New Year, New Me?


New Years Resolutions…Nay or Yay? You decide. But honestly I am curious if people actually set new years resolutions and if so do you find yourself being successful? Leave a comment if you have an opinion or experience on new years resolutions. I think new year’s resolutions are a great idea…to a degree. I think it is a great idea to come up with some goals and share them with your loved ones so you are held more accountable but making up goals for the sake of making up goals is counterproductive. I personally am not setting New Year’s resolutions this year, however, I AM setting realistic and timely goals.

I want to lose weight, however, being fit is more important than the number on the scale so I have set a reasonable and doctor suggested goal of working out three times a week at the local gym I joined. I hold myself accountable by tracking the days I go on a calendar and ensuring I go three times the current week I am tracking. This motivates me because with each day I mark with a check mark for having gone to the gym  I feel as though I have accomplished something. Consistency is key so I try not to overwhelm myself with strenuous work outs each time I go and focus more on actually going in general. That being said, I do currently keep a fitness journal where I track each exercise and how many minutes or reps I do of each one. It challenges me to maintain that workout the next time or even strive to improve it. If I am having a hard week for motivation, I allow myself one freebie workout where I go free form and just explore the gym and try new machines without the added pressure of tracking it and just write in my journal that I went to the gym that day. The important thing is going and getting yourself in the space and I find the rest falls into place.

The second goal I have is to manage my money better and start growing savings. My entire life I have never been able to save or manage my money properly. I tend to blow it as soon as I get it and I wish I was exaggerating. My first step in this process –  I have already begun  – is to track my money and understand better what I am spending my money on. Of course tracking my money did not stop me blowing my entire budget for January in two weeks, again wish I was kidding but I am not. However, I am making strategies for February and the following months to make my money stretch and have decided as of March I will be attempting to put away $200 a month into savings. Why March? Because February I have a trip to Toronto planned and am being realistic as to what I can do with my money as someone who is new to this whole “watching her money” thing.

My third goal is to volunteer somewhere this year and somewhere different than my previous place I volunteered at which was the Cat Adoption Center. I have already reached out to the local Food Bank and have arranged a meeting with the coordinator Monday to discuss me spending my time there as a volunteer. I want to build my resume but more importantly I want to contribute to something bigger than me so I can feel like I am offering something to the community instead of being a waste of space. Sometimes being on disability can make you feel worthless when you have too much time on your hands and battle with depressing thoughts often. I need a distraction and a reason to get up in the morning and I hope this will provide that.

My fourth goal is to quit smoking for real this year. I say it every year and never do it. I am going to use NRT products and go to counseling until I break this habit for good. I fall trap to all or nothing thinking though which I know I need to work on. I often think “what’s the point of quitting if say 8 months down the road I smoke a cigarette and then this cycle of quitting starts all over and those 8 months were for naught.” I realize I am making excuses and the worse one is “YOLO!” I want to live a longer and healthier life and the fact is I need to start taking steps today to make that a reality, including and especially quitting smoking.

My final goal I am going to discuss here is one my readers have heard before. I am going to set time aside each day to mind map, write and research for the book I want to write on my life with bipolar disorder. I think I am finally motivated enough and inspired enough to set aside at minimum an hour a day to work on this project. My biggest set back was thinking I would never be able to. The mind cannot create what it believes it cannot. Your mind needs to believe something is possible in order for it to be achieved. I finally got out of this mind trap and now believe in my ability to do this – it may have taken a self help book and a TED Talk to do it, but regardless of how I changed this thought process around, it is changed.

New Year, New Me? I have good intentions but I understand that may not be enough so I wrote this blog post about my goals this year in order to hold myself more accountable and reflect on why I am setting them. The fact is I am in a deep rut and have been for a few years now. I am finally willing to pick up the pieces of me off the floor and try at life again. I have not truly been living to the best of my ability and I know that. I am just finally calling myself out on it.

New Years Resolutions – Nay or Yay? – Let me Know!


My Cat Saved My Life…


This post is dedicated to my favourite animal in the entire world and that is my baby Harmony. Harmony is about fifteen years old and has been by my side since I was in elementary school (the later years). I believe having a companion whether it be a cat or even a rat is essential to dealing with mental illness. It shows you that you are not alone. Animals are usually very in tune with their owner’s feelings and Harmony is no different. When I would have depressions that lasted weeks, sometimes months, she would snuggle with me and just be with me and that is what I needed the most at the time – for someone to just BE with me.

Harmony is a Calico cat with a half black and half tan nose which I think is her most adorable feature. She is sassy beyond her years and I may have contributed to that having raised her during hormone surges in my early teens. She loves rubs but is sure to let you know with a sharp nip when she has had enough. She loves her cat nip but more than anything she loves cuddles. As a person with bipolar disorder who struggles with depression constantly these cuddles literally saved my life. When I was at my darkest, crying and tearing my hair out battling with the idea of killing myself, it was the thought of leaving Harmony behind that really put things into perspective for me.

She has laid with me during sixteen hour stretches where I could not leave my bed and wanted to hide from the world I was feeling so low. She never judges. She simply comforts. She rubs her little face on mine and I get the sense that things are not as dark as they seem. My life has meaning with Harmony and she gives me a reason to get up each morning. It is my responsibility to ensure she is fed and taken care of. I am her support system as much as she is mine.

She has also been there when I was manic and studying for hours on end with her little head propped against my laptop. She keeps me company and follows me around literally everywhere. If I leave the house for too long she greets me with extra affection as if she’s scared I’ll leave her again. I once had to leave her with my parents for three years while I went to University in a different city. When I came back admittedly she gave me the cold shoulder but within a week or two was back to her cuddly self. She is my baby and I will be so upset the day we have to part indefinitely (I know morbid) but more importantly she is my best friend.

Whether I am up or down, Harmony will always be there to keep me company or to comfort me. This I will be eternally grateful for and the fact that she saves my life literally everyday. She is my reason to keep living, to keep breathing. I wish she could read this and understand how much she has impacted my life but I think she knows on some level that she means the world to me – if all the kisses weren’t hint enough!