Posts Tagged ‘Virginia Woolf’s New Year’s resolutions’

Virginia Woolf was an expert at making New Year’s resolutions. Alice Lowe reported on her resolutions of 1931 and 1936 in a post on Dec. 27, 2010. Since then, one particular resolution has been popular on Twitter and Facebook. Here it is from the Charleston Trust. Her resolution stands up well 90 years later.


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VW Diary Vol. 5Once again, Virginia Woolf has said it for me – her words expressing my mind far better than I can do it myself. Thinking about the new year and what it might mean for me, I thought I would see what Woolf had to say. I found two witty and wonderful examples in her diary.

January 2, 1931:
Here are my resolutions for the next 3 months; the next lap of the year.
To have none. Not to be tied.
To be free & kindly with myself, not goading it to parties: to sit rather privately reading in the studio.
To make a good job of The Waves.
To stop irritation by the assurance that nothing is worth irritation [referring to Nelly].
Sometimes to read, sometimes not to read.
To go out yes—but stay at home in spite of being asked.
As for clothes, to buy good ones.

January 4, 1936:
To read as few weekly papers…as possible [until The Years is finished];
to fill my brain with remote books & habits;
altogether to be as fundamental & as little superficial, to be as physical & as little apprehensive, as possible.

Five years apart, these entries have a common theme – reminders of what’s important: her work and well-being, an appreciation of simplicity. And that works for me too. Happy New Year!

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