Monday, January 11, 2010

Celebrate Yourself

by Christine Wells

Now I know it's that time of year when people list their resolutions with hope in their hearts and grim determination in their guts. We promise ourselves any number of things, from spending more quality time with our families to living a healthier lifestyle. For an interesting take on new year's resolutions, go here.

So... Thanksgiving is over. The holiday season has come and gone. New Year fizzled shortly after the last firework and now it's time to get serious, get disciplined, start whipping yourself into... WAIT!

No no no no no. We're not going there today.

After all, this IS the Bandit Lair.

Instead of choosing what stick you're going to beat yourself with this year, how about a resolution to be kind to yourself? Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't set goals and take determined steps to achieve them, but why don't we all spend a few minutes thinking of how we will celebrate when we make our resolutions reality?

Have you thought how much better you will feel when your goal is accomplished? Have you thought how your life will change? Try to imagine yourself *having* achieved, rather than whipping yourself for not achieving. Does that make it easier to toil toward those goals? Tawny Weber is our resident goal setting specialist. She has a wonderful article on visualizing your goals.

How do you celebrate everyday achievements like getting all your chores done, or a small success at work? Drink a good cup of coffee? Take a glass of wine with dinner? Buy that book you've been wanting to read? Work through a particularly challenging aerobics session? (Yes, there are people on this earth who see exercise as a reward, or so my dh tells me.) Even simply acknowledging to yourself that you have done something good and worthy of celebration can be celebration enough.

What about the big things? A friend of mine buys a new gold charm for her charm bracelet each time she sells a book. That bracelet is filling up fast and it reminds her whenever she wears it that she should be proud of her achievements. When I sold my first two books I bought two large prints of the beautiful covers James Griffin created for me. They hang, framed, on my study wall.

Now, I don't want to come off as all preachy about this. Being kind to myself isn't something I've managed to do very well until now. My writing friends do not call me Eeyore for nothing! But if, like me, you find the same, unfulfilled resolution popping up on that list each year, try picturing yourself having fulfilled your own promise to yourself and what you'll do when that occurs.

As for me, when I fulfill my biggest goal I shall buy my own island and hire the cabana boys to cater to my every whim while Sven serves me cocktails with rude names by the pool and Joanie's Romans whoosh down the waterslide on their shields. And yah, that is me in the pink bathing suit--well, in my dreams it is! For smaller goals, I might buy myself flowers, or even hire a babysitter and take my husband to the movies.

So, tell me your ideas for celebrating success -- big or small. If you're a goal setter and you'd like to share, tell me what your 2010 resolutions are. If not, maybe you'd like to think up a way the Banditas can celebrate our next anniversary. After all, three years together in blogland is a major achievement, isn't it?


Jane said...

Besides having a little champagne, I always like to celebrate by buying a little something for myself like a purse, cosmetics of clothes. If it's a big achievement, I can see myself getting a new phone or camera. We definitely have to go all out for the next Banditas anniversary. Maybe we should hire some strippers.

Christine Wells said...

Ooh, Jane! Now I do love a good handbag as a celebratory gift. Good on you! I hope you're celebrating because you won the rooster today:)

Hmm, strippers? But won't the cabana boys get jealous?

Maybe it should be strippers we nominate, like our favourite movie stars, etc. After all, this is a virtual party, right?

Helen said...

Congrats Jane it has been a while since he has visited you I am sure you will have fun with him

Great post Christine and I totally agree that you should always treat yourself when you have reached a goal, but what that treat is I will have to think on it. For myself some me time is always good and a trip to the movies and I do love buying books LOL.

I have a meeting to attend so I will think on the treat for the Bandits 3rd birthday.

Have Fun

PinkPeony said...

Hi Christine! Congrats on the Big Pollo, Jane!

I don't have any resolutions for the New Year, but my husband's Christmas gift to me is a personal trainer. I hope to find one as charming as Sven. :) So if I get into shape, I guess I'd celebrate by buying a few new outfits and not wince when I see my reflection in a three way mirror!

