How to use up 2016 and become better. (A goal setting post)

From bitter experience, I know that New Year’s Resolutions are destined to fail. A year is an unfathomably long time, and there is no possible way I can plan that far. However, this year is different in that a lot of it is already planned for me. I will be living in Derbyshire, and doing Dialectical Behavioural Therapy twice a week. Which is probably going to be exhausting and take up a lot of my power. It also means that I want to look after myself a bit better. I can’t very well fix my brain if I’m tired, sick, or hungover.

I last made a set of goals in September. Of those goals, all I’ve managed to do is the dentist one. I got 4 fillings but think I need to go back because the most recent filling hurts. The pain has actually kept me awake a couple of nights. Oh, I also got a bike, because Daddy bought it for me. I rode some, but I admit that my lack of fitness and lack of road confidence have led to me not doing as much as I ought to. Also it has rained for the last 6 weeks so I refuse to go outside.

Journal writing has been up and down. I was doing well until December, I think. I did submit something, and got published! Now to submit something else… I also managed to take a massive backwards step by starting smoking again. Maybe that’s why I now have a hacking chest cough.

So, here are some new goals for the first bit of 2016:

Get Fit

  • Bike more places. Maybe do a cycling course so I don’t die in traffic.
  • Train up for half marathon in July, 3-5 days/week.
  • 5k & 10k runs. Like the Parkrun.
  • Find a yoga class or similar.
  • Eat in a sustainable way with actual nutrients and not just cheese.
  • Quit smoking, again.
  • Drink once or twice a week, at most.


  • Complete editing and design cover for poetry pamphlet, by April.
  • Polish and submit poems and short stories I already have.
  • Write more stuff.
  • Keep blogging.
  • Get some work experience/do some journalism/something something professional writer.
  • Do NaPoWriMo in April.
  • Daily freewriting.
  • Journalling


  • Get in touch with local groups and see what I can do.

Mental Health

  • Do the therapy and homework (without constant sarcasm).
  • Fill in mood diary sheet every day.
  • Go to hypnotherapy that the amazing Si is giving me for free!

Other Stuff

  • Tidy my room. It’s getting serious in here.
  • Paint some stuff.
  • Learn to crochet.
  • Plan some actual holidays and adventures to do during the breaks.


OK. That’s a ridiculous amount of goals. I’ll check back in 3 months and see what’s happening. Positive thinking says I will have made great progress in that time. Experience says “HAHAHAHAHAA!!! Get to fuck will you?!”

How to use up 2016 and become better. (A goal setting post)


Dialectical Behavioural Therapy OR Compassion Focused Therapy?

DBT would be twice a week for the whole of next year. Imagine being stuck in Derby for a whole year. It’s a horrible thought. But it’s real therapy, at last. I’ve been badgering mental health services for 3 or 4 years, this time round. Finally, I’ve got somewhere.

As for CFT, what is it? The guy who invented it is from Derby, so that’s why it’s popular here, but it doesn’t seem hugely common. How long it’s for, how often, all of the basic practicalities of it, I don’t know. I only know that it would take place the next town over from where my parents live.

This study found  the following themes in their study of patients’ experience of Compassion Focused Therapy:  (1) the battle to give up the inner critic: who am I if I am not self-critical?; (2) an aversive and alien experience: how it feels to develop self-compassion; (3) the emotional experience of therapy; (4) self-compassion as a positive emotional experience; and (5) a more positive outlook in the present and for the future.

Aside from the ‘aversive and alien experience’, that doesn’t sound too bad. But I don’t think just being nice to myself will fix everything. I’m angry at so much more than just me. I’m confused by life. I know myself not. I’ve made great progress in getting over my previous self hatred and teenage deathwishes, but somehow that’s not enough. I’m still trapped somewhere invisible.

Is compassion the missing piece? Or do I need the DBT skills more? The four key skills are apparently Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Distress Tolerance, and Emotion Regulation. All of which sound like great things to have.

I have serious problems making decisions, and even more problems with imagining, let alone planning, the future. So I have no idea how I’m going to decide this one.