Friday, December 31, 2010

Six-Month Review and End-of-Year Wrap-Up

I received an email from Neale Donald Walsch last year.  That email came at a good time back then, and has been a helpful reminder to me several times since.  I now use it when when I am reviewing my goals and planning for the future.

"On this day in your life I believe God wants you to know...

...that this is not the end but the beginning.  All endings start something better.  It is inevitable.

Here is God's promise:  Life proceeds, it never recedes.  Life progresses, it never regresses.  Not even death ends anything.  So how much can this particular event matter?

It is true.  When one door closes, another door opens.  The movement of life is ever upward.  Six months from today you will know this.  For now, trust it."
I find myself at the end of a year, and near the end of a chapter in my life.  As I review the past six months, I find that there is much to be grateful for, but not much progress.  I can blame the lack of progress on myself only.  I've been my biggest roadblock.  I've allowed myself to procrastinate, and I've allowed life to happen to me.  That's not the way I want to be.  I want so much out of life, yet I did nothing to make my goals happen.  I did nothing to make my dreams come true.

Well, I'm here to announce to the world that there's a new Journal Keeper in town.  She's ready for things to happen, and ready to make them happen, come hell or high water.  I don't want to get to the end of 2011 and be disappointed with where I am and what I have done (or haven't done) with my life.

Here are my Goals for 2011...

1. Get down to 165 lbs. (lose 75 lbs.).
2. Finish writing my first novel.
3. Publish a post at The Journal Keeper every day.
4. Publish an article at Associated Content every week.
5. Declutter our home.
6. Meditate regularly.

Here are the positive habits I want to adopt...

1. Drink more water.
2. Give thanks every day.
3. Read for 30 minutes each day.
4. Brush teeth and wash face before bed.
5. Write every day.

Here are the negative habits I want to eliminate...

1. Biting nails and picking fingers
2. Eating poorly
3. Wasting time on tasks not related to my goals
4. Procrastinating
5. Negative self-talk

I'll elaborate on these items in future blog posts, because I think my reasons for each of them are important.  It's good to know where I've been so I can learn the lessons and not make the same mistakes.  I'll also post updates on my progress.  Although I am eager to reach each of my goals, I am also aware that the journey is just as important.

I'm looking forward to being a leaner, healthier, smarter, calmer, more successful Journal Keeper in 2011.  It's going to be an awesome journey!

Related Info

To receive daily inspirational emails from Neale Donald Walsch, sign up here.  I don't get paid if you do -- I just think you might like them!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

How Do I Make the Most of This Vacation Day?

My vacation week is dwindling away more quickly than I would like.  The days have been filled with chores and games and naps and too much coffee.  I've enjoyed every minute.

But today is the day I have been looking forward to the most.  Today I have some time to myself.  The girls have gone to their mom's and Mr. Babycakes is off to help a friend with computer issues .  I've been trying to decide what to do with this coveted time.  Do I finish up my planning for the coming year?  Do I try to get back to work on The Novel?  Do I get back to writing articles?

One thing I would like to do is get going with The Journal Keeper blogging again.  I've made a few attempts lately, but life just keeps getting in the way!  So maybe today I will focus on getting a bushel of posts written and scheduled.  And make a plan for carving time out of each day to spend here.  One thing I must remember is that blogging should be fun.  As soon as I make it into work, I won't do it.

Oh!  I got some super awesome news yesterday, but I can't share it yet.  (Don't you hate when people do that?!)  I need a few more days to get things in place, but then I'll give it up.  Just know that it is something that I have been working hard for, and I am very happy about it!

Enjoy your day today.  Make the most of it!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

reverb10: Wonder

Great Beyond

This is part of a series of posts for Reverb10 -- an online event to promote reflecting and manifesting. To read all of the posts in this series, just click on the "reverb10" tag over there on the right.


One of the ways I cultivated wonder in my life this past year came to be during a moment of desperation.  I had been unemployed for several months, I was not getting any response to the dozens of resumes I sent out daily, and money was very tight for our family.  It was during these dark days that I decided to try launching my own Virtual Assistant business.

I became very focused at developing a business plan, and preparing list of clients to target.  I joined networking groups, and read and read and read.  A short month later I had my first clients and was getting paid.

The "wonder" comes in when I realized that I was doing all this almost on auto-pilot.  I mean, I was giving extensive thought to my decisions, but the fact that I was thinking about it at all was amazing.  I was simply doing what I needed to do to help support my family.  I was taking initiative and responsibility, and I was doing it all without whining or moaning.

It turned out that my efforts weren't enough to cover a salary for me, but it was enough to get us by until I found a more steady job.  I am very thankful for the learning experience and test in discipline I got from my short time as an entrepreneur, and I know those lessons will carry me through the next stages of my career.

I Always Knew There'd Be Days Like This


This has been the most awesome day E.V.E.R.

