New Year Resolutions or Goals? Daruma Dolls

Well, from my experience it has to be goals.  In the past I have made resolutions and as soon as the new year showed its face I came down with a bad cold and all of my good intentions went out of the window.  Goals on the other hand are more realistic.  They take life’s interruptions into consideration.  Long term or short term, there is a plan.

I think it’s nice to have some encouragement and inspiration to help you to reach your goals and this ‘treat’ is just the thing.  It is usually made at the beginning of the year too.


A Daruma is a Japanese ‘doll’ made out of papier mâchè. They are also called Dharma dolls as they are a representation of Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen Buddism, who is thought to have travelled from India to China.  According to legend, Bodhidharma sat for many years meditating until he achieved enlightenment.  During this time he is said to have lost the use of his arms and legs (which is why the doll doesn’t have any!).  He is weighted at the bottom, like a roly poly doll – if you knock him down, he wobbles back into an upright position. You may have set-backs with your goal, but with the encouragement of your lucky doll, you too will pick yourself up and persevere.

The doll’s eyes are blank.  One eye is coloured in when you have set yourself a goal.  The goal can be written on the heart painted on the back of the doll, and you must keep the doll in view as a constant reminder to encourage you to achieve it.


It is only once you have reached your goal that you can colour in the other eye.  Traditionally, the dolls are made from papier mâchè and are usually red, but there are many more modern and colourful designs available.  Do some research!  They also make female dolls.  But why buy one?  They cost next to nothing and are fun to make and give as presents, but don’t forget to make one for yourself.  This little one is mine.


You can make them from paper, or use a variety of found items of an appropriate shape.  I made the large one from papier mâchè and the tiny ones are made from spent car fresheners.  If you are a really lazy crafter, and can get your hands on a plastic smiley car air freshener, then simply remove one eye (rub very, very gently with a wire wool soap pad) and set your goal.  You can draw the eye back in when you have achieved it.


Until then, put it back in the car where you can keep an eye on it!

If you decide to follow tradition and burn your doll when you have achieved your goal, please do so carefully.  Please don’t burn plastic ones – toxic and dangerous.  Recycle them in the plastics bin.  I think that is also fitting – your lucky charm will be reincarnated in some other form.

I’ve set my goal – now for the hard work of achieving it.

Happy New Year and I hope you achieve yours.

J x


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