A way to celebrate the big third anniversary? Handbags for everyone!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Helen! Lovely to 'see' you again. Glad to hear you celebrate in style. And what better than a good book as a reward? *g*

Christine Wells said...

Jen, handbags for everyone sounds like just the ticket! You know how I love handbags.

Good luck with the personal trainer. Sven will be sure to supervise and keep him in line, don't worry. I hope you achieve your goal. I think imagining yourself in some cute outfits looking toned and terrific sounds like a great way to visualize success.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jane, you haven't had the rooster for a while. I think he left poor Dorthy an exhausted wreck with his antics, that wicked chook!

Christine, what a lovely post. I love your ideas for celebrating. For various reasons, I didn't really celebrate my sale as I should have. So when I got my second contract, I went out and spent a fortune on a handbag. I'd never owned a decent handbag and now I remember how I felt when I heard Avon wanted me to do another three books every time I use it.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, I've just checked the other comments. Handbags are clearly the flavor du jour! Huzzah!

Anna Sugden said...

What post, Christine and excellent articles too. It's so good to remind ourselves of self-defeating behaviours and to encrouage ourselves to celebrate the small things.

I'm a shoe gal myself - like our very own goals guru Tawny *g*. And I have a bottle of extremely yummy champagne waiting for the first sale (does champagne go off?). I like the idea of a party with my fave hockey hunks *g*. I'd also like to treat myself to something by my favourite jewellery lady - Andrea Lucille. Maybe a necklace to match the ear-rings my lovely DH got me.

But, the thing I want most, is my celebratory bear from my Writers at Play pals. It's been a tradition among our group to celebrate the first sale with a bear - and mine's all picked out - I just need to sell to get him!

Anna Sugden said...

Um - that should read great post!

Stephanie J said...

I'm so very behind you on this concept! I originally thought about doing a charm bracelet but since I don't wear bracelets that seemed pointless. I buy other things like a new pair of shoes, a new book, etc. instead. The only problem is, if I'm lusting after an object, I tend to buy it before I reach my goal. Oops!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Mornin' Christine! (Well, it is HERE, anyway!)

I love this post. Grins. Like Tawny, I'm a goal setter, so I like that bit. i also like rewards. I'm big on rewards. Ha! I love the charm bracelet. I'm going to do that. And I'm going to do that in gold rather than silver. I have a silver one, but that one's for family stuff, other me stuff. :)

As to BHAGS - Big Hairy Audacious Goals - I'm thinking action figures. Movies. Action Figures.

Yep. No lack of imagination in my head. Grins.

I'm also with Jane on the purses and handbags as you well know, Christine! Grins. BTW, Jane, Congrats on the Rooster. Keep him out of the handbags...he tends to pick at the decoration, vain bird.

Sarah Simas said...

I like toasting success with a glass of something bubbly and a handful of chocolate! Yum!

My biggest goal of this year is to finish my MS. Ha! Maybe I'll get a bus load of cabana boys for all my peeps when I write 'the end'. LOL Now, there's prize to aim for!

Congrats on 3yrs! That's fantasic! Seriously cool! Cyber-high five, ladies!

Joan said...

Good luck on the personal trainer, Pink.

I hired one a couple of years ago. Nice young guy but one day when I went in for my appt. he said he was feeling "flushed". He'd just tried one of those caffeine ridden "energy" drinks. He was sweating, his eyes were dilated. He insisted we could do the training.

Half way through, he said "Ohhh..everything seems so bright and my libido is swirling"

I dropped my weights and said "WTH?"

I asked him if LSD hadn't been the secret ingredient and demanded that IF he collapsed that the CPR I'd have to do on him would COUNT as exercise!!

Now onto the post...

I don't set formal goals or rather very constructed ones..sigh. Sometimes I wish I could just isn't in me.

I do however vow before the BB's, Banditas and cabana boys that I WILL have the rough draft of my new paranormal series DONE by April....

And then I will reward myself with ice cream!!!

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Shoes! Ohhh, yes. I'm with Anna on the shoes too.

I guess I'm also like Stephanie J...sometimes i don't wait to attain the goal. Not with shoes. Grins.

