2017–The Year of Success

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It’s January the first. We made it through 2016, thank God. As you know, instead of creating a New Year’s Resolution, I take one overall arching theme to the year and concentrate on that. This year’s theme rides on the coattails of the past. If you’re new, here are the years in review:

2010 The Year of Courage. I stepped out of my comfort zone and published my first book.
2011 The Year of Authenticity. I realized that readers wanted to know the real me, not what I thought a “writer” should be. I made a ton of new friends in 2011. ūüôā
2012 The Year of Balance. Trying to write while working two other jobs and raising two teens meant I either had to find balance or lose my sanity. I learned that organizing time was critical to writing success.
2013 The Year of Change. With royalty checks coming in, I opened my heart to the possibility of leaving education, and I started working for publishing houses as a social media marketing coordinator and author liaison.
2014 The Year of Kindness. As most of 2013 was spent on endless conference calls and working with a myriad of people around the world, I learned that compassion was the most important factor in productive communication. I also learned that, even though I could now afford to leave education, I didn’t want to stop teaching. I make a difference, and that’s too important to let go.
2015 The Year of Simplification.¬†Most of 2014 was spent working 16-20 hours a day, and I realized I couldn’t keep up that pace. I said goodbye to a¬†lucrative¬†marketing job, stopped taking on added responsibilities such as¬†new editing projects and acquisitions consulting¬†and scaled back on inconsequentials.
2016 The Year of Self-worth. I spent the entire year focused on trying to see myself without looking through the critical lens of self-deprecation. I started making self-care a priority, getting more sleep and losing weight. I started saying no, which is a feat in itself, and I stopped working for free. 2016 was the year I learned that the more I value myself, the more others value me.
Which leads me to this year. *cues drum roll*

2017 shall hereby always be known as The Year of Success

[suh 2017k-ses]
1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors; the accomplishment of one’s goals.
Yeah. I’m throwing it out there to the universe. This is the year I achieve some goals I’ve been working on for a while, and while I’m at it I’m throwing out to the universe that my friends will do the same.
It sounds a little crazy, I know. But after focusing the past twelve months on self-worth, I’ve mustered the courage to embrace success instead of worrying if I’m worth it.
Join me! It’s going to be a wild, wild ride!

2016-The Year in Review

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background graphic from Dantes Inferno

Globally, I think we all can agree that 2016 pretty much sucked. Between the political insanity, international instability, and natural disasters, it seemed as if humanity had been cast into various realms of Dante’s Inferno.

Which makes me feel a little guilty because, personally, 2016 wasn’t that bad. Vesuvian Media snatched up the new series, and, while I won’t jinx the good juju by announcing things too early, we have some incredible opportunities on the horizon–most of which I never imagined were possible. I’m now working with Vesuvian books in communications, which I love. The Kailmeyra series is still doing well, and with the consistent feedback I’m getting from readers, I’m seriously considering writing the first book in the spin-off series this year. ūüôā

As I reflected on the past twelve months, I realized, as always, all roads lead back to intent.

If you’ve been following me, you know I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I focus on an aspect of life I’d like to nurture and grow. I choose a catch phrase that embodies the concept. It becomes a mantra of sorts, creating a common theme that runs throughout the twelve months and shapes my experiences. This past year was the year of self-worth.2016-1

2016 was the year I learned to value my talents, and I expected others to do the same. I said no to those who asked for anything that took a huge chunk of my time, and I scaled back on volunteering, which was difficult at best.

But you know what? That free time allowed me to concentrate on me. I’m now getting six to seven hours of sleep (something I never thought I’d be able to do as I usually only get four). I realized that money couldn’t buy health, and so, thanks to Jasinda¬†Wilder’s Big Girls Do It Running program, I’ve cut out sugar and processed carbs altogether and have lost quite a bit of weight. I joined a gym–I actually joined a freaking gym. I’ve made time to spend with my parents, and when my daughter comes home, I’m off the net completely.

Through it all, what I’ve discovered is self-worth takes on a mirroring effect. Simply put: the more I value myself, the more I’m valued by others.

More than anything, that’s what I’ll always remember about 2016.