Tag Archives: Goals

Memoir Monday, June 5th, 2017

Fear Factor

It’s now been a full-on month that I’ve cleaned up my diet, kept up my six-day-a-week 20-minute daily exercise routine, and practiced meditation twice a day on most days. It’s probably not a coincidence that I’ve also had an upsurge of productivity with my writing.

One of my greatest accomplishments in the last week is getting the revision of my middle-grade manuscript, Top Dog of K-9 Academy, in tip top shape.  I’ve managed to edit an additional 19 chapters and I still have 6 to go, but I fully expect to have a working third draft by June 10th, the deadline I gave myself.

I’ve been debating about whether to get the manuscript professionally edited once it’s in its third draft form.  All my research suggests that having outside, qualified eyes look at your manuscript can only improve it.  My only hesitation?  Edits can cost $3 to $4 (or more) dollars a page, so it is an investment.

Having been raised in a frugal family, I sometimes have a hard time spending money on things I should.  However, as my Mom likes to say, “If money solves your problem, then it’s not really a problem.”  So the question becomes why don’t I really want to get the manuscript edited?

I think like most aspects of our lives that are beneficial in the long term (e.g., good diet, exercise, stress reduction techniques), there’s not an immediate return on investment with an editing process.  But I honestly don’t think it’s a time issue.

I’ve written before about how slow the publishing industry can be and if I take the time to get a professional edit, then, yes, that’s several more weeks before I can start submitting the manuscript to agents and editors.  But what difference would a few weeks make, especially if my manuscript is all that much stronger for it.

Other questions that pop up in my mind when I consider getting an editor are: what if I spend the money and I don’t get anything useful out of the edit?; what if the editor says my work sucks?; what if I invest all this time, effort, and money, and the manuscript doesn’t result in a book contract?

But when I really think about it, these are all just fear-based excuses that are getting in the way of achieving my dream of being a published author.  If I don’t get an editor, then I can always make an excuse that my manuscript wasn’t ready and I submitted too soon and that’s why it didn’t get published.

Good thing I’m done letting fear get in my way.  I spent over a decade and a half stuck in a career that my heart wasn’t really in because I was afraid to try something different.  That’s long enough.

I reminded a person I’m very close with the other day that, “Most of what we worry is about is imaginary.”  That’s one of the more useful pieces of advice from the intro to psych textbook I used the last time I taught that course, and quite frankly, was the best part of teaching it.

This little piece of advice came up when this person expressed concerns that no one would like them or their chronic illness would get in the way of them having a good experience when they start a new chapter of their lives in the coming months.  I then followed up my advice by providing a list of other things that could also happen to them in the coming months, including:

Being liked so much by everyone, that they want you to quit school and work for them full-time;

Meeting Leonardo DiCarpio, who falls in love you at first sight so then you have a relationship dilemma with Leonardo and your current boyfriend; and

Finding escaped pandas from the zoo and hiding them in your bathtub because they’re too precious to return.

My point with all these was that anything could happen in the coming months, so you might as well focus on the wacky and wonderful.

Advice I really need to take to heart, then, because if I allow myself to think rationally about my fears, I already know the answers to them:

1)      Of course having my manuscript edited wouldn’t be a waste of time; I know what to look for in an editor and I understand what to expect in the editing process.

2)      If I really thought my worked suck (and in retrospect I can now say that, yes, some of my past work has sucked), then I would edit and revise it myself until I felt it was good enough to send to an editor.

3)      I have no time limit in achieving my goal of being a published author.  Yes, I want this sooner rather than later, but I was also once told that, “It’s not my job to manage God’s plan for me.” Meaning, I don’t have to worry about the “how’s;” I just need to keep taking steps in the right direction and believe that everything else will work itself out.  Which, it will.  Because my mom also likes to say, “Everything always works out in the end.  And if it doesn’t, that means it’s not the end.”