JT, had to LOL about the trainer. SNORK! Since I tend to rebel when someone tells me what to do, I figured this wasn't the best route for me. grins.

Donna MacMeans said...

Hi Christine!

Must say I think you were right to buy those prints. Your covers have been gorgeous! I'm sure they are great motivators every time you glance their way.

I think my problem is I like to celebrate too much. i can reward myself for any number of things - getting out of bed, for example (grin). I haven't felt really constrained not to treat myself well so finding rewards can be tough.

My feet are too big to reward myself with shoes, handbags don't thrill me. I'm not a big jewelry girl, but I did splurge recently on a necklace. I know an author who buys jewelry with every sale of a book. I thought of that when I bought the necklace, but now I'm not sure where I'd wear the thing. Personal trainers - no that's not a reward, that's work. I think my idea of a reward would be travel - to go somewhere that I hadn't been before. Right now, as I'm surrounded by snow, it had best be someplace warm (grin). Hmm....maybe I need to figure out when I want to go and get a poster just to remind me. That might work!

Deb said...

I like to reward myself with a massage. I don't do it often because of the cost, but it is SO relaxing to have one. This year for Christmas, one of my gifts from a student was a 30 minute massage and a discount on 2 more. (Her mom is a massage therapist.)
Of course, I always like to reward myself with some milk chocolate. :)

MsHellion said...

Hmm. I'm starting something odd this year.

I'm giving myself stars for each of the following things I do daily:

Go to bed by 10 pm
Think of something happy

Then if I get so many stars (in all areas), I get to reward myself with something from Amazon. Namely the Harry Potter audio CDs, which I desperately want but can't quite justify buying since I own the books (2ce) and can check out the audios from the library. But I've checked them out of the library so often, I pretty much have them on rotation. It's sad really. Anyway, it's enough of an incentive I've actually started going to the gym on SATURDAY. Which is bonus because you get the theater to yourself on Saturdays mostly.

I hope to start adding stars for every day I stick to Weight Watchers. But I figure I'm doing enough to get the others mostly right.

Susan Sey said...

Christine, what a great post! I love the idea of resolving to treat yourself well and celebrate your victories!

I think I could use some remedial training in this area. When I got my first advance check for Money Honey, fixed the car. Not exactly self-indulgent, unless you think of going to the grocery store as a luxury.

A gorgeous handbag would be wasted on a schlump like me, as would lovely shoes & fabulous jewelry. But I love your idea of framing a print of your cover. I just got a look at my first cover & I'm in love so I can see dropping some $$ on framing it. :-)

catslady said...

The only thing I reward myself with is books :)

Helen said...


I do like your idea of some travel that would be really nice and for me at the moment I would love to be in the snow it is going to get to about 40c here today and I am over this heat and not being able to sleep.

I hope you get that bear this year they really are lovely.

I gotta say as far as parties go here in the Lair they are always awesome and I am not sure what you could all do to top them.

Have Fun

Beth said...

Hey, Christine! Great post *g*

I'm a goal setter and while I always think about rewarding myself for reaching my goals, I don't usually follow through :-(
Perhaps that should be one of my goals this year?

I do celebrate each of my books by framing my covers and hanging them in my office :-)

Christine Wells said...

Anna, I think we writers have so much anxiety about the process and how our books will be received, it really does help to have a symbol of success, doesn't it?

And I LOVE that handbag, btw!

Christine Wells said...

LOL, Anna, yes who would have thought handbags would be so popular. But I suppose they're something you carry around a lot which makes them excellent reminders of success.

Christine Wells said...

VA, I hope and pray that 2010 is your year to sell! I love all those ideas and I especially like the idea of a group gift for a first sale. What a lovely way to celebrate with friends who can't be with you in person. I know I always feel so excited when a Bandita sells. It's magic! I hope you get your bear and I can send you my dancing woohoo very soon:)

Christine Wells said...

Haha, Stephanie J! Too funny about buying the reward first. Do you think that's taking visualization a little too far?

Christine Wells said...

Hi Jeanne, yes I should have mentioned you're another demon goal setter!

