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Happy New Year! A Guide to Making Resolutions and Keeping Them.

Happy New Year Darlings!

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Happy New Year!

 

If you’ve been following me long enough you’re already aware of my fondness for the new year holiday. If not, let me tell you it is one of my favorites! I love starting fresh, setting new goals, revisiting past ones, and looking forward to the year to come. I know there are a lot of you out there who dread the idea of resolution making. Maybe you’re afraid of failure, perhaps you dislike the idea of ritual goal setting, or maybe the winter blues has got you in a funk? But truly, new year resolutions are a healthy and fun way to set your year up for success and help snap you out of a dreary mindset. I myself suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is maddening for someone of a generally cheerful disposition. One of the things that has shown itself to be most therapeutic for me is resolution making. So, please allow me to share with you my 2018 resolutions along with my tips for making them stick.

#1 Set Actual Goals

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Art by Bill Randall

Goals, I mean real attainable goals, are definable, quantifiable, and timely. Think about the things you want to achieve in the next year, but be specific and realistic. 

Define your goal. If you can’t explain what it is that you want, how in the world do you expect to achieve it?

Is it quantifiable? Can you measure it? “Finding happiness” is not measurable. Abstract goals are not goals at all, they’re moods. Following the abstract is a recipe for failure. Instead, think of things that would make you happy: spending more time with your family, gardening, starting a new hobby, quit smoking, and so on. These are things that can be defined and broken down into achievable steps.

Is it attainable? We are told since childhood to “dream big!”, “shoot for the stars!”, and while there is some merit to that, there is also folly. When I was a wee lass in my first tap (dance) class, I dreamed of being a Radio City Rockette, but that dream would never come to pass no matter how hard I trained because at 5’2″, I am just too short. There is absolutely nothing I can do to change that. Some goals just can’t be reached, and setting them only to fail time and again is detrimental to the psyche. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t set similar attainable goals. Maybe I can’t be a Rockette, but I can (and did) become a professional dancer. Maybe professional dancer is out of your reach for whatever reason, but taking a dance class is not, or maybe it is too much right now, but buying a dance lesson on DVD or following FREE YouTube tutorials is absolutely doable!

Is it timely: Ugh, I know! Everyone hates a deadline, probably because we approach them all wrong. Deadlines are necessary in actually achieving our goals. If we don’t set timelines, our goals fade away into that abstract abyss, forever out of reach. How depressing is that?! Very. So, learn to love a deadline. We do that by making them realistic. “Loose 20 lbs in a week” isn’t very realistic, in fact it’s downright dangerous! But, “loose 20 lbs in 3 to 6 months” is realistic. *Disclaimer: always check with your doctor before starting any weight loss or exercise program (wink)* The point is, deadlines only work if they are realistic, and goals are only reached if we implement deadlines.

 

#2 Get Organized

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This is but a small sampling of my journal collection.

Lists! I love lists! I have piles and piles of notebooks, planners, binders, and files for everything. Staples is one of my favorite places on Earth! I just love to sit down with a cup of tea, and write out all my plans for whatever it is I’m doing. Some of my lists are straight forward bullet points, some are artistic collages, some are scattered brainstorming, but they all make it out of my head and onto the page so I can see what needs doing.

Get yourself an notebook or planner or cork board and set out your goals. Remember to define them, write out the necessary steps to achieve said goal, and give yourself a timeline. I like to also leave some space for a bit of journaling. Sometimes a goal becomes unrealistic and I need to try again later. If I write down why, I’m better equipped the next time I try. I also like to give myself praise for steps I’ve made and mini-goals I’ve reached. Positive reinforcement will motivate you unlike anything else will.

#3 Get Going!

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Ann Miller

I’m a firm believer in the “fake it til you make it” philosophy. Little factoid about yours truly, I suffer from a chronic illness called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There is no treatment, there is no cure, it’s just a thing I must deal with on a day to day basis. I don’t always feel like being productive (or even getting out of bed). I don’t always have the energy to exercise or cook or garden or to do any of the things that I love, and one of the nasty little side effects to that is depression. If I let it, all of those things will snowball into an awful existence. So, I get up and push through. Some days more than others, but every day I make an earnest effort, even when I don’t feel like it. Even when some days I feel like a fraud. Even when I’m too tired. Just making the effort to start, to take those next steps, makes each effort easier and easier. I’m not one for motivational sayings, but it really is true “Procrastination is the thief of time”. (I’ve no idea who said that. I likely saw it on a coffee mug somewhere).

