Previously I’ve refused to set New Year’s resolutions with the rest of the world. Instead, I fixed things throughout the year as they came up. If something was out of balance I corrected when needed. Maybe it was the tiny little rebel in me but the idea of changing things or resolving to do better just because it was a new year rubbed me wrong. This year as December waned I started listing in my head everything that I wanted to accomplish and mapping out how they might be attained. So why the change? First, I have a business I wanted to be successful. Second, these weren’t resolutions I was setting, they were goals. I wasn’t promising to floss every day, which I do need to be better at by the way. I was mapping out my year to be create a path towards success. Part of me felt like a flip flopper until I did some research.
I combed through a couple of resolution/goal settting how tos before I landed on one that spoke to me. About health explained why resolutions seemed so revolting to me and goals were easier to stomach. You can find the full post at http://stress.about.com/od/programsandpractices/a/goalsvsresoluts.htm.
1. Rigid vs. Fluid – A resolution is an absolute and it can seem insurmountable, like going to bed at ten every night. One late night at the office and you’ve broken your resolution. Goals however are something to aim for and can be broken down into smaller achievements like getting more sleep.
2. Sense of Accomplishment vs. Sense of Failure – If I set a goal of getting more sleep then I can accomplish that in a number of different ways whereas the resolution of getting to be by ten had me failing on the first day. Being successful at the stepping stones that get us to our goal helps us stay on track. Once you’ve been unable to keep a resolution you may give up.
3. The scope of the change – Resolutions are usually a means to achieving a goal. If I set a resolution of going to the gym five times a week and I hate the gym then I’ve failed and may give up. But if set a goal of exercising more and I decide I liking walking better then I’ve achieved the same goal.
So what could be good strategies for goal setting?
1. Keep the future in mind – Where do you want to be this time next year?
2. Think in terms of broad changes rather than specific behaviors.
3. Decide what you want to ADD to your life rather than take away.
Many of the goals I listed were business goals. For all you readers out there, yes I’ve planned to get book 3 out by May. I put two conferences on my list, Utopia Con 2016 in Nashville in June and Penned Con in St. Louis in September. Last, I decided to do something new to stretch my writing talents a bit so you may see work in a new genre from me this year.
Whatever your goals are, I’ve kept my helpful tips blog on the list for 2016 so keep checking back! You can find me on all the social media and I’d love to connect with you there!
All the best,
Happy Holidays! Wishing you and your family a merry holiday!
These sentiments from Charles Dickens are among my favorite.
I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. - Charles Dickens
May your hearts be open!
All the best,
Let’s face it! Buying for Dad, a boyfriend, your guy BFF, your husband, or any guy is hard! But what gift do you really want to nail? The gift for your bestie! I’ve scoured the web to help you find the perfect gift ideas!
1. Pretty Calendar – I just purchased a paper calendar for myself! There are so many styles and it will make her happy every time she looks at it.
2. Mug – What better to wake up to than a cute mug from your bestie?
3. Chain, bracelet, or cute rings – Great accessories that are true to her personality will be so appreciated.
4. Phone case
5. Fun art
6. That eye shadow palette she’s been eyeing
7. Static nails – reusable pop-on manicure
8. Flowy inspirational tank – Motivation for those workouts
9. The World of Post Secret by Frank Warren – Who doesn’t want to know everyone’s secrets?
10. Audrey Hepburn Blu-Ray Collection
11. Cute Cats book – yes that guilty pleasure for the person who loves cats
12. The book you read this year and loved!
I hear adult coloring books and paper journals are popular this year too! What nicer gift is there than the gift of relaxation? As for me I’m pretty easy reviews, tweets, shares, that’s all I want for Christmas! But I’m an Indie Author that way! ;)
All the best,
As my friends and I debated about throwing a white elephant Christmas party and the nixed the idea after last year’s lack luster event, I typed into a webs search engine “new party ideas”. Don’t get me wrong, it was great a fun event but inevitably there’s a giver that leaves with something much less substantial than they came with. You don’t ever want someone to go home disappointed from a party. The top hit on my search was 10 ideas from Marie Claire magazine! Don’t worry, this won’t be a re-hash. I have commentary and a couple of my own ideas too.