So as I wait for the details to work themselves out, I will keep on with what I’ve been doing – prioritizing my health and well-being to keep my productivity flowing, writing and editing my own stories, reading and studying other stories to help improve my craft, playing with dogs because that makes me really happy, and getting my manuscript professionally revised.  I look forward to sharing more about this process in the coming weeks.

Silly Faith

Smudge Tennis Ball 2

Tobes swimming 2

Memoir Monday, May 29th, 2017

TItle

Tomorrow is an exciting day for me. The only items on my agenda are 1) take my trash and recyclables to the transfer station (Norfolk’s fancy name for the town dump); and 2) write.

Not only do I have copious amounts of free time, but my only company for the day will be canine companionship. Considering the three dogs I’ll be with are the inspiration for my middle-grade book Top Dog of K-9 Academy, I think I’ll be in good company.

Kelly with dogs

Tobey with bowl

I have a lot of different writing projects I could work on, including my aforementioned middle-grade book, as well as another middle-grade book I finished the first draft of this past December, and several picture books that need revision. I also have a nonfiction picture book I’m doing research on regarding therapy llamas (who know they could be such a wonderful companion and therapy animal – which is why I want to tell the world about them) and I have a children’s story that someone in publishing told me could make a good magazine article, so I need to investigate publication possibilities for that.

Llama

Since I am always optimistic with my time, I’m going to focus on the revision of Top Dog and believe that I will finish the entire revision in one day. We’ll see. But on a positive note, I already have the first six chapters revised, so only 25 more to go.

Realistically, I’d like to have the complete manuscript revised and ready for submission by June 10th, which is the date of the next writers’ conference I’m attending.  This will be my fifth writers’ conference since I started taking my life dream of being an author seriously.  The first one I attended was in November 2014 and it was one year later that I told myself I was not going to attend another writing conference until I had a book finished.

At the time, a friend of mine recommended that I meet up with her at the North Carolina Writers’ Network fall conference and I flat out refused.  I had decided that I needed to put all that I had learned thus far about fiction writing and children’s writing, in particular, to good use and it was time for me to actually finish a novel.  I made a promise to myself that I was not going to attend any more conferences until I had something to pitch to agents or editors in the event I randomly struck up a conversation with one of them somewhere.

It only took me a year and half to make good on my promise. Pretty good, I think, considering it took me eight years to finish my PhD program (although I did have undiagnosed narcolepsy the ENTIRE time). I also like to remind myself of this accomplishment whenever I feel I need a boost with my writing life.  I have to remind myself I haven’t been at this for too long in the grand scheme of things and I’ve come a long way.

I also like to remind myself that I went from being single to married in only three weeks.  Just like that, my whole life changed for the infinite better and my dream of finding the perfect partner came true.

Wedding!

When I think about how this can happen with my writing – maybe it will be today, maybe it will be tomorrow – an agent or publisher will say the magic words of book contract, I get giddy with the possibilities of the situation.  Because, honestly, I cannot imagine a better husband than the one I sat down next to that fateful night when we randomly met at a restaurant bar I had never been to before, so I can only imagine what’s going to happen when this publishing dream of mine comes true.

I’m already looking forward to telling you about it….

Memoir Monday, May 16th, 2017

Sugar

I felt rather dismayed when I saw almost a full month has gone by since I lasted posted here. I’m disappointed in myself because when I started this blog in August 2016 the goal was to write multiple times a week, every week.

Right around the New Year, I began to let posts slide. I rationalized that because of the holidays, I could take a break. Then wouldn’t you know it – I let posts slide again. And again.

I’m sure I have “valid” reasons for not blogging and as I’m typing away right now, my brain is telling me, YES! Yes, you do. The writers’ conference that I participated in in late March required me to spend extra time on getting my second book in shape for editor and agent critiques. Then came the revisions, which I’m still working on.