The girls were here this weekend, and we made plans to decorate for Christmas.  First, let me say that I LOVE this time of year.  Christmas is my favorite holiday (with Thanksgiving coming in a very close second) and I turn into an eight-year-old just after Halloween.  I start playing Christmas tunes way too early, and am always disappointed that I am the only one in my circle of friends and family who wants to celebrate Christmas in July.

Much to my delight, the weather forecast had been calling for a dusting of snow today.  You would think that in my twenty-five-plus years of living in the Southeast I would learn to take those forecasts with a grain of salt and not get my hopes up.  But every single time I get my hopes up.

Well, this forecast did not disappoint!  (Kudos to Greg Fishel!  You are my hero!)  The snow started falling late morning and did not stop until early evening.  I knew that the ground was too warm for the flakes to stick to the pavement, but the roofs and cars and trees and grass were soon covered in white.  It was beautiful!  When all was said and done, we got about an inch of it.  (Stop laughing, you Northerners and Mid-Westerners... I'll take what I can get!)

We got the tree and house decked to Christmas tunes, cookies baking, and a snowy background.  I don't think I could have asked for a more perfect day!

Friday, December 3, 2010

reverb10: Moment

Kara Allyson

This is part of a series of posts for Reverb10 -- an online event to promote reflecting and manifesting. To read all of the posts in this series, just click on the "reverb10" tag over there on the right.


It's been hard for me to come up with the one moment this past year when I felt most alive.  For the most part, I have been in survival mode, just doing what needs to be done to get the bills paid and get out of bed every morning.  That makes me sad, and more determined that I will not go through another year like that again.

I can say easily, though, that I feel most alive when I am writing, even if I am just venting and cursing in my journal.  Something happens when I put a pen to paper, and even most times when I am working at a keyboard.  I lose myself in what I am writing.  Everything around me gets quiet and I become laser-focused on my words.  I get absorbed and time goes by in a flash without my knowing it.  It doesn't really matter what I am writing -- a journal entry, an article, or a novel scene.

That's why I know that my purpose here is to write.  I have loved to write for as long as I remember, and love it to this day.  I not only love it, I need it.  I need to write, and if I go for periods without it I am left with an empty and unsatisfied feeling.

So here's to thousands of more words that take me to new and exciting places!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

reverb10: Writing


This is part of a series of posts for Reverb10 -- an online event to promote reflecting and manifesting. To read all of the posts in this series, just click on the "reverb10" tag over there on the right.


What do I do each day that doesn't contribute to my writing?  That's easy.

I waste time.

I am a professional procrastinator.  It's a shame I don't get paid for it, because if I did I'd be rolling in the dough.  Procrastination for me is a safety mechanism, I think.  I'm afraid of failure, but I'm afraid of success even more.  That subject, however, is for another blog post (or three).

How do I waste my time?  I spend way too much of my time checking email and Facebook and Twitter and FoxNews and Google Reader.  And when I've exhausted those avenues, I take a nap.  Or I read.  Or I organize.  Anything goes when it comes to finding something to do other than write.

Can I eliminate those time wasters?  Sure I can!  But the question here for me is will I. 

One of my goals for 2011 is to make more time for my writing.  Blogging here is a good start for me.  If I can make it through the month of December -- and I'm going to try really hard! -- that will be a great sign.  Then I can get back to work on editing my novel and getting started on the next one I have outlined. 

So, here's to eliminating those time wasters that are holding me back, and not making any contributions to my goals.  Let's be clear -- I'm  not going to eliminate them altogether.  But the time I spend on them will be cut drastically!  :)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

reverb10: One Word


This is part of a series of posts for Reverb10 -- an online event to promote personal reflecting and manifesting. To read all of the posts in this series, just click on the "reverb10" tag over there on the right.

One Word

If I had to encapsulate the year 2010 for me with one word, that word would be

s t r u g g l e.

The past year has been a tumultuous one.  With being unemployed for the first four months, losing an aunt, losing an uncle, and financial difficulties, I had a hard time finding my way through the fog.  I found it hard to be grateful, found it hard to have faith, and found it hard to believe in myself.  My writing suffered, my health suffered, and my relationships suffered.  There were times when I found it nearly impossible to drag myself out of bed to face another day, and struggled with my reason for being here at all.

Thankfully I have a wonderful husband and family who supported me.  They let me cry when I needed to, vent when the anger overwhelmed me, and they made me laugh during times when I could not find happiness.  Most of all, though, they encouraged me to keep going -- to push my way through the obstacles and disappointments, and to believe in myself.  I was reminded that I am a powerful woman, and with focus and determination, I can accomplish anything.

This time next year my One Word will be different.  This time next year I will have accomplished great things.  I will have proved to myself that yes, I CAN do anything.  This time next year my word will be

S U C C E S S !

Be sure to watch this space.  Great things are to come!