing at night).”

Visit Tara’s website

If you’re a regular visitor to my blog, you may already have met Kate Field when she joined me for one of my “Meet Me At The Diner” interviews. Kate is the author of the The Magic of Ramblings and The Truth About You, Me and Us, both of which I loved reading.

Kate says:

“For the first time in many years, I’m entering a new year without any major plans. I don’t have a book due to be published, or a writing deadline to meet; I don’t have any holidays booked or dates in the diary. It’s unsettling in some ways, but also an opportunity. My resolution is to make the most of each day as it comes, not waste time regretting the past or anticipating the future.”

“On a practical note, I want to walk more this year. I spent too much time indoors in 2017 and so in 2018 I’m determined to don my walking boots and enjoy the beautiful Lancashire countryside whenever I can. Housework can wait!”

Connect with Kate on Twitter

Susanna Bavin is another writer-friend who has also appeared on my blog. Her debut novel, The Deserter’s Daughter, was published last summer and, along with Kate’s books, was one of my favourite reads in 2017.

Susanna says:

“I’m with Kate on this—I definitely want to get out and about more this year. I live in North Wales, which is a beautiful part of the world, and after spending practically the whole of January to July last year indoors writing my next book, I’m looking forward to going for lots of walks. North Wales has a wonderful mixture of countryside, mountains and seaside, all within a stone’s throw of one another and the air is gloriously fresh and invigorating. I count myself lucky to live here.”

Visit Susanna’s website

And now me:

As some of you know, I choose a word to guide me each year and my word for 2018 is “courage.”

This year, I’ve resolved to face life’s challenges by consciously practising living courageously—not in a risk-taking sense but in terms of emotional growth and well-being.

I want to keep learning, embrace new opportunities and continue to move forward even when I’m fearful.

And like Tara, I’ve also drawn inspiration from a favourite quote, this one by C.S. Lewis: 

“There are far better things ahead than we leave behind.”

On a lighter note, I’m with Kate that “housework can wait” and with both she and Susanna on the need to walk more!

Wishing you happy times in 2018 and good friends to share your path. Do you make New Year’s resolutions?


  1. Tara

    Thank you very much for including me, Jen. I really love your quote and I really really hope you find the courage you need this year. Sending all my best wishes.

    • Jen Gilroy

      And thank you very much for taking part, Tara. I also appreciate your best wishes and send you mine in return as you live your year with a ‘grateful heart.’

  2. Jennifer Wilck

    I love all of these ideas. I think my word for this year is going to be kindness. And I’m trying to take note of the good things that happen each day–sometimes they’re harder to spot, but definitely worth it in the end. Happy New Year my friend!

    • Jen Gilroy

      Happy New Year to you in return, Jennifer. “Kindness” was my word for 2017 and was a meaningful way to orient my life last year. All good wishes in choosing “your word” and using it to guide your life this year.

  3. Kate Field

    Thanks for inviting me to take part, Jen. That’s a great quote from C.S. Lewis, and I hope it proves true for all of us. Best wishes for your year of courage. x

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you, Kate. I appreciate you taking part in this blog. All good wishes to you for 2018. x

  4. Susanna Bavin

    Thank you for including me in your New Year blog, Jen. I love your quote about “better things ahead.” That is something to inspire us all. Sending my best hopes for your year of courage. xxx

    • Jen Gilroy

      Thank you for your help, kindness and support, Susanna–both with this blog and all year round. And thank you for your good wishes too. May 2018 bring you good things. I’m looking forward to hearing about “your new word” for this year. xxx

  5. Heidi Vanstone

    My mind always looks forward during this time, to new undertakings and adventures. My “mantra” for this year is to “live more with less”. I want to consciously have fewer physical possessions and focus more on the emotional relationships that bring me joy.

    • Jen Gilroy

      Wishing you a year of joyful relationships, Heidi. Also, by reducing the physical possessions in your life, you’re helping others in need. I say that as having just had a clear-out myself and eyeing multiple bags and boxes ready to go to charity!



  1. Jen Gilroy » Courage…and “learning to dance in the rain” - […] you read my first blog of 2018, you know that the word I’ve chosen to guide me this year…

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