I also just felt so dang tired these past few months. Winter is hard on those of us with sleep disorders. The lack of sunlight made me feel lethargic and the moment it turned dark outside all I wanted to do was read in bed. Then, there was my crap diet that lasted from March 25th, when my husband and I completely lost control at a conference where we had multiple all-you-can-eat meals, all the way to May 2nd.  I can pretty much sum up my diet during that time span as: SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR, zucchini noodle stir fry, SUGAR, SUGAR, SUGAR.

not-only-did-i-fall-off-the-diet-wagon-dragged-19642228

No wonder I’ve been so exhausted and I’m pretty sure I have a sugar addiction. It’s funny how poor choices in one area snowball into the rest of your life. Poor diet led to increasingly poor sleep, which made me feel tired and was exacerbated by lack of sunlight, so I made even poorer diet choices because of feeling so tired, which then made me feel even more tired and because I’m so tired, I’m then not meeting my writing goals, making me get down on myself, and then I want a DQ Blizzard to make me feel better, and then, oh, what’s that? I’m feeling even more tired and the sugar makes me have poor sleep. Again. And the cycle repeats. And repeats. And repeats.

At the very least I have awareness of this pattern. And (once again) I am consciously choosing to break the cycle. The good news is I have excellent support from my husband, who also has a sugar addiction, and was feeling just as sick and tired of feeling sick and tired as I was.

We are currently on Day 15 of a 26-day diet detox, which banned sugar (including fruit) the first week, and is 90% raw, 100% vegan. Completing this detox will be a truly great achievement for me and, not surprisingly, I’m already sleeping better and I have more energy. That’s how I find myself writing this blog post at 8:00pm on a Tuesday evening instead of mindlessly scrolling through Facebook to trick my brain into thinking I’m accomplishing something.

So I’m making progress — YAY!

While I finish the remaining 11 days of the diet detox, I’m also going to spend some time contemplating my goals. Specifically, I want a better awareness of the balance between my ambition and productivity. As evidenced by some of my older blog posts, this is one area in the past where I have set myself up for failure by being too optimistic about what I can realistically accomplish. But it’s also something I am keenly aware of and trying to improve and frankly, I’m tired of making excuses for not meeting my own goals.

In the meantime, I am going to give myself a small writing goal. Post this blog tonight and then post another one on May 22nd.  As always, I thank you for reading my blog and for your love and support.

Memoir Monday, April 17th, 2017

Title

After a very long winter with several snow storms and many, cold, dark, cloudy days, I’m feeling more confident that spring has finally sprung in Connecticut. I say this because we’ve had several days in a row of abundant sunshine,

Tobey in Sun 2

the snow has melted,

Faith in the dirt

SMudge Fishing

and I’ve started seeing spring bulbs pop up here and there around town.

Purple flowers

I have, however, been cautioned not to put the snow shovel away because that will jinx the weather and then we’ll most assuredly have snow one more time.

The timing of our spring resurgence here is coincidental with the celebration of Easter this year. My husband and I had a lovely Easter celebration yesterday with attending church, eating a delicious lunch of lamb with mint jelly and spice cake for dessert, and visiting a local farm where I got to bottle feed baby goats (best Easter activity EVER!).

Goats Copyright

But now that Easter has come and gone, that means Lent is over and I can go back to Facebook (which I gave up for Lent). Yay! I think.

One of the things I’ve missed the most about being on Facebook is knowing what’s going on with a lot of friends, particularly the ones that I don’t see on a regular basis. I miss reading about what’s happening in their lives and the adventures they’re taking.

I also miss the birthday reminders and without being on Facebook these past few weeks, I completely forgot to send out some birthday greetings.

Here’s what I don’t miss about Facebook at all: how much of my time it sucks up. Since I posted last week about my obsessive email checking, I have gotten somewhat better with it and several hours will go by where I consciously chose not to check my email because I don’t want to distract myself from the work I’m doing.

