New Year resolutions

11 01, 2016

Challenges, not resolutions

By |2016-01-11T08:29:02-06:00January 11th, 2016|Make Me Think Monday|2 Comments

resolutionsJanuary blogs, tweets, and Facebook posts are overloaded with advice and suggestions for resolutions and ways to achieve your goals for New Year. I’m going to join the crowd, but with a twist.

I’m not calling these resolutions because a whopping 80% of us fail within the first thirty days when we make resolutions.

There are three hundred and fifty-five days  left in 2016 so I’m challenging you to pick one or more of the four suggestions below. Suggestions that I think you will find easily achievable, unlike resolutions.

~Learn one new thing

I read that Steve Jobs studied calligraphy for the beauty and artistry of the technique. Jobs admitted calligraphy wasn’t the most pragmatic thing he’d ever done  Yet his calligraphy experience deeply influenced his design work at Apple.

So what new thing peaks your curiosity? Give it a try. Whatever your thing is doesn’t have to be practical or even useful. Point is learning something totally new might lead you down paths you never dreamed.


Preferably on a project outside your comfort zone.

Maybe assist at the local food bank, mentor at your neighborhood elementary school, be a timer for Special Olympics, serve at a soup kitchen, or read to a senior citizen. You’ll meet new people, learn about areas outside your expertise, and, I’m quite sure, discover insights about yourself.

~Read 3 books

No stipulations about length or titles, fiction or non-fiction. Browse your favorite independent bookstore, hop on Amazon, or get a free library card. I think you’ll discover the choices are endless.

Personally, I recommend a classic, a fiction genre you don’t always read, and a non-fiction, but whatever your selections, choose ones that will make you think or inspire you. You might just rekindle a long-lost love of reading or discover a newfound one.

~Schedule One Unplugged Weekend

Technology rules our lives. I get it. Cell phones are an outgrowth of our hands. We’re constantly logged on, tuned in, 24/7. All that being on line can lead to burnout.

Step away from your devices for one entire weekend. I think you’ll find, technology free time will stave off exhaustion, and most likely lead to a creative and more energized you.

These are only suggestions. If you accept my challenge, I believe you can change you and your world.

Let me know how you do.

12 01, 2015

What’s ahead? What was behind?

By |2015-01-12T06:00:55-06:00January 12th, 2015|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

January is the time for making resolutions for the New Year. Resolutions  never works for me. Too vague.New Year's Resolutions, list of items

If you read this blog regularly, you know I’m big on measurable goal setting and AARs.

However, if you are one of those who does make resolutions and need some hints and tips, check out this blog.

No resolutions for me this year, but I have done my yearly ARR– after action review – and posted my 2015 goals to my accountability group.

I was pleasantly surprised during my review to discover 2014 was a good goal year.

finishedAll the work on our house was completed. Landscaping changed the mountains of dirt from the remodel and addition to flower gardens and lovely walks. We ended the year with the hammers and saws stopped and the workers are all gone.

Goal success.

I managed two releases Claiming Annie’s Heart and When Love Blooms.    You can find both at all major on line book retailers for your e-readers or paperback.

2014 books

Unfortunately, my writing goal was to release three books.     Goal failure.

Yep! That’s the thing about goals. Sometimes we’re spot on. Sometimes we do all we can and fall short. Trouble is without goals we lack focus and too frequently flounder aimlessly.

We need to set goals then analyze why we fail AND why we succeed.

Not hard for me to know why my third book didn’t materialize. Last November I fell while playing Pickleball and broke my right wrist. Typing became, and still is, slow and sometimes painful.

I’m not beating myself up too much over the goal bust since what happened was a circumstance beyond my control. Well, mostly.

There are those who have aptly pointed out, trying to be athletic at this stage in my life maybe be a foolish goal and suggest I might want to eliminate such activity in the future instead of risking more injuries. I’ve taken the suggestion under consideration.

We’re twelve days into 2015. It’s cold, rainy, freezing in Texas. Colorado is sunny, bright, and snowless. Not the norm.Seems to me this is going to be a crazy year based on the start of things.

I’ve set my goals for the New Year and I’m going full speed ahead. What about you?

Let’s check back together this time next year and seem how we’ve done on our resolutions and goals.

6 01, 2014

Bye, bye 2013!

By |2014-01-06T06:00:03-06:00January 6th, 2014|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

2013-20142013 is gone.

2014 is six days old.

A new year signals the time for goals, resolutions, and predictions.

I’m a goal setter. Last year I shared a blog about how I set my yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily SMART goals. You can check out my method specifics here.

This year I’ve read several great blogs with ideas for how to be successful in 2014.

After reading Joe Bunting’s If You Want to Have a Great 2014, Spend an Hour Doing This, I knew the topic for my first blog of 2014.

AARs (After Action Review)  are already a major component of my goal-setting method so following Bunting’s advice works well for me. Click here if you aren’t sure what an AAR is.

So without further ado, here is my 2013 in review (with AARs):

Writing: My second novel, Love in the Morning Calm released in November. For a list of all my books on Amazon, click here.

AAR for novel writing: It’s taking too long to get the stories out there! I need to write faster.

I wrote 143 blog posts, which drew 6,400 views and 96 followers. According to WordPress, my blog visitors came from 113 countries.

AAR for blog writing: Thank you, blog readers for stopping by now and then.

Travel: My husband and I traveled to Ireland with a tour. The idea was to research my book set in Ireland that will coming out this year. Traveling with twenty-six other delightful people does not leave much time for writing research.

AAR on overseas travel tours: Guess we’ll have to plan another trip.

Not exactly travel, but major locales change. We sold our Houston, Texas, home of thirty-three years and moved to our summer home in Colorado.

AAR on our move: Loving it!

Around the house: Life has been crazy since our move with projects! We remodeled our little cabin and added a garage, which is still not complete.

AAR on home improvement projects: Patience, patience, patience.

Life in General: We survived the June 2013wildfire in the Rio Grande National Forest. We are so thankful. So many lost homes and lives in Colorado wildfires last year.

My dear sweet aunt, a shining light in my life, went to heaven to join her husband, her parents, and her sister. Her passing brought home the reality of mortality and established me as the oldest living relative on my maternal side. Now that’s a sobering thought!

AAR on life: Cherish every moment!

Whether you choose to end the old year by setting goals or making resolutions or reviewing your accomplishments, I wish you a 2014 filled with success and happiness.

Thanks for starting your New Year with me.

YOUR TURN: So how was your 2013?

To celebrate 2014, I’m offering a free copy of Love in the Morning copy to one lucky commenter.