The charm bracelet is a good idea, isn't it? My BFFs gave me a Pandora charm bracelet for my birthday a while back and it's great because you can easily take off the charms and put different ones on if you want to. They also don't dangle, and I used to find my dangly charm bracelet would catch on everything. It's been quite a phenomenon here and I would guess it is in the US, too. I'm always adding to my collection.

Best of luck with those BHAGS! And the bags, of course!

Christine Wells said...

Hi Sarah! Great goal--I think finishing that first MS is one of the most satisfying moments of a writer's career.

Now, I like the way you're thinking big with the bus load of cabana boys! This is what I'm talking about:)

Oh, thanks for the congrats on 3 years. We'll have a huge party on the actual day, never fear!

Christine Wells said...

HAHAHAHA!!! Joanie, you really get the weirdoes don't you? "My libido is swirling?" I hope you wrote it down on your notebook so you'd remember that when you write your next hero. LOL

OK, Joanie! I will hold you to finishing the rough draft by April. Yay! A new series!

Christine Wells said...

But Jeanne, shoes are a *necessity*. No one should wait to have shoes:)

Yeah, Jeannie, I feel like a personal trainer is just too...personal, you know? And I'm not good with taking orders. They're always SO much fitter than I am, they never quite get the level of unfitness I possess. The last session I did (the first and last, actually) I literally could not lift my arms to the keyboard to type for three days. It hurt that much!

Christine Wells said...

Donna the poster sounds like an excellent idea! Make it Australia and you can come and visit me and FO!

Christine Wells said...

Deb, a massage is a great idea. I like thinking of things that don't involve eating bad food as one of my goals is to live a healthier lifestyle this year and hopefully to lose some weight. The massage would be perfect! Me time, plus it's good for your body.

Christine Wells said...

Oh, and Donna, some mornings, we deserve a reward for getting out of bed! I always start the day with a good cup of coffee, as a reward as well as a wake up!

Christine Wells said...

Hellion I really love your list. I think that would be a great one for any writer to follow. Oh, and you must meet them because Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter is an experience you don't want to miss!

Christine Wells said...

SUSAN!!!! I can't wait to see your cover. I hope you're going to show us when you get the go ahead. I just know this book is going to be smashing. And yes, you really do need to think of something better than fixing the car as a reward!

Christine Wells said...

Yay, catslady! I hope those books are romance books:)

Christine Wells said...

Helen, I hope you're coping ok in that ferocious heat. It hasn't been nearly as bad up in Brisbane, thank goodness! I like your idea of travel to the snow. I'd love to have Christmas in Germany or somewhere like that one year.

Thanks for the compliment on our parties! No doubt we'll think of something special for this coming anniversary.

Christine Wells said...

Beth, yes, you must follow through! Definitely make that one of your goals this year. Although having said that, I'm not sure that you need any help in the goal- achieving department. Still, I think it's good for your sense of self to acknowledge the things you've done right instead of focusing too much on what you might have done wrong.

Virginia said...

Great post! With me I usually got out to eat to celebrate something or maybe buy myself a little something like a book or something that I have been wanting.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Virginia! It's always lovely to celebrate with company over a nice meal, isn't it? Some writers in my area go to lunch every 6 weeks and celebrate any milestones that we've had and it's a lot of fun.

Nancy said...

Jane, congrats on the rooster!

Christine, I'm all for rewarding success rather than flogging shortcomings. I buy a CD or a DVD when I accomplish something big.

When I go back to the gym, I'll be buying a big bottle of Advil. *g*

And you can add me to the handbag cadre. Those of us with difficult feet can't do the shoe thing so well. Purses make a great substitute!

Christine Wells said...

Nancy, good on you! I think a CD or DVD are great also.

Good luck at the gym! I'm sure you won't need the Advil:)

Louisa Cornell said...

Don't let the GR hear you say champagne, Jane. He is such a lush!

Lovely blog, Christine. Very timely. I tend to beat myself up for not making my word/page count, but I seldom reward myself when I do.

My Mom has bought me an English bone china teacup for every contest final and the GH finals both got Royal Doulton, of course. (She is a HUGE Keeping Up Appearances fan.)