One of my worries with going back to Facebook is that this will be my go-to time waster when I’m feeling tired and don’t want to work on one of the activities that align with my goals of being a published writer.  These goals currently include reading middle grade fiction, reading Francine Prose’s Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and For Those Want to Write Them, listening to The Great Courses – Writing Great Fiction: Storytelling Tips and Techniques by Professor James Hynes (I’m up to chapter 5 and thoroughly enjoying), plotting the sequel to the middle grade book I finished writing several weeks ago, and working on a book of writing prompts that I plan to offer for free in the near future as a way to build my email list for when I eventually get published (apparently having an email list is a good way to build an audience).

My professional goals are important to me and then there are my personal goals, of equal, if not more importance: eating healthy (epic fails as of late due to Dairy Queen Blizzards, burgers and fries from Wood Creek Bar and Grill, and Dee’s One Smart Cookie sandwich cookies), meditating (doing good with this one thanks to my Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey meditation app), exercising for 20 minutes a day (also doing good with this one and I only missed a few days in the past 2 months), and being a good partner to my husband (although I think I’m doing quite well here, my husband has yet to give me a serious answer).

You’d think it’d be easy, then, to limit the activities that take me away from my goals such as procrastinating on social media and/or checking my email. The thing is,

goals require hard work and dedication, and that’s, well, hard,

especially when a lot of my goal-related activities don’t result in immediate rewards.

It’s so much easier to like my friends’ posts, add a comment or two, and feel like I’ve accomplished a lot. And maybe it is worthwhile to socially engage with my friends this way to let them know I’m interested in their lives and care about them. Some of them I haven’t seen for months and I be seeing them again for equally long times.

I suppose what it all comes down to is balance. Balance is something I struggle with day in and day out, although staying on track has gotten a little easier as I refine what’s most important to me in my life. I know where and how I want to spend my time and at the very least I am becoming more mindful of my choices.

I think this awareness is why I’m so eager for spring this year. Spring (and Easter for that matter) is a time of renewal and rebirth. This season makes me excited that no matter how unbalanced I let my life get this past winter (or in previous seasons), there is now a new opportunity to start over. I can reaffirm my choices to stay balanced and stay focused on my goals as much as possible.

With every new flower I see blooming or bird chirping I can be reminded to do my best. Even better, I can be inspired by the beauty around me to inform my writing and make conscious choices of how I spend my time. Nature is, after all, the ultimate testament to the success of balance. Now it’s just up to me. As always, I remain ever optimistic. Thanks for your support 🙂

Memoir Monday, January 16th, 2017

CT round 3 Title

Now that I’m about one week into our third stint in Norfolk, CT, it’s time to update and refine my objectives from go-around #2.  Here’s what I wanted to accomplish last time:

1)      Write 6,000 words per week specifically for one of my novels

2)      Attend a weekly writer’s group

3)      Listen to at least one Brandon Sanderson lecture on writing each week

4)      Read at least five chapters of a novel every week

5)      Complete 3 sets of PT exercises every day

6)      Spend 20 minutes every day on physical exercise

7)      Eat one salad every day that contains at least four colors of the rainbow

8)      Meditate twice daily for 20 minutes each time

9)      Spend 20 minutes every day reading or listening to spiritual material

10)   Explore someplace new every week with my husband

I didn’t do so well, as I explained last week.  But the good news is, now that I’m evaluating myself on a regular basis (i.e., every few months), I’m beginning to see where my true strengths and weaknesses are.  For example, I have zero inclination to actually keep records of my diet and exercise habits.

I’ve solved the diet dilemma by going on another round of an elimination that I did three years ago to see if it will help with my sleep/lingering digestive issues.  This means no grains, soy, dairy, refined sugar, eggs, or yeast for three weeks.  When you take all those foods out of your diet, it’s so much easier to know what you’re putting in your body without having to keep a record.  Plus, vegetables also then make up a huge component of the diet.  It’s also oddly reinforcing as I feel pretty good and I don’t want to add a lot of the junk (i.e. sugar/gluten) back in.

