Monthly Archives: December 2015

Are You Ready for 2016?

Brain powerIt’s the time of year for making resolutions, or, as I like to call it, setting ourselves up for failure. My resolution for 2015 was to get organized. Ha! That didn’t happen. But I did publish 10 books, which was more than I expected, so I guess I can’t be too hard on myself.

Why are New Year’s resolutions so hard to keep? According to psychiatrist  Dr. David Krueger, the brain is designed to conserve energy by sticking to the familiar. Change creates chaos. So you have to work through the physiological challenges of stepping out of your comfort zone, and manage the emotions around the brain’s reaction to the unfamiliar.

If you’re determined to keep your resolutions in 2016, Dr. Krueger offers this ROADMAP to making behavioral changes that last:

R: Recognize that you’re writing your own story at each moment. Your life doesn’t happen to you; you’re creating it.

O: Own your story. Take responsibility for the reality you create.

A: Assess your story. Continue to do what works. Stop doing what doesn’t. Enhance the things you need to do better.

D: Decide the steps to get traction. Motivation isn’t necessary. You just need to have a plan and take action.

M: Map the changes needed to meet your goals. Make them tangible and methodical, so they can become routine.

A: Author the changes and make your goals reality. Avoid the pull of the old and the fear of the new.

P: Program your new identity. Internalize it so it becomes the new familiar pattern that happens automatically.

My goal for 2016 is to write 1,000 words a day and publish a novella every month. That’s an achievable goal, as long as I develop a plan and follow it.

How about you? Have you set a goal for 2016? How do you plan to achieve it?

Image Copyright: ilyaka1972 / 123RF Stock Photo

Another New Year

And I, for one, am glad for it. I love new years. They signify new opportunity, new hope–new everything. As an avid gardener, I embrace the chance to begin a fresh new gardening season, improving upon the last. This year, my goal is corn. I’ve grown corn. I’ve had success, as you can see from this beautiful specimen…

Corn harvest_2015

But alas, I’ve also had less than stellar results. On other cobs, my corn kernels were full and beautiful, up to a point.

corn missing kernels

*sigh* Something about pollination, or the lack thereof, prevented the cob from filling out to its peak of perfection. Might be due to a fluctuation in watering. Might be due to the fact that my corn plants weren’t staggered appropriately alongside one another, allowing for the wind to carry “the goods” from one corn plant tassel to another.

However, I will NOT be deterred. Persistence and perseverance are the name of the game in gardening (this applies to my writing career, as well) and I WILL prosper. In fact, I’ve already learned how to make lemonade from my lemons: a lovely roasted corn side from my half-pollinated cobs.

roasted corn

Doesn’t it look divine? It was, and totally easy to prepare. Simply scrape the “good” kernels from the cob, the ones kind enough to grow properly, and toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. I threw in a few chopped red jalapeno to the mix, just for fun. Spread mixture out onto a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes. Delicious! And a wonderful beginning to a fabulous new year.

Merry Christmas

There’s no place more beautiful at Christmastime than Amsterdam. None. Granted, this city is one of my favorite places on the planet so I might be biased, but take a look and decide for yourself.

Whatever you celebrate and wherever you are, I hope your days are filled with  love and laughter and joy.

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Feelings and Important Things

A friend shared this video short on Facebook a couple days ago, and though its story isn’t specific to a holiday, the full-of-feeling message is perfect and poignant this time of year.

If you’re a softie, grab a tissue.

Whatever and however you celebrate, may your days be merry and your nights filled with peace.

May you never forget the important things.

Recharging the Old Batteries

Believe it or not, I’m not going to write about the upcoming Christmas holiday! I just returned from a writer’s retreat with three fabulous women. We ate (thanks, Susan), we drank (thanks, Laura B.), and we laughed (thanks, Laura A.). And we got some writing done.lake

I have to admit, I’m in a bit of a slump. Coming off my year-and-a-half break from fiction, I can’t seem to find my stride. But…I did get some words written, and more importantly, I had a great time with friends I hadn’t seen in way too long. Life’s about relationships, and I’m glad we took the time to spend together.

So here’s to making time with friends and catching your breath before the holiday madness. And to seventy degrees in December!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!


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