My 2018 New Year’s Resolutions!

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Marilyn Monroe was an avid reader and had an impressive library.

Read more – I love to read, but didn’t make much time for it last year (though I did finish one book *pats self on back). This year I’d like to make bedtime reading a nightly ritual, eventually working it in to some daytime indulgences.

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Art by Gil Elvgren

Get in shape! – Ugh! This one. 2017 was not kind to me in terms of physical and mental health. So this coming year, I endeavor to bring my health back to acceptable levels. I’m still working out the details, so I’m short on specifics, but I know the steps I need to take. The end result is up to my body, and I’m willing to let the chips fall where they may. I know I don’t like feeling sluggish and weak, so that’s my goal, not so much the numbers on a scale. Maybe I’ll share this journey… or maybe I won’t. Are there too many health and fitness blogs out there already?

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Art by Pearl Frush

The January Cure – A new year ritual for me, spring cleaning in the winter. Every year I join Apartment Therapy’s January Cure. It’s a weekly deep cleaning and home organization challenge for the month of, you guessed it, January! Each task is doable and not too time consuming. Some tasks take the weekend, some take 10 minutes. If you find yourself drowning in clutter, or you just want to spruce up the olde domicile, I HIGHLY recommend joining.

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This lady’s kitchen is everything!

Write more letters – I love snail mail. I love sending hand written letters and receiving them. For some reason, when we moved house, I just dropped off the face of the earth. I never mailed our change of address cards, and as such lost touch with a lot of my friends and family. So, this year, I’m going to make the effort to send at least one note or letter a month (see what I did there? A quantifiable, timely goal!)

And there you have it. Some of my New Year’s resolutions (I do have more. Some are too personal to share, and some are holdovers from last year that need revisiting), and a few tips on making your resolutions successful. I do hope you’ve found this post helpful and at least a little inspirational. Let me know what your resolutions are. I’d love to hear your plans for the new year!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

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New Year, New You

Hello Darlings!

The new year is almost here and I am giddy with anticipation. Not because I have any exciting plans, mind you (well, other than the Sherlock season 4 premier). My romantic NYE celebration aboard the Queen Mary plans were waylaid by a very costly auto repair (insert sad face here). No, I am giddy because I love the New Year holiday! I love the hope that comes with the turn of the calendar page. I love the promise of a fresh start. I love new year resolutions!

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Jayne Mansfield counting down the New Year

I know some people do get a bit grumpy about such things: “January 1st is just another day”, “You don’t need a holiday to change your life”, “Things won’t magically get better when the clock strikes midnight”, etc. While those are all very true statements, they ignore the thing that makes the new year so special… community. For this one day in the year, it seems the whole world is looking out to the horizon with eagerness and hope. We can do better, be better, we can make small but meaningful changes in our lives and the lives of others if only we dare to try.

Silly and cliche as it may be, I make New Year’s resolutions every year, and every year I get better and better at keeping them (making them public also helps keep me accountable).

My 2017 New Year’s Resolutions!

  1. Concentrate on my health. Like most people, my past resolutions have been something to the effect of “get in shape”, “lose weight”, etc. Those are great goals, and if they are your goals, I say go for it! For me, however, things aren’t that simple. You see, I live with chronic illness, and as such, my weight can fluctuate quite dramatically throughout the year. I can’t always go to the gym. I can’t always get out of bed! BUT I can focus on making healthier choices both mentally and physically by eating better, exercising everyday (even if its only a few minutes of stretching), clearing out negative influences from my life, focus on personal growth.
  2. Be more productive. This one always manages to make it onto my resolutions list. Maybe because I’m a creative and a perfectionist (a dangerous combination, indeed). I’ve made significant progress in the past, but I’ve also seen a steep decline recently. We moved to a tiny town, in the middle of nowhere, where I don’t know a soul. It can be a little depressing (and boring). When the gloom sets in, I stall out. So I resolve to do something productive everyday, something creative, something active, something constructive, it doesn’t matter as long as I’m doing something.
  3. Explore more. Especially in my new home. Apparently my new little spot on the map is full of rich history: old western mining towns, Nazi spies, classic western filming locations, and even Star Wars was filmed out here. Who knew? Not me, and that’s why I resolve to get out to do some exploring. This will be a tall order for an introvert, but I plan on writing about my adventures, so maybe that will push me over the social hump.
  4. Get organized. This is another one that lands on my list every year, and I have made improvements years past, but again, this move has really thrown a monkey wrench in the works. Nevertheless, I remain undeterred. This will also help me with my other resolutions, so organization will likely forever be on my list.
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The lovely and talented Debbie Reynolds, who we sadly lost this year.