Actually Christine I have your first two cover flats signed and framed in my writing studio as inspiration.

I think I have told all of you that I have never had a sip of alcohol, but the day I sell my first book I WILL guzzle and entire bottle of champagne. After that who cares!

As for the anniversary I think we all need matching handbags with photos of the cabana boys and the Romans on them. And perhaps a SMALL photo of the GR.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Wonderful post, Christine!

And HOORAY! Someone is actually thinking AHEAD to our 3rd anniversary. ACK!!! Has it been that long?!?! Funny, none of us LOOK any older... ;-)

My biggest goal this year it to STOP worrying about things over which I have NO control. I know it will take more than a year to break this bad habit, but at least I'm working on it.

As for rewarding myself... ALWAYS! And one of my CPs makes these gorgeous bead flowers, and she has made me a rose and given it to me at each of my launch parties. So far I have a white rose for Wild Sight, and a sapphire blue for Treasures of Venice (those jewels were sapphires after all). I can't wait to see what she comes up with for Wild Irish Sea (only 6 more months to wait).

Maybe we need to have another treasure hunt, or murder mystery for our 3rd anniversary? Or another Really Bad Poetry day?!?! The possibilities are endless...


Nancy said...

Christine, thank you. However, I'm sure large quantities of Advil lurk on the horizon!

Nancy said...

Louisa, I could so go for dishes if I had anywhere to put them. That Lenox holiday china with the holly around the edge of the plate, the pattern with the gold rim--I LOVE that pattern! But considering we don't eat off the "good" dishes we already have, it would be a waste. *sigh*

But I love the teacup bit!

Pat Cochran said...

No resolutions for me, they are not kept any way! I figure a person my
age has the privilege of being free
of restrictions! LOL!!!

This is another vote for handbags
or specially designed tea cups as momentos of the Lair's third BIG

Pat Cochran

PJ said...

Great blog, Christine! I hope you have many reasons to celebrate this year!

Back in the day when I had good feet I'd celebrate with new shoes. I had many celebrations back then. *vbg*

Nowadays, I celebrate the small stuff with a new book. For big stuff, I'd love to be able to celebrate with travel. I really enjoy discovering new places.

Today, I celebrated Monday with a lunch date. My 3 year old grandniece and I dined at Chick-Fil-A. :)

Kirsten said...

Hi christine! I am definitely NOT a martyr. I love to reward myself, even when I haven't done anything particularly reward-worthy!

I recently rewarded myself with a new yoga outfit. Even though my yoga has been VERY hit or miss the past few weeks (going back to work after vacation sucks!).

I also love food rewards. Like, the donut I reward myself with on Friday mornings. Just because I survived another week. ;-)

Christine Wells said...

Louisa, I'm sure your champagne binge will come very soon! How lovely that you have my covers framed as inspiration. I'm really humbled by that.

Actually, Trish has this fantastic handbag with her first cover on it. That's not a bad way to combine reward/reminder/promo-ho-dom all in one accessory:)

Christine Wells said...

AC, what a beautiful gift from your CP. It's so special when someone does something like that for you, isn't it?

Yes, I think we're going to have to make our 3rd a real all out smash of a party. Three is my lucky number...

Christine Wells said...

Oh, yes, what a lovely idea to give china, Louisa. I wish my mother would do that with me! Although with 2 small boys I don't get to put an awful lot on display.

Christine Wells said...

Good on you, Pat! I never used to make resolutions either. This year I made affirmations rather than resolutions. I don't know if it will make any difference, frankly, but I hope so.

Ooh, I like the idea of special tea cups. Like Princess Di and Charlie!

Actually, we Do have bandit mugs on cafepress, don't we?

Christine Wells said...

Oh, how cute, PJ! I hope you had a great time with your grand-niece!

Travel sounds like a great way to celebrate the big stuff. You will always have a bed on my tropical island!

Christine Wells said...

Kirsten, you have reminded me I must get back into yoga. Great idea to buy exercise gear--I always find that motivating as well as rewarding.