Why I’m excited for Christmas this year

Honestly, I’m pretty hum-bug when it comes to the holidays. Not because I don’t enjoy the festivities or the family gatherings, but because the logistics of it all. I feel as if each year I have to plan out the entire holiday season month’s in advance, and even then, I’m stressed the entire season. It literally feels like it begins at Halloween, trying to find the right costumes, buy all the candy, and decorate the house. Then it’s hubby’s birthday, Thanksgiving, my daughter’s birthday, Christmas, and New Year’s. It’s become a science after years of practice of how each event will go and is planned, however, even the comfort from these year of practice isn’t what has lifted my spirits for this year.104068278-gettyimages-528107199

This year, I’m excited for the season more than I think I have ever been, and the only thing I can attribute it to is how excited my daughter will be this year. Each years she becomes more aware of her surroundings and excited over gifts and travel. Every year she seems to enjoy the holidays more and more, so this year, I cannot wait to see her reaction to all her gifts and family visits. I can’t wait to see how she reacts to all the food and decorations the season brings. But most of all, I can’t wait to see that ecstatic smile as she takes in all Christmas morning has in store for her this year!

2017 Goals

Last year, I had planned on setting goals each month with a long term goal as the grand prize. I think I made it through four months of the process, but like most “resolution-ists”, it kind of fell to the wayside. This year, I have some ideas of what I would like to accomplish in 2017, but some aren’t fully fleshed out just yet. I’m thinking I might create a few monthly goals, but I also have some that I would like to set for the overall year as well.happy-new-year-2017-images

This month:

-Figure out how to lose weight. I’ll expand on this in another post.
-Write 10K words on my new project.
-Continue to Tweet daily and blog at least weekly.
-Have a date night.

Overall year:

-Travel. I have a wedding to attend in Colorado, so this should be easy, but I also want to go to Florida. We’ll see what we can manage.
-Take a vacation. This kind of goes with the above, but I also want to make sure that I take the time to enjoy a break from the norm.
-Graduate. My bachelor’s degree is so close. I will finish it this year!

We’ll see how it all pans out, and I promise I’ll keep you’ll posted. After the excruciating year 2016 turned out to be, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

 

Goals and Criticism

As I was finishing up a few items for the book release giveaways of my latest novel Alyeska, I started to scroll through my previous two novels, See You Soon and The Shoreline, reviews. As a writer, I believe each novel I complete brings me to the next level in my writing like I become a better novelist as each project progresses. Going through some of these older reviews on my past projects only confirms my mindset.

I’m proud of the ratings each of my novels have including my first, See You Soon. This novella was my first go around with the world of indie authors, and I am extremely happy with its performance. Some reviews were outstanding while a few rare comments would appear negative. I refuse to consider them as such because every review is a learning moment. If a reader doesn’t like a certain aspects of the book then it is my job as the author to understand what need was not met by my work on behalf of the reader. Writing at times can be a selfish act, but without an audience, we are only talking to ourselves. That starts to look a little scary to outsiders watching the dialogue between you and you, so it’s best to have someone who wants to listen to you.

As I read through the comments, I realize how much I have grown in three short years since my first novel release. Some of the constructive feedback helped me to become the writer I am today because in those comments that some might take to heart and allow to hurt their spirit, I found enlightenment and a challenge that I gladly accepted. 

So to any and all that find criticism hurtful, my advice is this: look that person/avatar/computer personality in the eye and say, “Watch this.” Push yourself for better, strive to exceed their expectations, but always be sure that you are happy to do it. Always be hungry for more to not only outshine a seemingly below average standard, but to prove to yourself that you can be better.

Disclaimer: you won’t ever make everyone happy which is clear in any reviews you read on anything, but if you find a way to push yourself to meet the goals you set, then the only happy person that matters is you.

I’m going to try to remember this as well as we head into the new year, and I create my resolutions. Hmm. I have to get that list done soon. What goals can I set this year?

New Year, New Resolutions

I’m not one to follow the fad of creating resolutions only to break them three to four months down the road. I have very strong will-power exhibited by my strict diet before I was pregnant, my strict diabetic diet while I was pregnant, and now my more lax, but still stringent breastfeeding diet. One of my biggest pet peeves in life is for someone, including myself, to say they are going to do something, but then do not follow through. It irks me to no end, and I eventually lose trust in the person. If it is me that is not completing what I set out to do then I become my own WORST critic. (Yes, I mean WORST!)

So this year, I plan on doing things a little differently. Instead of setting goals for the entire year, I will be setting goals each month with a long term goal as the grand prize, but not the must meet point. Thus, alleviating myself the stress of not following through if I do not meet the ultimate goal.

January’s goals:

-Write 10,000 words on my work-in-progress novel (that should complete it, but we will see where the characters take me!)
-Blog weekly =)
-At least one date with Hubby
-10 minutes of me time a day (in which I will probably blog or write)
-Wean my daughter (already started, but I would like to finish this item this month)
       and if I complete the above:
-Lose 8lbs. (I know, it’s on everyone’s list, but I’m serious!)

I’ll start with these, celebrate the items I complete (which I really need to learn to do), and see where I end up next month. Celebrating the things I do complete rather than focusing on the things I don’t will be an area I know I will struggle, but by creating these mini goals, I am hoping that I can learn what it means to win battles rather than focusing on the war. Seeing the big picture is one thing; obsessing over it for a year is madness.

Here’s to hoping 2016 will be better than 2015. Cheers!