Category Archives: Goals and Resolutions

Just Do It

justdoitI can’t believe it’s July already. Where has the year gone?

I think that everyone can agree that the year 2015 has been progressing at an incredibly fast speed. It feels like only yesterday that I was making my New Year’s Resolutions and now the year is already more than halfway over.

When looking back on the year, it’s easy to regret opportunities missed or not taken and it’s easy to get into a mundane slump of redundancy. It sometimes feels like it’s too late to make the change that you want in your life, or the fear of failure is too great. However, over the past couple of weeks, I’ve done some serious reflection and have decided that there’s no time like the present to take the chances that could lead to something big.

Have you thought about your life goals or your New Year’s Resolutions and realized that you haven’t achieved, or even started, anything on your list? Instead of throwing the ideas away, decide what’s still important to you and just do it. Are you currently in a slump, whether it’s in your personal or professional life? If so, identify your problems and brainstorm solutions. If you constantly feel negative because you are surrounded by negative people, you could attempt to go out and make new friends. If you are stuck in a job that you don’t like, take a chance and pursue a career that you are passionate about.

Life changes, especially big ones, aren’t made overnight. It’s easy to get discouraged that your dreams haven’t become a reality in a short period of time. In order to stay motivated, create smaller, concrete goals that you can achieve along the way to your ultimate goal.

It’s a common belief that as people, we regret the chances we never take. Instead of merely thinking this and acknowledging it, take your dreams and make them a reality. It’s never too late to change your path and establish a life that you want to live.

Seriously. Just do it.

Until next week,

Debbie

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NaNoWriMo: Time to Revise

ItWinner-2014-Square-Button‘s been over a month since the end of NaNoWriMo and chances are, your manuscript is sitting untouched on your computer. With a new year comes new goals and setting a goal to revise your NaNoWriMo manuscript is a great one. Not only will revising your manuscript get you to write more every day, it will also make all of the work that you put in during November worth it. It may be intimidating but if you put your mind to it, you can make your manuscript into the novel that you always hoped it would become.

The first thing that you should do before you edit is to read any outlines that you created, and then read your manuscript. Reading all of the material you have on your novel will help you get back into the world that you created during November. Be on the look out for any inconsistencies, but don’t edit your manuscript until you’ve read the entire thing. In order to successfully edit, you will want a full picture of your story before you begin to revise it.

Once you have read your manuscript and any notes that you have with it, it’s time to make a new outline. In the rush of November, you may have left out scenes that would have made more of an impact on your novel. You may also notice that you have written scenes in a different order than you want them. Before you begin to edit, make sure that you have a new outline so that you know what direction to go in.

Now it’s time to revise. You don’t have the time limit that you had during November, so take your time. If you noticed inconsistencies in your setting, it is okay to completely restructure it. If you want to add more scenes, take your time writing them. During this revision period, you will have plenty of time to add the details, subplots, or the ending that you didn’t have time for during November. When trying to catch grammatical mistakes, remember to read your manuscript out loud. You will most likely notice if a sentence is worded awkwardly if you speak it rather than read over it. Even if you only edit for twenty minutes a day, you will notice a big difference in your manuscript over the next few months.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to delete. Yes, you worked incredibly hard during November and that work should not be discredited. However, as you restructure your novel, some scenes may no longer fit. Don’t feel bad about deleting large portions of your manuscript in order to improve it. If you want to successfully finish your novel, you have to be prepared to do lots of rewriting. As painful as it will be to watch your word count initially plummet, you’ll feel better when you have a much stronger second draft.

If you have any tips that you used while rewriting your NaNoWriMo manuscript, please feel free to share them in the comments. If you decide to make 2015 your year of revision, I wish you the best of luck!

Until next time,

Debbie

New Year’s Resolutions

Happy New Year!

At the start of every New Year, there are two different types of people.

The first type of people are those who find New Year’s resolutions to be a waste of time. This group of people may have tried setting New Year’s resolutions in the past and since these past resolutions were never achieved, these people don’t feel it pertinent to set more resolutions. Some people may feel that New Year’s resolutions are too stressful and simply choose not to participate.

The second type of people are those who do make New Year’s resolutions. This group of people may set very lofty goals in hopes of having their best year yet. As noble as most of these people are, only a small percentage of people are able to achieve their New Year’s resolutions by the next December. This, however, does not stop this group from trying.

