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Why are we so keen on making resolutions on January 1st?

It’s the beginning of a new year. Beginnings mean a fresh start. It’s like getting a second chance at something. It’s exciting. It’s new. It’s 365 days of adventure. Therefore, it’s the perfect time of year to make a promise to yourself. But why do we make resolutions on January 1st?

Did you know that the Roman mythical god Janus had two faces? One to allow him to look back into the past and one to look forward to the new year. Apparently, Julius Ceasar made resolutions on January 1st as a way to honour Janus.

Romans made resolutions that were based on morality. They mostly wanted forgiveness from their enemies.

Did you know that 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February and only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolution? It’s probably because most people don’t have measurable and realistic resolutions.

This year, I want to be part of the 8% of people who succeed.

One way to stick to a New Year’s resolution is to write it down and share it with your friends. So, I’ve decided to share my strategy with you.

  1. Make a list of all the resolutions, goals or changes I would like to make.
  2. Analyze each resolution by answering these questions:
    1. Why do I want to make this change?
    2. How am I going to do it? What’s my plan?
    3. How much time do I have to set aside per day or per week to attain this goal or make this change?
    4. How much money will it cost? Will I have to purchase specific food or special equipment?
    5. Who can support me while I make this change?
    6. How will you know once you have reached your goal?
  3. Determine how much I want each resolution by assigning it a number from 1 to 10. Ten being the most desired resolution, goal or change.
  4. Pick one resolution, goal or change and stick to it.

 This year, I’ve decided that January 1st is the perfect time for a change.

Making resolutions is like setting goals. I’m a master at making professional goals, but horrible at keeping personal goals especially when it comes to self-care. This year, I have decided that my health is more important than my professional goals (besides, I reached most of my professional goals last year!)

Every dream, goal, resolution, change, … must start somewhere. This year, I’ve decided that January 1st is the perfect time for a change. It’s the beginning of a new year! It’s the beginning of a new me!

I hope you will follow me on my 12-month journey. I wish you good luck on yours!




Take Breaks!

The last thing a busy person wants to hear is: “Quit something, you are doing too much!” I enjoy being busy. It’s a lifestyle choice. And I love all my jobs (translator, music teacher and alternative high school / LBS program coordinator). Why quit one? I wouldn’t know which one to choose: my three jobs bring me joy, a sense of accomplishment, a challenge, lots of learning opportunities and I get to meet and work with wonderful people. So, when I recently read the following post on social media: “Learn to take breaks, not quit,” I learned to do just that. I integrated more planned and worthy breaks into my schedule.

Here is a list of questions you should ask yourself to make your breaks count.

  1. Why do you feel like you need a break?
  2. Are you physically or emotionally tired?
  3. Do you feel as if you need to take a break at the same time every day or just after certain activities?
  4. What do you do during your breaks?
  5. Are you transferring your work to another activity or are you actually taking a break?
  6. How long do your breaks last? How long should your breaks last?

Repeat after me: “You are not a robot.” Even if your friends don’t understand how you can fit everything you do in a day, you still have limits. Most of us have very busy lives where we try to have a healthy balance between family and work responsibilities and expectations. Therefore, make your breaks count. 

However, sometimes a break is not enough. Sometimes quitting is the best option. If you are unhappy with your job, you might benefit from quitting. But, first, take a break to assess your situation.


JUST STICK IT!                                                                                                       

Did you know? The idea of sticky notes with adhesive was conceived in 1974? They have been around for quite some time. And, thank goodness for Post-it notes! My life would be in chaos if I didn’t have these little life-reminder notes! Let me show how I use sticky notes.

Stick to Colours!

I consider myself an effective and organized person. I like to organize my tasks with coloured Post-its where each task is written on a note that refers to a coloured system of organization, for example, blue refers to my translation business, pink is school related, green is music lessons, etc. This system helps me to visually get a glimpse of my week and the tasks I have to accomplish.

Make a List and Stick It!

Every morning, I write my priorities on a large sticky note. I stick it on my desk in front of my computer, so it acts as a reminder all day.

I Like to Move It, Move It!

Often, my Post-it notes will move from one day to the next because life is busy and I never get to do everything in one day. To me, it is easier to stick it on the next day than to have to erase the task and write it again.

