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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy New Year 2013!

I'm writing this early to give y'all a jump on your annual planning. And as resolutions come to mind, here's a smorgasbord listing of tips and ideas:

1. Per FLYLady.net, if you don't use it, love it or need it, toss it. That is not just about decluttering our homes and our minds of stinkin' thinkin', folks. That pertains to your job, your exercise regimen, your friends, your online groups, your hobbies, etc. Take inventory. Take nothing for granted. Vet it. Review it. As the saying goes, ten years ago would have been the best time, but NOW is the second-best time.

2. I'm taking a great Planning for a Creative New Year class from Mary O'Gara at Maryogara.com. There is so much info that I'm picking and choosing what to incorporate within my 2013 Production Schedule as an author. And that's what Mary advises anyway. And if you think you knew about astrology and biorhythms, you probably don't. Ha! One of the homework assignments was to grab an Excel spreadsheet and list out five hundred things you want to do, to be. Mary maintains, and I second, that people with a lot of interests live longer. And, IMO, live happier.

3. Sometimes looking from the finish gives you a fresh view of the start. Like working a maze puzzle faster. But this is about our life. In one of my college English classes, the prof made us write our obit. Morbid, yes. Illuminating, yes. So do it now. What have you accomplished at the end of your lifetime? What do you want to be remembered for? What did you do for yourself to make you a better individual, a more productive member of society, a more enlightened personality? What did you do for your family, friends, community? What did you do for your planet? What did you do for God?

4. When I set up my Goals Excel spreadsheet, I divided my interests into ten groupings that are personally my favorites. I will list them to show you my way, while you find your own. Here they are: food, fitness, career, relationships, home, finances, relaxation, self-improvement, community, education. Then it was just a matter of listing fifty entries under each. It is not as hard as you think. Now, find a way to incorporate something from each into your daily life. For me, it would be like menu planning so I eat more raw veggies each day, adding even fifteen minutes of Yoga back into my day to start with or getting more yard work done, setting up and sticking to my 2013 Production Schedule daily to get my books uploaded throughout this new year, seeing my favorite people more often which in this case is more monthly or semimonthly and cannot be daily, decluttering and organizing my home fifteen minutes daily, setting up an automatic savings program which I already did earlier this month, remembering to get outside for fifteen minutes of daily sunshine and nature and maybe with my cup of joe, reading the Bible through in a year which may take fifteen or twenty or so minutes, donating monthly my time or my things (and my money as I get more flush) and reading about my craft or learning a new language.

5. So, if you did item four above, you have new stuff to add to your days. For me, it is roughly ninety minutes. Which means I need to give up some stuff, or take less time with others, to reallocate that hour and a half. What are you doing that isn't netting you satisfactory results? Granted, we all need downtime, but find your "greater greats" as in, which do you prefer, reading a new book and maybe finding a new favorite author, or rewatching your all-time favorite movies? I love both, but have been leaning more toward reading new authors. It is both a pleasure and a research exercise as I judge what worked for me, what didn't, what I would have done differently, what emotions were generated in the books I absolutely adored and what emotions turn me off.

6. If you are driven like me, I love checking off items on my To Do list. But I need to remember to enjoy the process as well as the euphoria of a project well done and completed. Stop to smell the freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

I could go on, but I'll stop here. I'll end with this great quote:

Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got. Janis Joplin
Don't settle. Don't undervalue yourself and your contribution to this world. Savor the life of your dreams.

Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Wishes to All

I am typing this on Christmas Eve day. If you subscribe to my blog, then you'll see this on Christmas, tomorrow. For all others who won't find it timely, here are a few quotations to help you start your new year:

You are the only person on earth who can use your ability. Zig Ziglar

Everyone can have a luxury life. It's a state of mind. It's not necessarily about having the biggest house. It's about living life to the fullest. Paul Miklas

There’s more to life than increasing its speed and size. Timothy Ferriss

Always…unconditionally…follow your heart. Understand that persistence, hard work, and determination are the keys to success. Barbara Cage, poet

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. Unknown

The best way to gain self-confidence is to do what you are afraid to do. William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925), politician
It only takes one person to change your life—you. Ruth Casey

Wishing peace, love, happiness, hope, success to all.

Denise Barker

Sunday, December 16, 2012

God Bless Newtown, Connecticut

I have no cable, watch/listen to no news online, as it is rarely uplifting. Yet I still hear/read of the truly evil deeds that people commit. May God have mercy on that boy's soul. I'd rather not even pray for salvation for the likes of him, but God gives as we give. So I give mercy now. I hope my heart is in it eventually.

My ongoing prayers are for the family members dealing with such unspeakable, unreasonable, unfathomable loss. I cannot begin to imagine the height, the depth, the width, the permeability of that pain...

The Bible speaks of God saving our tears. There must be a reason why He does, other than the immediate release of endorphins here on Earth. Plus God tells us to speak of our trials, so we are mandated not to hold in emotions. I don't know what God will do with our bottled tears once we get to Heaven, or if He uses them beforehand for whatever purpose; we'll have to wait until then for all the answers.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Time = Stress

We live in a dimension with time. God doesn't. Once we get to heaven, there is eternity instead.

But while we are in these bodies, earthbound, time kinda rules us. I found this great quote today:

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. Steven Wright

And I had to laugh. If we take "time" out of our equations, doesn't it take away the stress? I know it does for me.

Time equals stress.

If it is 1:20 p.m. and you were supposed to be at work by 1:00 p.m., you may feel stressed.

If it is April 15 nearing midnight, you might be feeling stressed.

If it is your fiftieth birthday coming up on Sunday, you could be feeling stressed.

But if you work for yourself, and can claim any hours of the day (or night) to dive in, then you probably don't mind the delay one bit.

And if you filed your income taxes early, then 04.15 has no effect upon you.

Plus, once you are eternal, you won't be celebrating birthdays that end in zeros.

So take time out of the equation (as in, work for yourself and throw that alarm clock in the trash).

Or let time work for you instead of against you (like saving money monthly starting when you are young instead of waiting until you are sixty).

For me, that means no more trying to be a marketing guru or even just understanding today's particular trends, which change anyway.

No more.

I love my blogging. I love Pinterest. I have done both for a while now. I will continue with it.

And my intended readership will find my books via the passage of enough time. To me, marketing is trying to get there faster. Kudos to you who know how to work that system.

Why am I trying to hurry the process? 

Yes, I will dance in my kitchen when I become a self-sustaining author. But I have (and love) my freelancing projects, which pay my bills. 

So why would I choose to add stress to my day by trying to learn something that is forever changing and for which I am not adapted or have no natural inclination?

I'm surprised I'm just now realizing this. Ha!

So, I'm not gonna try anymore.
Marketing is a weak area of mine. I'm letting it go. I'm saving my attentions for those things I love doing and over which I have control: my writing process.

And letting time take over.

Denise Barker, author + blogger + copy editor