Whether you like New Year’s resolutions or not, we can all admit that they are notoriously made to be broken. There are several reasons why New Year’s resolutions don’t come to full fruition, but if you are able to change your goal setting style, your New Year’s resolutions just might become a reality in 2015.

Be specific.

Some of the most common New Year’s resolutions that are made are very broad and general: lose weight, save money, etc. Since these resolutions are so broad, it makes them very hard to achieve because it leaves the person without a place to begin. In order to make your resolution achievable, you must think more specifically in order to give yourself a plan to follow.

If you want to lose weight in the new year, get specific. If you state that you want to lose twenty pounds by exercising three days a week, this gives you a much clearer plan and will make your resolution more achievable. The same technique can be used in writing. If your goal is to write more in 2015, get specific. Saying that you want to write more in 2015 by writing at least 500 words every day will give you a better idea of what you can do in order to reach your goal.

Don’t get discouraged.

Most New Year’s resolutions are big, life changing goals that cannot be achieved in a month. However, many people seem to give up on their resolutions after January ends if they haven’t started to see results. Remember, these are New Year’s resolution, meaning that you have all year to complete them. If you stumble a few times, don’t count it as a loss. A lot can change in twelve months and even if your resolution isn’t complete in January, it’s not time to give up. Stick to your resolutions and you’ll have a higher chance of completing them.

Be realistic.

The last thing that you want your New Year’s resolutions to do is to stress you out. However, setting goals that are absolutely out of reach will lead to nothing but aggravation. New Year’s resolutions such as winning the lottery are unrealistic and not left up to you. Make sure that you are in control of your New Year’s resolutions. Instead of winning the lottery, set a goal for yourself to improve your performance at work in order to get a raise or promotion. If you make resolutions that you are capable of achieving, the likelihood of you achieving them goes up. Don’t leave your resolutions up to chance or to someone else.

New Year’s resolutions can be intimidating, but make sure to having some fun with them. They don’t necessarily have to be self improvement based, as so many popular ones seem to be. Planning a trip to a destination you’ve never been to before or reading every book off of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Books of All Time list are examples of resolutions that can be fun and you will still feel a sense of achievement by completing them.

If you have your New Year’s resolutions set, I wish you the best of luck! Feel free to share your resolutions in the comments. To all of those who are reading, I wish you a Happy New Year!

Until next week,

Debbie

I Chopped My Locks for Charity!

Fotor0904174956A little over a month ago, I wrote a blog post called Birthday Resolutions. In that post, I wrote down the top ten things that I wanted to accomplish before my next birthday. One of the things on my list was to donate my hair to charity.

I had never donated hair before, but I had wanted to for years. I didn’t want to rush into anything so for the last couple of weeks, I had been doing some serious research in my spare time. I looked into several nonprofits that accepted hair donations and ended up deciding on Pantene Beautiful Lengths.

Pantene is best known for their line of hair care products, but they have formed a nonprofit in partnership with the American Cancer Society. Their mission is to provide free wigs to any woman who is fighting cancer. I know that a good hair day has always brought me a bit of confidence and if I could help boost another woman’s confidence, I was all in. The requirements were pretty standard: no processed hair, hair must be secured in a rubber band, and the length must be a minimum of 8 inches. I actually think the 8 inch minimum is the smallest amount of hair required by any of the hair donation nonprofits.

I had planned a trip out of state to spend Labor Day weekend with my best friend from college and I thought that it would be a perfect opportunity to make the big cut. I had told her about how I wanted to donate and she wanted to witness the event. I made several calls to different salons near her and decided on a Great Clips. Although I still had to pay for the hair cut, the stylist was incredibly sweet and cutting my hair was an amazing experience.

After I chopped my hair, I sent it off to Minnesota where the hair will be received by Pantene. Although I was very attached to my long hair, I am loving my short hair. I think the best thing about the short hair is that it reminds me of the donation.

I think that donating hair is an incredibly unique way of giving back and I felt like it was a bit more personal than just donating money. My hair will be in a wig that a woman may wear for years and that’s such a neat feeling. If you would like to learn more about Pantene Beautiful Lengths, click here to take a look at their website. Donating hair is not for everyone, so I hope nobody ever feels pressured to make the cut. If you are interested in donating, I highly encourage you to do your research and pick the best organization for you. If you’ve donated hair before, I would love to know where you donated and if you would do it again.

Until next week,

Debbie