Similarly, I invested in a Jawbone Up3, even though Jawbone is getting out of the fitness tracker industry, and that seems to have solved my problem of keeping track of exercise.  Although I purchased the item to keep track of sleep (Up3 got the highest ratings for tracking light, deep, and REM sleep), I’m now being informed how many steps I’m taking every day so I can easily monitor my physical activity.

It’s also clear I’m just not good at keep tracking of anything other than word counts.  So, to track the books I’m reading (including writing books, novels, picture books, and spiritual material), I’m going to start using Good Reads.  It’s easily accessible on my phone and it will help me connect with other readers and writers out there.

Consistency also seems to be key for me in accomplishing a few of my objectives, like daily meditation, PT exercises and attending writers’ groups.  Meditation has always worked really well for me early in the morning, so I’m going to stick with that.  If I can get in an afternoon meditation session, then great, but I’m not going to beat myself up if I don’t (that pretty much seems the opposite of why someone would meditate in the first place).  I’m also going to try to work my 3 PT exercises in before I start writing in the morning.  Some of them I can even stop and do on the stairs when I first wake up or while I’m waiting for the dogs to finish eating.  My weekly writers’ group will be easier, because that will always be Wednesdays at 9am.  But these objectives, I’m not going to actually keep track of.  I know they’re there and I’m doing them.

I’m going to scrap my objective of watching a Brandon Sanderson lecture every week, simply because I’m already taking two different writing classes over the next few weeks, with a third one starting up this weekend.  This way, if I do actually get around to watching some of these lectures (which I keep hearing are quite good), then I will feel like I’ve accomplished quite a bit!

It also looks like I’m going to have to scrap going new places as an objective.  My husband and I are struggling right now with the whole “explore a new place” every week given our schedules and the fact that it’s dark by 5:00pm here.  We’re hoping that as spring approaches we’ll be able to get more out and about, but for the coming months it looks like we’re going to have let go of this goal.

That leaves writing!  My favorite objective of all.  I’m going to go back to 1000 words per day.  Every day.  Not even taking Sundays off.  One thing I am going to change, however, is that once I finish my Fox Through the Forest story as part of Fiction Fridays, I’m going to start posting writing prompts on Fridays instead.  This way, I can exercise different writing muscles and it will take significantly less time than creating, revising, and editing a chapter.  That time can be better spent on my novels and picture books.

So, in sum, my objectives until April are:

1)      Write 1000 words every day

2)      Track the books I read using Good Reads

From ten objectives to two, both involving writing.  I think I can handle that!

Memoir Monday, January 9th, 2017

back-to-ct-we-go-update-and-report-card

A few weeks ago, my husband and I returned to Norfolk, CT, for another housesitting job.  I set up some goals, or as someone pointed out to me, processes, I felt would help me reach where I want to go.  One of the aspects of these “processes” is that I wanted to make them S.M.A.R.T(er), meaning they’re specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Which, I did.  Except, as it takes me a ridiculous amount of time to do simple tasks, like put something in the mail, I ended up with a huge flaw in my November/December plan.  I never got around to creating a spreadsheet to track my progress.

Sure, I thought about it, but in typical Kelly fashion there was no follow through.  The good news is, I’m not completely hopeless because I did make significant progress in some areas, although others rely on eyewitness testimony (mine and my husband’s) and we all know how faulty that can be.

So without further ado, my November/December report card:

1)      Write 6,000 words per week specifically for one of my novels

Grade: B

Rationale: I finished the first draft of my young adult novel, Serendipity Smart and the Fourth Wish!  I also started on a second novel, this one for middle grade kids, Top Dog of K-9 Academy.  But did I actually write 6,000 words per week specifically on my novels?  All signs point to no.  If I had, I would be much further along with Top Dog than I am now.

2)      Attend a weekly writer’s group

Grade: A-

Rationale: This one is easy to accomplish, because one of my writers’ groups is always at the same time/day every week.  I gave myself an A- though because the group got cancelled a few times because our fearless leader had surgery.  Yes, that’s not under my control, but thanks to the internet I know there are many other writing groups within a 100 mile radius of Norfolk.

3)      Listen to at least one Brandon Sanderson lecture on writing each week

Grade: BIG FAT F!

Rationale: I did not listen to one lecture!  What is wrong with me?!  Free writing advice from a writing master!  I give myself an A for all my excuses though: I don’t want to watch anything too close to bedtime; if I don’t have the time to watch an entire lecture, I’ll wait until I do; I’m reading books on writing instead; etc.  For some reason, I’m treating the Brandon Sanderson lectures like a new piece of technology I’ve purchased that I leave in the box for a very long time because I’m either intimidated about using it or I’m too lazy to read the instructions.  I suspect it’s a little bit of both.

4)      Read at least five chapters of a novel every week

Grade: A-

Rationale:  I think I did this one.  I read several books these past two months and thanks to Maybe a Fox, which I highly recommend anyone reading this go out and get a copy immediately, and which I finished in one day, I sent my average well ahead of the curve.

maybe-a-fox

5)      Complete 3 sets of PT exercises every day

Grade: D

Rationale:  At first this goal was easy to accomplish.  Three sets don’t take very long.  And then I stopped completely.  See #6 below.  Yes, I know we’re allowed to give ourselves a break but I only had these goals for two months.  I’d blame the holidays, but that’s like saying I’m not 100% responsible for my life, which I am, so I can’t.

6)      Spend 20 minutes every day on physical exercise

Grade: C

Rationale:  Until December 15th, I was kicking butt.  Not only was I exercising 20 minutes, most days I exercised a full hour, with free yoga at the UCC in Norfolk and streaming classes from Cody.  Then, my husband and I did a little bit of traveling and my goals fell apart.

7)      Eat one salad every day that contains at least four colors of the rainbow

Grade: D

Rationale:  I did not eat many salads because it got so dang cold in CT.  But I did start eating more vegetable soups.  They were mostly Amy’s Organics Split Pea, which is decidedly green.  So no rainbow soup for me!

8)      Meditate twice daily for 20 minutes each time

Grade: D-

Rationale:  Again, I was doing pretty well with this one until my husband and I hit the road on December 19th.  Then I stopped meditating completely.  There has only been one other time I stopped meditating for that long since I started this practice in 2013 and that was because I was in hospital.  I’m delighted to report I’m back on track and I’ve already seen a spike in my creativity.

9)      Spend 20 minutes every day reading or listening to spiritual material

Grade: D-

Rationale:  I honestly have no idea if I met this goal or not.  The only thing I can attest to is I did not neglect my spirituality completely, so that’s why I’m giving myself a barely passing grade.

10)   Explore someplace new every week with my husband

Grade: C

Rationale:  My husband and I went to a few new places, including the largest Gingerbread festival in New England.  We didn’t get to go as many new places, though, because one of the dogs we’re taking care developed a mass on his spleen.  He is our #1 priority and I love him like he’s our own pup.  So I have no regrets at all about not meeting this goal.

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Overall Grade: F

Well, I certainly have a lot of room for improvement.  Since we’ll be in Norfolk from now until mid-April, that gives me plenty of time to work on my goals.  In the coming week, I’m going to reassess where I am and where I want to go.   And this time, I’m going to include a way to track my progress.  Thank you, internet, for making me accountable!

Memoir Monday, November 21st, 2016

back-to-ct-we-go-title

We are back in Norfolk, CT!  My husband I enjoyed it so much here that when our next pet and housesitting job ended up being canceled, we accepted an offer to return for the holidays.   But now that we’re back it’s time to set some new goals based on what I learned the last time we were here.

One of the things I’m trying with these goals is to make them S.M.A.R.T.(er) than my previous ones.  For those of you who don’t know, I spent several years conducting program evaluation research.  One of the keys for measuring success is that objectives must be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1)      Write 6,000 words per week specifically for one of my novels

Rationale: I want 2016 to be the year I start and finish a novel.  If I stay on track with this goal, that gives me an additional 36,000 words.  Since I already have 35,000 words written for my middle grade novel, this should be more than enough to finish and make substantial progress on some of my other unfinished writing.

2)      Attend a weekly writer’s group

Rationale: Writers’ groups are invaluable for providing feedback and connection to other writers.  I cannot say enough good things about them and I’ve been blessed to belong to some outstanding ones (Durham Writers’ Group, Schenectady Public Library, United Church of Christ Congregational Norfolk, and SCBWI Eastern CT).  Attending a writers’ group on a weekly basis will also keep me writing a variety of projects.

3)      Listen to at least one Brandon Sanderson lecture on writing each week

Rationale: From my 8 years of teaching research writing, I have good technical writing skills.  Imagination and creativity are also two of my greatest strengths.  But after reading Libbie Hawker’s Take Your Pants Off: Outline Your Books for Faster, Better, Writing, I realized I still have a lot to learn about fiction to take my writing to the next level.  One of my good friends highly recommends Brandon Sanderson’s lectures and my husband reads his books.  Since I write a lot of fantasy, I thought this would be a good fit for me.  Plus, he’s got a lot of material freely available on the internet.

4)      Read at least five chapters of a novel every week

Rationale:  It’s simple – if you want to be a better writer, you need to read.  A LOT.  This is something I don’t always prioritize, especially when I’m reading a book that has slow pacing.  If I can learn to identify the strengths and weaknesses of others’ writing, though, I think this will make me a stronger writer in the long-term.

5)      Complete 3 sets of PT exercises every day

Rationale:  My right hamstrings, hip, and quadriceps are much weaker than other muscles in my body.  I know, weird, because my left hamstrings, hip, and quadriceps are doing just fine.  What these weaknesses amount to is, however, is pain.  As a big believer in prevention, these exercises should help me stave off any long-term issues.

6)      Spend 20 minutes every day on physical exercise

Rationale:  I’ve gotten blobby both physically and cardiovascularly.  I’m only 39.  I should be able to walk up a hill without getting winded.  Last November, I LOVED how I looked and felt.  I even kept up with my workout routine when I spent two weeks at the UN climate change conference in Paris.  I have no excuses.  I let myself go by making choices that did not honor my health and body on a regular basis.  I will always love myself unconditionally, but that doesn’t mean I won’t hold myself accountable for risking my health in this way.

7)      Eat one salad every day that contains at least four colors of the rainbow

Rationale:  See points above.  We cannot do it better than nature and that includes food choices.  I love rainbows, so I might as well start eating them.

8)      Meditate twice daily for 20 minutes each time

Rationale:  Nothing has improved my life as much as meditating on a regular basis.  It started in November 2013 with Oprah Winfrey’s and Deepak Chopra’s Desire and Destiny Meditation series.  I started making some real life changes after I started meditating and I can honestly say I’ve never been happier.

9)      Spend 20 minutes every day reading or listening to spiritual material

Rationale:  With my meditation time, this gives me approximately one hour per day devoted to spiritual health and my relationship with God.  In all honesty, I don’t think seven hours a week is actually enough and there have been times when I devoted two hours a day to spirituality.  Once I am successful with recreating these life goals as habits over these next two months, I’ll check in to see if I can amp up my spiritual time because time spent reflecting and connecting with God and the Divine is never wasted.

10)   Explore someplace new every week with my husband

Rationale:  My husband and I like to go on adventures and we especially like to be out in nature.  This will ensure that we actually do the things we say we’re going to do.  As an added bonus, I get to spend time with my husband and he’s super fun and cute.

So there you go – 10 goals and two months.  You may be thinking oh my goodness, that’s a lot! I thought the same thing when I typed the list out, which is why I limited it to only 10 goals (believe me, I could have come up with a lot more).  The truth is I do a lot of these activities on a regular basis already; the only difference is now I’m trying to measure and quantify them to help me manage and be more productive with my time.  I am confident I can do it!  I will keep you posted and in the meantime, please send me all the love and support you can.