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Happy New Year!!


Can you believe it? Another year has flown by and it’s already 2016!  I don’t typically do the whole resolution thing but, like most people, I look at the new calendar as a clean slate, a new beginning.  Each year, I try to come up with some goals for myself both personally and with my husband.  Early in our married life, we’d sneak off for lunch during those first weeks of January and write down all the things we wanted to get down that year from getting in shape to repaving the driveway.  We’d put down our long-term goals too–it wasn’t that long ago when I wrote those crazy words write a book!

We haven’t made one of those lists in recent years.  Probably because our life has become so hectic and crazy that our everyday ‘to-do’ lists became priority one.  But 2016 will be a seminal year in the Solheim house as we become empty-nesters this summer.  Life should slow down a little–I’ve got three books coming out with three different publishers, so I’m using the word ‘should’ loosely here–and maybe my husband and I can get back to adding the dreams back onto our yearly list.

New Year's resolutionEven though I don’t make resolutions, in the last few years I’ve adopted a one word mantra to be my guide for that particular twelve months.  I started a few years ago with JOY.  I had finally achieved that dream of writing a book and getting it published and I wanted to try to soak up the JOY that went with the experience.

grace 2

My word for 2015 was GRACE.  This one is a little tougher to live by in today’s competitive world, but once I finally let go and just treated others as I wanted to be treated–whether they returned the favor or not–I felt a lot better in my own world.

This year, I’ve adopted the word RELEASE.  Well, technically I stole the word after I posed the question about New Year’s resolutions on Facebook and Kelly Thompson posted this:

My resolution is “release.” I need to let go of clutter in my house and in my life. Emotions that hold me back. Old habits. One word that covers a lot of things I need to do in my life.

I LOVE this!  Especially this year when so much is changing for me.  I’ll be letting go of my youngest child and my everyday life will be forever different.  I’d like to ‘release’ all the anxiety and stress that has plagued me these past few months, not to mention the physical stuff that has been cluttering my world. I definitely need to ‘release’ some old habits–dessert for starters!

This doesn’t mean I’m ‘releasing’ the concepts of JOY and GRACE.  I’m still going to keep those two words front and center in my words and deeds.  I’ll just add a new word to the repertoire this year.  I guess you could call that a resolution!

If you could pick a word to live by for an entire year, what would it be?

What are you most looking forward to in 2016?

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

A Journey Starts with the First Step

Darts hitting a target

Photo by kraphix

Like many people, I’ve been thinking lately about new year’s resolutions. Although I’m not crazy about that term, I do think it’s a good idea to sit down with yourself every so often, consider what you want to accomplish, and set realistic goals for getting there.

The article 11 Resolutions For a Better You—Proven by Science provides a great list to use as a starting point (one resolution is reading fiction, so I’m definitely on board with that!). But too often, we set ourselves up for failure by setting the wrong goals. For instance, “lose 20 pounds” isn’t an action you can take. “Reduce my calorie intake by 100 calories a day” is. It’s the small, incremental goals that lead us to achieve the big ones.

I tend to phrase my goals as “publish a novella every month” or something insane like that. I’m learning that I need to set more meaningful goals like “write 10,000 words per week.” That’s something I can work toward day by day. And if I have an unproductive day for whatever reason, I can make it up tomorrow.

My main goal in 2015 is to get organized, because that’s a first step toward achieving everything else. Given that we’re a week into the new year, and I haven’t started yet, I’m already behind. But I have crossed a few things off my to-do list, and that makes me happy. It’s a start on what I hope will be my greatest year yet!

What are your goals for 2015? How do you plan to achieve them?

Happy New Year!

With each new year we seem to hit the “reset” button on our lives with vows to get back on track, or do things differently.  As for me, I look forward to this time of year.  I don’t know about you, but I can use a “reset” button on my life when it comes to maintaining control of my time and energy and this year is no different. So what are my New Year’s resolutions?

Like many of you, I plan to exercise and eat right.  I have somewhat of an indulgent personality when it comes to savory food and sweet desserts and since the holidays are filled with both, well…  You can imagine my predicament.  Not to mention I’m getting older and the pounds don’t slip off as easily as they once did (thank you Mother Nature!).

No, I don’t plan to do anything as glorious as climb that mountain, though I do LOVE to hike.  This particular scene is from a trip to Scottsdale with my husband where we enjoyed an afternoon of scaling the rock face, but as for my exercise regime? I’ll be gluing my bottom to a stationary bike. 

Next on the list is schedule.  As an indie author I’m finding a real tug of war between time for my writing and time for my marketing. Both are important, yet with only so many hours in the day, I need to limit “the when and the where” of each.  For example, when I write, I need blocks of time.  And a story board, piles of reference notes…

But I can tweet here and there, check Facebook posts, answer email and I can do so in the car during my kids’ tennis practice, in the pick up line after school, while the roast is cooking in the oven…  So rather than begin my day updating my tweets and other sources of social media (which can eat up half my morning), I plan to answer email and get straight to the business of writing.  Social media will be an after dinner activity, lunch break, etc.

And speaking of food, dinner is key to a family’s happiness but something I tend to forget on a daily basis.  Remember?  I’m writing and marketing all day and have no time for food!  But I must make time, else my family up and revolt.  So this year, the menu will be planned and shopped for on Sunday and posted prominently in the pantry.  Next time anyone asks, “Hey Mom–what’s for dinner?”  I won’t have to return a look of total and utter shock.  “Dinner?”

I also plan to master the art of tomatoes this year, not only in growth but sauce and storage, too.  Same goes for my Hungarian Wax peppers.  I’m an Italian now, and Italians like their sauce and peppers.  And they like them on everything from pasta to pizza pies–which reminds me.  Add pizza crust to the list of tasks to master in 2012!

Phew.  Anyone else hungry?  Best I head for my exercise bicycle right now, because I happen to know for a fact that my “daughter the baker” has a few plans of her own in the kitchen and most of them include cake and frosting!

Egads, this could spell trouble.  But delicious trouble to be sure.  How about you?  Anything new and exciting going on in your resolution life?


This is my last post for 2011 and I think it may just be the most fun.  I know many people are on vacation and may not have time to be on their computers, might not be reading all the blogs they usually subscribe to, or won’t have the inclination to comment to ANOTHER blog about New Year’s resolutions.  However, I’d love to hear what others are deciding to do that’s new for the coming year.

Mine?  I thought about this one quite a bit.  I wanted to have a resolution that I could use every single day, without fail, and that was fairly simple, though not easy, and would be able to make a difference in my life for an entire year.

I resolve to try my best to be more positive and replace negative thoughts with positive ones.

There.  I’ve written it down.  And anyone who’s reading this post has seen my 2012 New Year’s resolution.  Maybe that will enhance my resolve to put it into effect, not to forget it, to act on it each and every day.  I read once that the number of negative thoughts a person has each day can be in the hundreds.  If I try to counter every thought with a positive one, I should be a happier person and therefore a better wife, mother, and friend.

How about you?  What is the one resolution you wouldn’t mind sharing with the rest of us?

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