Today our guest is Shelley Wilson author of yesterday’s book How I Changed My Life In A Year, her is a link to my review of the book. http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5Ky
Shelley is also going to be writing 4 inspirational posts for us which will appear on Fridays beginning this Friday, October 17th.
Let’s find out more about Shelley and her book.
1) Where is your hometown?
My hometown is Solihull in the West Midlands, but I left my heart behind in West Yorkshire when I moved away as a child. I do cling on very tightly to my Northern roots!
2) What inspired your book?
For me, the New Year is a time filled with the promise of adventures to come and places yet to visit. Every New Year’s Eve I write a list of resolutions in my journal, but as I was re-reading them at the end of 2012 I noticed I had written the same ones over and over. I hadn’t achieved any of them and so they were regurgitated each year. As I run a holistic health business I am always telling my clients how they could improve their lives, and I realised that if I wanted them to take me seriously I needed to take my own advice. So I decided to write my list on a public forum to force me (or shame me) to achieve something. My blog was born http://myresolutionchallenge.blogspot.com and I thoroughly enjoyed updating everyone on my progress. One of my resolutions was to ‘stop procrastinating and write my damn book!’ I had never thought of writing non-fiction before, but the challenges and the blog were the basic outline of a book, it just took me a while to realise it.
3) How did you come up with the ideas for you year long challenge?
Finding the ideas for my challenges was the easy bit. I just had to go back over the previous journal entries and copy all the things I hadn’t achieved! Weight loss, getting fit, reading more…the usual culprits that make 90% of people’s resolution list. To flesh out the year I did a spot of brainstorming. I created a vision board and asked myself what I would do with my life if money was no object and I could have another five careers. This exercise got the creativity flowing and I found my twelve resolutions.
4) How did you make a month challenge see less daunting?
When I started the blog it was all completely alien to me. I joined Blogger, picked a template I liked and filled in the blanks. It was only as I began to post that I read other blogs and become more involved in the blogging community. Good content and regular posts were a must according to the pros. This meant that my twelve challenges (one a month) wouldn’t be very entertaining for any readers. So much can happen in a month and my post could end up putting War and Peace to shame. This was when I adapted my challenge and broke every month down into weeks. The task didn’t seem so daunting and I could expand on my challenges. Every topic was divided into four and I blogged weekly about how I had progressed during that particular week. In February my challenge was to get fit, it worked out really well as I was able to try four different exercises and blog about each one separately.
5) What was your favourite challenge?
I remember my November challenge with great fondness. This was my first attempt at NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), to write a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. I had wanted to do this challenge for four years but backed out every time because I was scared. The beauty of blogging about my challenges was the inability to run screaming for the hills – it wouldn’t have made for a very interesting post. I had to do it because I’d told the world!
6) Which challenge was the hardest?
The hardest challenge had to be giving up wearing black clothing. It sounds ridiculous when you say it but it really was tough. That particular week crept up on me and on the first morning I flew into a panic because all my underwear was black – the thought of going commando was just too much and I nearly caved. After digging through my underwear drawer I finally found suitable attire, the rest of the outfit was even harder to find. I do want to do this challenge again but I now know that some planning (and shopping) is required. Picking my daughter up from school in an 80’s fancy dress outfit taught me that!
As part of my holistic business I am a qualified EFT Practitioner (Emotional Freedom Technique). This simple process can help alleviate anxiety and deep rooted issues that have a detrimental effect on day to day life. A fear of the dentist, overeating, depression and so many other ailments can be vanquished using this method. It involves tapping lightly with your fingertips on specific parts of your head, face, body and hands. The tapping action vibrates along meridians (energy lines) within your body and neutralises any blockages. It is such a powerful treatment, one which I used to help my own anxiety prior to my training. (www.aamet.org)
8) What new skills or ideas have you kept up with from the challenge?
The most important thing for me when I decided to start this project was to find the time to write more often. Ever since I could hold a pencil I have wanted to write, and every year I would add this to my resolution list, but then let life take over and watch my dream slide past for another year. This is why I chose blogging instead of Facebook as the public forum for my challenges, I wanted the space and right platform to help me grow my skills. Deadlines, compelling content and a wonderful blogging/writing community all helped me to carry on once my year was up. I was also prompted to take part in other challenges that came along. In January 2014 I took part in the Cancer Research Dryathalon – no alcohol for the month of January. After doing this back in April for my book I found it much easier and have now turned tee-total. Writing the book and tweaking my blog to contain more motivational content also gave me the push to write a series of workshops. I have delivered these to ladies on a monthly basis at a local venue and they have been well received. I cover topics such as facing fears, time management, and finding out who you are and how to be happy with your life. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do this had I not started my blog and published my book. I have also fulfilled my most important goal and continued writing. Thanks to NaNoWriMo I will be publishing my debut YA fantasy novel very soon.
9) Do you think it helped make you a better person?
We are all a work in progress and have our own issues and demons to contend with. As women we tend to carry on with life and hide this side of ourselves, concentrating on being someone’s partner, mother, daughter or friend. It’s important for me to show my holistic clients that I can also suffer from self-doubt and anxiety but also to share with them the tools that I use to help myself. Publishing my book meant I had to face all my demons and put myself out there. I have had to learn to accept compliments and criticism and that this is okay. I’m not sure if that makes me a better person, but I’ve most definitely changed for the better.
10) Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
My blog is still going strong, although I include more motivational content about living life to the full, reading and writing these days. You can find the blog at http://myresolutionchallenge.blogspot.com and the corresponding Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/resolutionchallenge I am also on twitter (far too often!) http://www.twitter.com/ShelleyWilson72