• Helen Gregory

Resolve to write it all down

Each year I reflect on how quickly the past 12 months have flown. Flicking through the photographs I've taken seems to speed up the passage of time even further; images blur from winter walks to summer holidays to Christmas celebrations on my phone's image library.

The new year is perennially a time to take stock and make plans for health, holidays or self-improvement. No doubt you've enjoyed good times with family and friends in the last year, but for those of us who've lost people we loved in 2019, memories will be tinged with sadness.

Self-reflection and an urge to keep those precious memories alive make the new year a great time to get those thoughts and feelings down on paper. So why not make 2020 the year you commit your life story to paper?

It doesn’t matter if you start off by writing a few paragraphs or a single page; you can handwrite in a journal, on your laptop or phone, or even make a video or audio recording. To help kick-start the process, ask some family members to share their memories around your childhood home, Christmas or New Year's traditions. Their added insights will help enrich your narrative, and by going on social media you might even rekindle a few old childhood friendships.

You'll find that writing your history will throw a spotlight on your triumphs over adversity and how you achieved important goals. And when shared as part of your life story, it can even inspire and strengthen family ties with your children and grandchildren.

Why not use January’s traditional theme of goals and achievements to inspire you to start writing. Ask yourself, what was the greatest achievement of your life? Have you taught yourself to do something without help from anyone else? What role has failure played in your efforts to achieve your goals?

If you need help to get it all down, a life story writing service like Memory Lane Books can make the process easier and even more enjoyable.

So forget the gym and enrolling in pottery classes, make this year's resolution to write your life story for the next generation. Just think, this time next year, you could be sitting with friends enjoying your memories in a professional book - and it'll make Christmas present buying a lot easier too!