1. July at Christmas! Host a beach themed party! – who doesn’t love thinking about summer vacation?
2. Holiday Movie Marathon – great for those cold winter days!
3. Marshmallow Roast – there’s something about a fire!
4. Pet Holiday Party – Umm…this sounds like a great way to turn your house into a zoo unless you can meet at the dog park.
5. Favorite cocktail party – bring your favorite drinks to share!
6. Christmas Carol Karaoke Night – This sounds fun! Too bad I’m not allowed to sing!
7. Gingerbread House Decorating Competition – A family in my neighborhood hosts a decorating party for kids every year. It’s a big hit! She makes all the houses but you could buy them.
8. Christmukkah Party – Combine elements from all the holiday celebrations including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, to name a few.
9. After Christmas Cast-Off Gift Exchange – Bring everything you didn’t want for Christmas. There could be a prize for worst gift received! But hey, to each his own. One person’s trash is another’s treasure!
10. Appetizers party – The cookie exchange is always daunting for me. Full disclosure, I hosted one a few years back. It was actually a really fun party but when it came around to the next year, I was overwhelmed. Bringing a plate of appetizers to a party, I can handle.
I didn’t realize this but I guess the ugly sweater contest party is a used idea. You wouldn’t know it by how many ugly sweaters I see in the stores. To see Marie Claire’s complete rundown go to http://www.marieclaire.com/culture/g1053/christmas-party-themes/. I’m thinking of hosting something after the New Year when people are less busy. Whatever you’re doing for the holidays, I hope that you can be surrounded by those you love most!
All the best,
Echoes of Winter: A Wintery YA Short Story Collection
4 out of 5 stars
by L.A. Starkey, D.B. Nielsen, C.K. Dawn, Chess Desalls, D.E.L. Connor, Tim Hemlin, Kelly Hall, W.J. May, Lu J Whitley, K.K. Allen, Kathy-Lynn Cross, K.S. Marsden, and Fleur Camacho
Thirteen never before seen YA short stories just in time for the holidays!
$0.99 for Kindle eBook!
Book 1: Twelve Days to Christmas by L.A. Starkey
Book 2: Christmas Seasoning by DB Nielsen
Book 3: Merry Chris Witch by CK Dawn
Book 4: Wrapped in the Past by Chess Desalls
Book 5: Butterflies in the Snow by D.E.L. Connor
Book 6: The Darkest Night of the Year by Tim Hemlin
Book 7: Cold Hearth by Kelly Hall
Book 8: Code X by W.J. May
Book 9: Good Saint Nick by Lu J Whitley
Book 10: Soaring by K.K. Allen
Book 11: A Spirit’s Last Gift by Kathy-Lynn Cross
Book 12: Winter Trials by K.S. Marsden
Book 13: The Edge by Fleur Camacho
Echoes of Winter is a compilation of thirteen young adult short stories by different authors. I started at the beginning and read the first story by L.A. Starkey in fifty minutes on my treadmill. I liked the fact that I could start and finish a book in a single session. Starkey’s Twelve Days to Christmas is a contemporary YA story with a bit of a twist. Jess, a teenage girl, doesn’t like the holidays. Bad things always happen to her during the holiday season and she’s determined to be a Grinch the whole holiday season. A new kid named Jack enters her life and a push past just being a Grinch makes Jess realize maybe she should choose a different path.
The second book I read was book five, Butterflies in the Snow, by D.E.L. Connor. This story is about Rose, a teenager who is separated from her family at Christmas. She is desperate to see them and decides to run away from her guardian to accomplish her goal.
Echoes of Winter is a mixture of young adult contemporary and paranormal winter and holiday themed tales. It is a great way to preview author’s work and would make a great gift for any YA reader.
Today I'm spotlighting Jo Michaels' Blog Post to let READERS and AUTHORS know about an awesome giveaway from Jo Michaels at http://jomichaels.blogspot.com/. Reaching readers and reviews are key for Indie Authors and Jo Michaels has the perfect holiday gift for both readers and authors!
READERS find new Indie Authors and enter to win a chance to win a new mini-iPad!
AUTHORS enter to win a career launching review from Jo Michaels! To find out why her reviews are so awesome go to her blog at http://jomichaels.blogspot.com/!
Best wishes for a happy 12 days of reading & reviews!