Princess Leia is Dead!

I’ve had just about enough of 2016.

From the beginning of this year, life has been one large learning curve, and I’m tired. We’ve lost so many icons this year, and Carrie Fisher will be missed.

On to 2017.

Right about this time of the year, many people are thinking about resolutions and things they hope to accomplish during the year. And, most often, we settle for dashed hopes.

Resolutions are not my thing.

The next thing that we look at are goals; setting them and, being willing, able with the stars aligned, we achieve that which we set out to do.

Goals and I have a love/hate relationship.

“Goals that are not written down are just wishes.” Fitzhugh Dodson

Did you feel anxiety reading that last sentence?

I did.

I believe we need wishes, intentions, and, yes, even goals. The trick to these is not taking ourselves too seriously.

When setting goals, often the SMART method to goal setting is recommended. SMART means:

Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Realistic
and
Timely

This set of guidelines is fantastic if a person can remain focused and dedicated.

I am not that person.

I have a tendency to “wing it” which is probably not the best idea. In the past couple of years, I’ve picked a word for the year. Enough, my 2016 word, appeared to be an invitation to the universe to see what it could throw at me.

Choosing a word hasn’t come easily to me, so I believe I am going to forgo making that decision. The only thought that comes to mind is the expansion that comes with hope and growth. I’m not willing to stake the entire next year on this though as the universe tends to have its own thoughts as to how things should go and what lessons I need to learn.

What I am willing to do, however, is set some intentions. And, only a few so I don’t get overwhelmed.

  • I will live an intentional life looking for invitations and not interruptions.
  • I will write and grow in my craft and business.
  • I will take care of myself spiritually, socially, emotionally, cognitively and physically.
  • I will be open to love and connection.

As I look at my list, I wonder if I am setting myself up for failure and then I remember:

“I never fail, either I win, or I learn.”

 

As we say goodbye to 2016, Princess Leia and so many others, we must say out loud:

 

Bring it on, 2017, bring it on!

Family Friday Updates

sparklers-923029_1280My, how time flies!

Today is July 1st, and everyone is gearing up for the long holiday weekend.

Updates have been long overdue, and since I am on an illness imposed rest period, I thought it was time.

 

This summer has been full of intentions:

I intended to plant a garden. The reality is more that Rob planted tomatoes and potatoes. Both are doing well, but there is nothing else growing except weeds, which are prolific this year.

I intended to finish my third novel and begin editing one of my other novels. Yeah, life has been interesting, and I haven’t worked much on my fiction writing. I have been working on some other things which I will announce soon but not so much with my fiction.

I intended to begin walking every day simply for peace of mind. Well, I’m not sure I need to say anything else about that.

I intended to make it down the river in my kayak, and that hasn’t happened – YET. I still have hope that it will happen.

The goals I’ve had to create to cope with life right now are so much vaguer than I usually create:

1. Do one thing each day to move my career forward. I’ve decided that this means just about anything I do that has to do with writing or learning about blogging etc. This seems to be working.

2. Step out of my comfort zone. More on this one at a later date.

3. Be serious about my creative life. Again, more about this one later.

Summer got busy about a month ago, much busier than I had expected. As usual, things have changed at work which is a struggle. And, we have guests this summer.

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The kids have enjoyed the bigger yard and play area that Papa made for them. Also, pancakes for dinner is a yummy experience!

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I have accomplished a few things. The outside of my building is painted and a small flower garden planted in front. It is quite nice to sit in there with all the windows open; at least until the sun sinks into the west. Then, the heat becomes overwhelming. But still, my writing shed is my favorite place to be.

 

I’ve also discovered furniture painting and will be sharing more about this part of my life. The projects that I have waiting for me keep increasing, and since the summer has gotten so busy, I’m not keeping up with them. Though not part of my intentions, I am excited about this.

Here is a piece I painted in a recent class: img_1118

Rob built a water feature in our yard. It has taken most of the spring, and the plants are now growing well. Evenings are nice to sit out and listen to the babbling brook, even if the river is nowhere in sight.

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Though the summer isn’t over, it feels “too late” for some things. “Too late” is a strange feeling when there is still two months to go before Labor Day. Although summer usually goes fast, when things are chaotic and busy, it goes so much faster with no way to slow it down.

How is your summer going?

Are you accomplishing much or simply hanging on
as the time flies by?

Did you set any goals for yourself?

I hope so.

I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July.

Anti-New Years Resolution

sparkler-677774_640Since I was a child and first understood what a resolution was, I’ve felt the pressure each year to make them. This has been problematic since then.

I’ve done all the usual resolutions, such as:

“I will lose weight.”
“I will begin an exercise program.”
“I will….”

There are so many who follow this same path. And, so many who fail.

The statistics aren’t great. According to Statistic Brain, only 8% of people who set resolutions actually achieve them. This statistic was from last year.

These are not good odds.

I am never among the 8%. I can’t remember ever having success with a New Year’s Resolution, usually giving up within the first few weeks, if not days. If I made it to February, that was a miracle and I don’t remember ever doing that.

I don’t know when I stopped with the resolutions. Since I struggle with setting goals anyway, I decided not to make myself feel worse.

What I’ve done instead is to reflect on my life around my birthday, which I did last year. I wrote about it here.

This reflection includes looking back over the previous to see how it went and to think about the direction for the upcoming year. This has made more sense to me and I can see just how far I’ve come.

That doesn’t mean I ignore this time of year. The solstice has just passed which means the light is coming back. It is the perfect time for new beginnings.

What I’ve begun to do in the last couple of years is I’ve chosen a word to focus on for the upcoming year. It’s not a goal per se. More like that little thought in the back of your mind that helps to guide you. The words I have chosen have been ones that tend to show up in my relationships and daily life over and over. The word helps to keep me on task.

In my next post, I will talk about how choosing a word for the upcoming year works.

What I will do now is to encourage you to think about how you approach the new year. Will you make some resolutions that for the most part won’t be achieved? Or will you choose a guiding word and see where that takes you?

I believe in setting myself up for success and I hope you do the same.