And there you have it. I really do look forward to this coming year, and I hope to share my progress with my readers. What are your resolutions? Any hopes for the new coming year? I’d love to hear about them.

Happy New Year!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

Happy (belated) New Year!

Hello Darlings!

Happy (belated) New Year! I don’t mind telling you that I am one of those people, the kind gleefully making resolutions and dreaming of the promise of the coming year. I love to plot and plan out the year, the parties I’ll attend, the vacations I’ll take, the projects I’ll finish (or at least start with the best intentions of finishing). There are so many wonderful events cropping up everywhere that I thought it was a good time to resurrect my Social Calendar.

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Once again I’ve scoured the interwebs, vintage clubs, and social pages to find the most interesting events for vintage minded folks. I’ll be adding new events as I find them, so if you know of an event you think warrants inclusion, please drop me a line (be sure to include any relevant links). You can find the criteria for events I like to include here. To view my 2016 Social Calendar, just pop on over to calendar on the side bar and click the “+” button, you’ll have the option to add the events to your personal calendar if you’d like. I’ll be sure to pop up at a few of these events, so if you see me, do say hello. I love meeting new friends!

**You may notice a lack of the group events at Disneyland. Because of a change to Disney’s policy towards fancy dress and cosplay, I’ve decided to only include events that don’t involve such outfitting. If I hear of any changes on that front, I’ll be sure to keep you informed.

XOXO 

Dolly Marlowe

Save the Date! 2014 Social Calendar

Hello Darlings!

My lovely friend, Sara Ellen, and I getting frisked by a couple of coppers at the Great Los Angeles Air Raid last year

My lovely friend, Sara Ellen, and I getting frisked by a couple of coppers at the Great Los Angeles Air Raid last year

I am thrilled to be writing to you from my new diary home! This new format gives me a great deal more freedom to be interactive with my readers. As always, I struggle with all things tech, so bear with me as I fumble my way through the new format. Most things improve with time, and I hope this will be no exception. On to the topic at hand!

I make no apologies for being a red-blooded American girl, and living in Southern California is an absolute dream! I can drive one hour in any direction and have just about anything my little heart desires… mountains with snow, falling leaves, the ocean, HOLLYWOOD! You name it, and I have it at my disposal. But even with all that, I can’t help but feeling the slightest twinge of jealousy when reading my favorite blogs and periodicals from across the pond. Jolly Old England boasts all sorts of Glorious events like the Tweed Run and The Chap Olympiad, not to mention all the dances, reenactments, and weekenders! We have a good bit of fun and entertainment here in the states as well, but so much of it is lacking in, shall we say, cultural refinement? There is nothing wrong with a good rockabilly show. I cut my teeth on rhythm and blues… literally (my daddy was a blues man and I chewed on his records and music equipment as a wee babe). But I just don’t see myself as a rockabilly girl. I prefer a gimlet over a Pabst any day. I’d swoon over gents like Bogie and Sinatra before giving Elvis a second look. And I like my music to swing rather than bop. In sunny california one can stand on any street corner, throw a rock, and hit a rockabilly show. So, what is a highbrow vintage loving gal to do? Sure, I’ve been to Viva Las Vegas and had a perfectly lovely time, but I want something more! I don’t mind telling you all that when I want something I generally find a way to get it. Like the old saying goes, If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself!

I submit for your approval my 2014 Social Calendar! I’ve scoured the interwebs and contacted every Art Deco mucky-muck I could find to bring  you the most wonderful events in the greater Southern California area! For those of you not residing in the southland, please feel free to visit or use my little calendar as some inspiration to find events in your neck of the woods. There will be a dearth of rockabilly events, save for those of some significance, not because they’re awful (they’re not), but because there are SO MANY of them!! I’ll also be adding events as I hear of them, so if you know of an event, drop me a line and I may add it. If you’re an event coordinator and would like to have me cover your shindig, you may also contact me to set things up.

So where is this wonderful almanac of social gatherings? For ease of use, it is located on the side bar of my posts, and there it will remain. Just give the “Google” button a click and it will whisk you away to the full screen version with all the details! Be sure to visit often as new things will be added on the regular. Also, you can subscribe to my posts via electronic mailing, that way you won’t miss a thing! I hope you find it useful and keep an eye peeled for yours truly as I am sure to pop up at a gathering or two!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe