PLANS FOR THE NEW YEAR

 

 

Just-Say-No-to-Resolutions

 

No resolutions. They only make me feel like a failure when I break them. I stopped making them years ago. So I thought, what could I offer you today…the brink of a new year…new beginnings, some endings…new goals to strive for…

 

My new beginnings – this blog is really a new beginning for me. I have a different focus that I’ve never had before. My focus is to really explore my thoughts and writing and to keep at it. Another new beginning is to keep writing my first novel. No matter what. It’s not coming easily to me. I’m bogged down on technical stuff instead of writing. I know that. But I need to learn the technical stuff too. So for my new beginning I’m going attempt to make a balanced schedule. With my hubby not telling me we have to do this before it is too late for me to schedule things, it is difficult. With my mother wanting some attention, which she does deserve, it is difficult. When the phone rings and I have to answer it, it is difficult. When I don’t feel good or my my arthritis kicks in, it is difficult. These are just some of the things that distract me and get me off schedules. I need to tell people about MY schedule. MY needs. A new project for this blog is underway for February. I am excited about it and hope it comes to fruition. I think you will enjoy it if it does. I know I need to make lots of time for this too. Otherwise it won’t work. Oh, yes, another new beginning…I have a new hair color and a new hair style for the new year. I now need a new figure and a new body. Any suggestions?

 

Inspiration – Where shall I get it from? I know that the best inspiration comes from within. Maybe I’ll find it there, but I shall look outward too. I will seek inspiration from you, my readers, especially those of you who chose to communicate with me. I will seek inspiration from the books I choose to read and from other writers and bloggers. I will seek inspiration from my friends and family. Maybe I’ll begin to talk to them the way I talk to you. Openly, more meaningfully. Here are some words of inspiration I have found writing this post that I’d like to share with you:

 

63357_clock_1150_lg

 

Arnold Bennett so wisely had this to say:

“The chief beauty about time
is that you cannot waste it in advance.
The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you,
as perfect, as unspoiled,
as if you had never wasted or misapplied
a single moment in all your life.
You can turn over a new leaf every hour
if you choose.” (found at: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/new-beginnings )

I am a terrible procrastinator. If it can be put off, I put it off. Most days I’d just rather go back to sleep because the effort of doing anything is so great. I just like to be left alone. But this coming year, it is a habit I would like to break. I doubt if I will choose to turn over a new leaf every hour. Can you imagine how exhausting that would be? But, I would like to maybe turn over one new leaf every year. Now that should be doable, right? So, head Mr. Bennett’s words and put them to use in your life.

 

learning-server-md

 

Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health. Learning is the beginning of spirituality. Searching and learning is where the miracle process all begins.
Jim Rohn
Motivational, Health, Learning

(found at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/beginning.html#tE7U1IIiq10GG6gm.99 )

I love learning. I want to learn everything about everything. It is this thirst for knowledge that keeps me going. So I totally agree with this quote from Jim Rohn. I urge all of you to keep learning and if you are lucky enough to be in school, stay in school. If you are lucky enough to go to school, go to school. If you aren’t, find a way to learn. Read all you can from every source you can. Learn from people. Do everything you can to learn.

 

 

clip-art-climbing-671220

“One step must start each journey.” Author Unknown, from Just One ( found at http://www.wow4u.com/beginnings/ )

This quote is pure genius! Now to put it into action. The question though is this, what is the first step? Each of us has to decide that for ourselves. My first step is to make and stick to a schedule, as I said earlier in this post. Do you know what you want your first step to be? What journey will you take? My journey is a trip into the world of writing in two of it’s forms, novel writing and blogging.

 

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Goal setting comes next. Setting goals in not my strong suit. I hardly ever set goals. But, I have two goals for 2015. My first goal is to keep this blog going by writing at least once a week. My life is too helter-skelter to promise to write every day, so that is not a realistic goal for me. Once a week is hard enough. My second goal is to finish 3 chapters of my book by next New Years Eve. Is that realistic? I don’t know, but it is a goal. What are your goals going to be for 2015? Just remember, a goal isn’t a promise and goals can change. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t meet your goals. And, PLEASE, remind me of that when I beat myself up for the same!

From http://knowledgeempowered.com/five-golden-rules-of-goal-setting/ I found the following information. It sounds like pretty good advice to me.
Set Specific and Clearly Define Goals

Make sure your goals are concrete, concise and attainable. You should clearly define your business goals from the very start, which should be  specific and well defined. The point is for you to articulate exactly what you want to achieve.

