The Journey to Publication

Taking Stock of the Year

So you’ve survived yet another year. YAY! Glad you’re still with us. 😉

And at this time of year, it’s only suitable to start to look back and consider the year. Remember those goals you were supposed to write down at the beginning of the year? Yep, those ones. Go drag them out now, hmm? I’ll wait.

(waiting. Tapping fingers. Playing with iPad.)

Back? Excellent. Now, take a deep breath, close your eyes for a minute, and start to read back over your goals. DO NOT jump to your first conclusion of “gee, I didn’t get this done … or this … or this.”

Instead, check off the things you DID achieve. There are at least one or two in there, right? Maybe expand on it a little, going over how you achieved it, maybe padding the achievement a bit. Did you only get one book written? Yes, but this was exceptional circumstances, and it’s now the best book you’ve ever written, with blood and tears,  a steep learning curve, and the potential for bleeding fingers. Did you achieve some of those bigger goals? Woohoo! Celebrate and be happy (though you were celebrating those things at the time, right?)

Now it’s time to start a new list. Write down what you DID achieve this year. If you want to stick to career only goals, or if you want to branch out to all areas of your life, write it down. Did you learn a new language? Paint your house? Do something you’ve always wanted to do? Maybe celebrated a milestone, or completely changed your life with a new child, a marriage, a move, etc.

Now add this to the original list. And take stock. It’s strange to see an entire year summed up that way, and it’s very easy to forget some of the things we have achieved, especially if we’re focused on the negative or perhaps mired in a bad mood at the time we look at the list. And while it can be easy to say it was a “bad” year, or “hard,” guess what buttercup? Most years are. Because that’s how life is, and it’s why our victories seem all the sweeter. So remember gratitude and the wonderful things you’ve experienced this year, and all that life has brought you. And then get ready, set, go, because a new year is about to come, and it’s ripe with potential and waiting for you with all the best intentions.

Happy New Year to you, and may 2014 be a fantastic one! 🙂

Thanks for reading, and see you in the new year.


Spread Some Good Cheer – Personally and Professionally

I happen to love this season, despite the stress and the craziness of it all, and how we try to cram way too much into one poor little month.

And I’ve been thinking about gifts, of course, being that time of year. I have an idea for you all that is guaranteed to be something everyone needs, and everyone will like.

Be nice. Be kind. Share the love.

Rolling your eyes at me? Yes, it sounds trite, but only because we let it be so. Because we don’t sometimes consider how important it is, especially if someone is in a dark place, or when we’re busy with our own problems, our own business, our own lives. But here’s the idea: send three people – perhaps even strangers, or perhaps especially strangers – kindness. Why not? What’s it going to hurt? Read a fabulous book recently? Why not drop the author a note and let them know. Experienced terrific customer service, take the few minutes it takes to fill in that survey or send a quick note to the store about how pleased you were. Closer to home, take the time to smile at the bedraggled clerk, and leave a nice tip for the waitress. If you’ve ever worked retail at this time of year, you know it can really suck (I have. It did.) If you haven’t, perhaps you should to find a bit more sympathy.

So go out there and play nice, hmm? I really would like to believe we can change the world and make a difference in small ways. What’s the harm in trying, right?

Have a good one, and thanks for reading. 🙂