“The canvas is the door to another dimension. The paintbrush is the key.” ― Luhraw

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The clock strikes twelve, the sky is awakened with rockets, roman candles, flares and every other firework under the sun. The darkness is stolen, snatched away by illuminations scattering ashes of pretty light and shattering the silence of infinity. 2017 is introduced, in its greater glory. Kisses are planted; hugs exchanged; phone networks jammed and resolutions planned. This is it you say, this is my year, my time to shine.

But of all the things rushing through your mind, of all the things you have waited for this moment to announce – precisely 12.00AM on 1st January 2017 – of all these things, how many of them are you really going to achieve? How much do you want to give up smoking or drink less alcohol? How much time are you prepared to commit to learn the piano? How much are you willing to push yourself so that you can finish that marathon?

I guess the underlying question of each of these so-called resolutions, is really based upon the big ‘S’ word, Sacrifice. How much are you willing to sacrifice to attain the currently unattainable. If the goal you preach is within the realms of your capabilities, then the real question really is how much you are prepared to work for it and continue to work for it all year round. Or will you hit a point when the pain gets too great, the 6am runs get too much, the temptation to revert back to old habits gets too irresistible, when you realise that the effort it takes is more than the effort you’re willing to give and life gets in the way. Will you meet your own worst enemy, bow down to its presence and invite it in to make itself at home? Will you be convinced by what it has to say, that your goal is unreachable, that its going to break you?

“I’m not strong enough” “I’m not fast enough” “This is impossible”… “I quit“.

You give in, in a split second you’ve lost sight of your goal. The motivation and desire to succeed which enthralled your soul when the clock struck twelve has dissipated, vanished.

Fast forward in time, the chimes strike again, “This year”, “I know this is it, I just know”. Whats different? Same goal, different year. Same person, same habit, same approach, same outcome. It becomes a process, a never ending cycle. You decide, you stick to it for a while, it then becomes too much, you give up and then wait for next year. This becomes a habit itself and you’ll soon reach a point in your life when that goal you wanted so desperately to achieve, that marathon you wanted to run, that healthier diet you wanted to adopt or those cigarettes you wanted to give up, will be too late.

Imagine if every morning you were given an hourglass, the passing of sand grains dictating exactly how much time you have left to live. I guess, what I’m trying to get at here is that your time is not guaranteed. Your ‘next year’ is not secured, every day more sand grains fall. Every morning you wake up to see that there is less and less sand remaining. Someday, you’ll be out of time. Some year, there won’t be a “next year” to adopt your goal. I certainly think that looking at life this way, neglecting the pessimistic approach of looking at the time we are losing, but focusing on every grain of sand that is left, is very important. The places and adventures yet to be explored, the unachievable things yet to be achieved. For every grain of sand in that hourglass has a story, it has a memory; be it a day, a minute or a second. It holds a moment of your life which you will not get back. For so many its this mysterious component of life, the unknown, the unexplored path, the un-trespassed land which blocks us from what we want to achieve. The fear of the unknown, of whats around the corner. The fear of failure and of being unsuccessful makes many give up before they are even able to realise what they are capable of. Please, don’t let this be you. Picture your hourglass, don’t let the grains of sand slip through without giving each and every one a meaning, a purpose.

Don’t fall into the trap of preaching resolutions for the sake of sharing it with your friends, for something to post on Facebook, or just for the sake of being able to say you’ve got a ‘New Years Resolution’. I encourage you, think deeply, devote energy to your thoughts, what is it that you’ve been wanting to accomplish? What is it that sets your heart aflame when you think about it? What is it that YOU want to achieve for YOU. No matter how big or small they may be, just commit to something you yearn to achieve. Don’t preach it to the world, but practise it. Practise it every damn day. Practise when it hurts, when things get tough, when life poses a difficult fortune. Remind yourself why it is your doing this. Resonate with yourself, understand yourself. Picture the hourglass. Grain by grain. Falling. Make This it, finally make this year Your year. Regardless of where you are, what you’ve done, what you’ve endeavoured or what you’re yet to do, there is no time for regret. Don’t let the sand run out, it is yours. Build a castle in the sand you have left, go after what you want, work hard at what it is you love, wake up excited and go to bed content, be a dreamer and make things happen.

365 days on. “I did it. I made this my year. I painted my own canvas with colours which I love. I am a dreamer, but I’ve proved to myself that I’m also a do-er. I’m a trier. I fell, but I rose, I failed but I fought and I’m so glad that I did.”

Please, let this be You.

I wish each and every one of you reading this right now the happiest New Year, chase your passions and be open to where they take you. 2017 is not just any blank canvas, it is Yours. Explore the doors which it opens, paint it as you wish, but never go a day without lifting the paintbrush and working towards your final masterpiece. And, most of all, be brave.

My love, Grace x

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