Creating a new YOU for the new YEARby Brittany Geragotelis
I’ve never been one to go crazy over New Year’s Eve. The crowds, the noise, the pressure of who you’re going to kiss at midnight otherwise risk a year without love—not really my cup of tea (or sparkling apple cider, given the holiday). But New Year’s Day? That’s another story.
There’s something cool about a day where you’re able to hit the reset button. You can evaluate your past year and take stock in where you were successful and where you might’ve fallen short. You reflect and then look to a brighter future. New Year’s Day is a time to start anew.
Many people’s yearly resolutions include noble and great goals…but they’re only good if you’re serious about making a change. The question is: Are you choosing the right resolutions or just setting yourself up for failure?
In my upcoming debut novel, WHAT THE SPELL?, Brooklyn Sparks has lived her life in the background. Nobody knows that she’s even alive and so when she comes into her witchy powers at the age of 16, she knows just what she wants to do first: she gives herself a magical makeover to ensure that she’ll never be ignored again. All she wants is to become one of the popular kids…and maybe get the guy she’s crushing on to notice her, too. But once she begins her quest for ruling the school, she finds that you have to be careful what you witch for.
Here are my top 5 New Year’s resolutions and how to make sure you actually keep them.
1. Come on, get healthy!
The #1 resolution people make each year is to lose weight. Why do you think that so many gyms advertise reduced memberships around January 1st? It’s because people want to shed those unwanted holiday (and rest of the year) pounds. And they want to see results quickly. In WTS, Brooklyn changes her life in less than a minute, by changing her physical appearance with a spell. But she isn’t at all ready for what comes next. She’s not prepared for the attention she’ll get or what she’ll have to do to keep her newfound popularity. Brooklyn’s mistake is that she went after the quick fix.
You don’t have to make the same mistake! The best way to succeed with a weightloss goal is to set the right goal in the first place. This means, instead of looking for a quick fix, try to make a lifestyle change. Vow to work out regularly. Decide to eat healthier (whether this is to practice portion control or to eat more fruits and veggies or give up sweets) and actually do it. Say no to the fad diets (this might allow you to lose weight fast, but most of the time you’ll gain it back just as fast once you go off the diet). Your best bet is to make changes to your lifestyle, so that being healthy is the goal. This will ensure long-term success!
2. Stay true to yourself.
So much of the trouble that Brooklyn gets herself into in WTS is because she’s worried about what others think of her. As a teenager, it’s really hard to not care about how people perceive you. Especially when bullying, teasing and even obscurity can bring you to the point where you may be willing to bend your morals if it means that you’ll be liked.
The problem with this is that you’re changing yourself for someone else. Someone who, after high school, probably won’t be in your life at all. But just because we graduate and grow up, doesn’t mean we don’t still try to morph ourselves to fit other’s expectations. We agree to do things we’re uncomfortable with because we don’t want to cause trouble. We don’t speak up when we should, for fear of retribution or ridicule. Even as adults, we still want to be liked. The only thing is, at the end of the day, we’re still left with who we are deep down and the choices we make. So, be yourself. You weren’t meant to be any other way. The world needs more individuals.
3. Leave a legacy.
I’ve always wanted to know that I was here for a reason. That I was put on this earth to make a difference in some way. Change the world. Impact people’s lives. I feel like I’ll do this through the books I write. In WTS, Brooklyn wants to become popular so she can convince others to do good things, like volunteer, quit bullying, and being kind to others. Only, she ends up causing more trouble in her quest to do good than actual good.
So, if you’re looking to leave a legacy, make sure that it’s one you really want to leave. Are you treating others well? Are you being kind while trying to reach your goals? Will you be remembered for the amazing things you’ve done or the awful ways you acted along the way? Everything you do leaves an impression on others…be mindful of what you’re leaving behind.
4. Challenge yourself.
Brooklyn lets fear run her life. She makes her decisions based on the fear of losing what she has or not getting what she wants. Because of this, she often makes the wrong choices and misses out on the joys that life has to offer. The only thing we can do to avoid this common mistake is to walk through the fear.
I’m getting married this year and the idea of having people staring at me the whole day freaks me out. It’s a lot of attention. But if I make it through the day, then I’ll be married and we’ll be left with “happily ever after.” Also, my first book WHAT THE SPELL? comes out on January 29, 2013. This is amazing, but terrifying, because there’s no guarantee that people will like it or even if they’ll buy it. But I’m not going to let the fact that I’m scared keep me from even trying in the first place. I can’t have a best-seller if I’m too frightened to turn in my book, for fear of rejection later. Pushing through fear is hard. Really hard. But the results are totally worth it in the end. So, it’s okay to be scared…just don’t let it run your life.
5. Write, write, write.
My biggest dream in life was to become a published author. For nine years, I wrote, despite the rejection I got from agents, editors and publishers. I get so many e-mails and messages from aspiring writers asking me how they can become authors. I tell them that what separates aspiring writers from writers is the actual writing part. So many people have the dream but never actually put pen to paper.
For years, Brooklyn didn’t do anything about the fact that she didn’t fit in, because she assumed that nothing would ever change. But the reality is, of course nothing changed…she never even tried. Sometimes we have to set our own goals, even if there’s no guarantee that we’ll ever reach them. Getting published was a lofty goal; it’s a really tough industry to break into. But I kept trying and eventually it happened. It may not have happened the way I thought it would, but the hard work paid off in the end. The point is, you have to put in the time if you want to win the prize.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight or write the next great American novel, make sure you do it the right way. Buy your copy of WHAT THE SPELL? (LINK: http://www.amazon.com/Spell-Lifes-Witch-Brittany-Geragotelis/dp/1442468157), and let Brooklyn show you what not to do in the new year! And good luck with all your resolutions!
Brooklyn Sparks is invisible. Because she’s not a popular kid or an ubernerd, Brooklyn is stuck somewhere in the middle of the high school food chain. But all of that is about to change.
On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, Brooklyn comes of age as a witch. Her strict parents finally unbind her powers, and along with giving herself an instant makeover, Brooklyn discovers her true gift: She was born into a line of magical matchmakers.
After spending so long being overlooked, Brooklyn’s getting exactly what she wants, including entrée into the elite crowd and her crush’s undivided attention. But there’s a price to pay. The use of her powers puts Brooklyn in the same dangerous position as her Salem ancestors—if anyone finds out who she really is and what she can do, her life is over. Now that she has everything she’s ever wanted, Brooklyn has everything to lose.
BUY THE BOOK: Amazon
About the Author: A former Olympic-bound gymnast and magazine editor, Brittany Geragotelis is a self-professed pop culture junkie turned author. Her paranormal action book, Life’s a Witch, received 19 million reads on the writing site Wattpad before being picked up by publisher Simon & Schuster. What the Spell? is her first published book in the Life’s a Witch series. Brittany currently lives in New York City with her fiancé, Matt, and two cats, Murray and Cohen. Visit her online: