|Photo by David Moir/Reuters
Every year, I make New Year's Resolutions; every year, I break them. This year, I decided to do something a bit different. Instead of making grandiose resolutions like "Finish my novel", I decided to chose baby step goals like "Write for an hour everyday."
All total, I made about a dozen of these baby step goals then put them in an Excel spreadsheet (I tend to use Excel for all sorts of list making tasks). I listed the days of the year in the left hand column and the goals across the top. I grouped like goals together: Personal, Professional, Home Organization. These columns are color-coded so I can check my progress.
When I finish my goal, I mark it as "done" with a smiley face. If I miss a goal for a day, I do not mark it with a frown or say "undone." I just leave it blank. I believe every positive thing we do should be an occasion for celebration. I want my chart to reflect this. After all, the world is filled with people who are more than happy to comment on our failures, so we should protect ourselves from the things that could drag us down by giving ourselves a pat on the back for everything we do accomplish.
So, my overall New Year's resolution can be summed up in two words: Celebrate Myself! I hope you do the same for yourself. You don't need to make lists, but give yourself credit for all the things you accomplish. You deserve it!
Have a wonderful 2013. I'll be posting again soon. Meanwhile, please enjoy an excerpt from my upcoming book with best-selling author Patricia Kiyono, The Calico Heart. It's the first book of our Stitching Post Romance series.
Sneak Preview Excerpt:
"It was such a beautiful wedding,ʺ Sylvia remarked as she sat at the bedroom vanity to tissue off her make-up later that evening. "The weather was perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. This late in June, you never know what you’ll get.ʺ
ʺI’m just glad to finally get out of this blasted tuxedo,ʺ Dave replied, tugging loose his tie and starting on the button of his heavily starched shirt.
ʺYou looked very handsome.ʺ She met his eyes in the mirror and winked suggestively. "Sexy.ʺ
"I felt like a stuffed penguin. I don’t know why we had to have all the fuss.ʺ
ʺHoney, she’s our only daughter. We had to do things up right for her wedding.ʺ
ʺShe’d have been just as married with a simple ceremony and reception in our rose garden. Just think what we could have saved on the flowers alone.ʺ
"We would never have been able to fit all of our friends and co-workers – and Lynne and Ron’s – in our backyard,ʺ Sylvia said, repeating the same argument she’d given him when he’d first suggested a home wedding. ʺThe church hall was the perfect solution. And we didn’t have to worry about rain or having a guest fall in the pool. Besides, it’s not like we didn’t have money already saved.ʺ She grinned. "ʺI think you rushed to the bank straight from the hospital the day Lynne was born so you could set up a savings account for her wedding.ʺ
"Nah. I waited until the next day,ʺ he admitted, sheepishly. "But we still went over budget...ʺ
"A little,"ʺ Sylvia conceded, remembering a few bills she still hadn’t slipped into the pile of expenses on his desk. "But certainly nothing that will jeopardize our retirement plans.ʺ
Dave mumbled something, but with his head buried in their closet, she couldn’t hear his exact words.
"Look under your side of the bed,ʺ she called.
"Your slippers. That’s what you’re looking for, isn’t it?ʺ She slathered a bit of extra moisturizer on her forehead where she’d noticed a few deep lines had recently appeared. ʺI think you left them under your side of the bed.ʺ
Her husband crossed to the bed, bent to look under it, then held up the missing slippers with a triumphant smile. ʺFound ‘em!ʺ
"Whatever would you do without me?"ʺ Sylvia deadpanned.
He pursed his lips and pretended to consider the idea. ʺGo barefooted?ʺ
ʺYou hate going barefoot. I guess you’d better keep me around.ʺ
"Oh, I don’t know,ʺ he said, coming to stand behind her chair. He leaned down and wrapped his arms around her then rested his chin on the top of her head. Meeting her eyes in the mirror, he smiled. ʺJust think how much I could save on your mascara alone.ʺ
She laughed and swatted his arm. ʺAs if you’d even know how much mascara costs. That’s one of the things my paycheck always covered.ʺ
"Are you going to miss it?ʺ
"Well, that and the students. I know how much you love teaching.ʺ
"I did love it. It was great being able to help kids understand math. The looks on their faces when they suddenly got it – when they went from struggling to understanding—" She paused and smiled. "ʺIt was priceless."ʺ
Talk to you soon,
The Stitching Post Romances with bestselling author Patricia Kiyono
Book One - The Calico Heart coming January 2013 from Astraea Press