Peggy Post-It Hands!

When my staff give me suggestions or reminders, I write them down on sticky notes, especially if we entertain a conversation in the hallway. I often get back to my desk with two or three notes stuck to my fingers. I feel like Edward Scissorhands, but with Post-it notes!

Whatever your uses for sticky notes, I think they are a great way to get organized. Personally, I plan on using them for years to come.




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Brain-Boosting Foods

Translating documents from a language to another requires a sharp mind. Because we all know that physical health and mental health often go together, I try to keep a healthy and active brain by practising healthy eating habits. Here are examples of my brain-boosting foods. I often munch on these before or while I work.    


Blueberries contain anthocyanins which help improve memory and delay short term memory loss.


Blackberries contain polyphenols that help neurons communicate with each other allowing the brain to absorb new information.


Tomatoes contain lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that protects against dementia.


Broccoli is known to enhance cognitive function which in return improves brainpower.


Nuts prevent cognitive decline and they are a great source of vitamin E.


Avocados help improve blood flow which contributes to a healthy and active brain.

 Other brain-boosting foods that I like to eat are eggs, asparagus, beans, and salmon. What foods do you eat to improve your brain functions?


Revision, Editing and Proofreading Services

It is important to hire a professional to revise, edit and proofread all your documents that are intended to be read by an audience.

Why hire a professional to revise, edit and proofread your documents?

1.       Look professional

Your documents are an extension of your business. If they contain errors and mistakes, your potential clients might think less of you. It’s important to portray a professional business image at all times.

2.       Save you money

If your documents contain errors, it can be embarrassing for you and costly for your business.

Consider this scenario:

You have just printed 10,000 copies of a pamphlet. One of your clients gracefully points out that it contains grammatical errors and spelling mistakes! What do you do now? Do you keep the pamphlets as they are and risk loosing potential customers and clients? Do you hire a professional and print new error-free copies?

3.       Save you time

It may take you hours or even days to revise, edit and proofread a document. A professional who specializes in these language-related services will be able to quickly and professionally provide you with a polished document that is well-crafted and audience appropriate in very little time.

 Is your document ready?


Here are the three stages of writing a well-crafted document.

Answer YES or NO to see if your document is ready to be shared with others.


a.       Are your ideas well developed?



b.      Are your ideas clear, concise and complete?



c.       Are all your ideas, sentences and paragraphs in order?



d.      Does your document make sense?



e.       Is your document reaching your target audience?




f.        Is there a sense of rhythm and flow in your document?



g.       If you are using references, numbers, dates, etc., are they accurately stated?



h.      Is your style clear and confident?



i.        Is the tone appropriate to your target audience?




j.        Is your document free of errors in sentence structure, grammar, verb tense and punctuation?



k.       Is your document free of spelling mistakes?



l.        Are you using consistent spelling and regional English (i.e. Canadian, American or British English)?



m.    Is your document free of typos?



If you have answered YES to all of these questions, congratulations! Your document is probably ready to be printed and shared with your public.


If you are unsure, you can hire a language-related services professional such as Morin Services. Just send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a copy of your document that needs to be revised, edited and proofread, and you will receive a free quote. It’s that simple!


Attention to Detail

Being a good translator also means being good at revising documents. Attention to detail is pivotal when revising and proofreading a document. Here are tips that may help improve your revision and proofreading skills:

  • Find a time when your concentration level is at its peak. I work best in the morning.
  • Limit visual distractions in your document. If your document is crammed with pictures, copy and paste the text in a separate document. Focus on details such as spelling, typography, grammar and punctuation, and not on the visual appearance of the document.
  • Change the font and increase the font size. Use an easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri or Times New Roman. Double-check dates, numbers, names, etc.
  • Use spell check. I use the writing assistance software Antidote from Druide informatique Inc.
  • Read the text slowly and aloud.
  • Print your document and use a pencil or a ruler to guide your eyes through the text, one word at a time.
  • Let it rest. Leave your document aside and come back to it later (an hour, a day, ...). This will help you disconnect from the text and read what is actually written, not what you remember to have been written.

You cannot correct errors if you don’t see them. Find a process that works for you. And remember, focus on the details.