2. Set SMART Goals
We have heard of setting “SMART goals” already. But do we always apply the rule? Simple fact is that for goals to be powerful, they should be designed to be SMART. There are many variations of what SMART stands for, but the essence is this – goals should be:
Specific.
Measurable.
Attainable.
Relevant.
Time Bound.

3. Set Goals In Writing
By clearly defining your idea, your imagination, heart and intellect can begin to work together to make it a reality. The physical act of writing down a goal makes it real and tangible.  So, we should write our goals down. The act of writing our ideas down, or say, keying them into our laptop, will force us to think in concrete terms. It will also spark additional ideas. This is the birth of our action plan. And, goals are nothing more than what you “plan” to accomplish.
4. Make An Action Plan
The best, perhaps the only, way to turn an abstract goal into an attainable reality is to create an action plan. By writing out the individual steps, and then crossing each one off as we complete it,and with this we’ll realize that we are making progress towards your ultimate goal. However, we don’t need a complete plan in place to rise to the challenge and embrace its possibilities. Achieve greater success by continually updating our action plan and integrating the new information and ideas we uncover.
5. Stick With It!
Remember, goal setting is an ongoing activity not just a means to an end. Build in reminders to keep our self on track, and make regular time-slots available to review our goals. Our end destination may remain quite similar over the long term, but the action plan we set for our self along the way can change significantly. Make sure the relevance, value, and necessity remain high.

Interesting stuff. However, remember, don’t set goals that are impossible to accomplish, don’t set yourself up to fail, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t reach your goal. Remember goals can be changed at any time you desire and goals can be eliminated if they aren’t working for you. They are merely a blueprint for completing something or attaining something. They are not a legal binding contract. Nor should they be. They should be a helpful tool.

Here is a recipe for a Rainbow Cake that inspires my creativity. Hope it does the same for you! It looks gorgeous, doesn’t it!?! I discovered it on the blog In Katrina’s Kitchen.

 

 

Rainbow-Cake-In-Katrinas-Kitchen-500-wm

 

Rainbow Swirl Cake
Yield: 1 cake
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes
This rainbow swirl cake is easier to make than you may think!
Ingredients:
Yellow (or white) cake batter, divided
Gel food dye (I use Americolor)
Buttercream frosting
Directions:
1.Prepare your cake batter as you normally would and divide into however many sections that you would like.
2.Use food dye to color your cake batter. If you use gel or paste then you will only need 1 drop per section for a brilliant, deep color.
3.Drop your batter into the pan one color at a time and bake as normal.
4.Frost and enjoy!

 

I used Americolor GEL food coloring which can be purchased online or at Hobby Lobby (Amazon link provided at the end of this post).

 

Food color gel is NOT decorating gel.
Wilton also makes gel food coloring (available at Wal-Mart, Michaels, and JoAnne’s). I do not prefer it but it is more readily available and would produce better results than using liquid food color found in most grocery stores.
You use one teeny tiny drop of Americolor gel food coloring to get these vibrant colors. To get a vibrant color with liquid food coloring you may have to add up to a teaspoon of coloring (which I do NOT recommend). The color may still not be as vibrant and adding that much liquid will change the consistency of the dough.
I am including the links to the basic color pack and the “electric” colors. I use both sets in my kitchen. To see some more colors check out my Rainbow Chocolate Chip Cookies.  (MSS NOTE:  For these links, please click on the link to In Katrina’s Kitchen below.)
Source: http://www.inkatrinaskitchen.com/2012/04/rainbow-swirl-cake.html#comment-43330

 

Don’t forget to enter the contest for a $20 gift certificate to Amazon.com. To enter, go to the December 27, 2014 post about Kwanzaa and scroll past the recipes till you get to the link for the Rafflecopter entry blank. You do need to subscribe to my blog in order to qualify for the prize. Contest ends at noon on 1/2/2015. Winners will be announced no later than 1/3/2015 by 10 pm. They will be announced by email and on the blog post for the day.

 

The serial story will be continued in tomorrow’s post. If you haven’t read the first installment, check yesterday’s post.

 

Hope you and yours have a very Happy, Healthy, Creative, Successful New Year!

 

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE:

Clock clip art – http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/63300/63357/63357_clock_1150_lg.gif

Goals clip art – http://www.myfdw.com/

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