Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Learn Courage by Couraging

Courage is like-it's a habitus, a habit, a virtue; you get it by courageous acts.  It's like you learn to swim by swimming.  You learn courage by couraging ~ Mary Daly

You learn courage by couraging and you learn to follow your dreams by following your dreams.  I read recently that it takes 10,000 hours at a task to become an expert.  If one could be successfully in just forty hours per week, that's still 4.8 years of hard work!  If you don't have forty hours a week to commit to your dream journey, it takes longer to achieve that 10,000 hours.

Whatever dream journey you're on, get started on your 10,000 hours so that you become an expert in your field.  Even if you can only spend fifteen minutes a day, that is chipping away at achieving your goal.  It is, after all, March 1.  Can you believe we've already had sixty days of the new year?  I am happy to report, personally, that A Place to Call Their Own is moving along.  (Note to self:  keep a word count journal so I know where my word count is each month so I can track my progress.)  I also simplified my routines so that I could find balance between the writing, reading, and being "social" it takes for new authors to be successful.

I hope your dream journey is going as well for you as it for me this year.  I hope everyone is having a good week and here's to a fantastic March!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Early Out and Leap Day...Bingo!

I got to leave two hours early from work today...and tomorrow is an extra day of the year that we only get once every four years.  For a person who struggles with balance between a professional job, pursuing a dream journey, and not exhausting myself in the process, this is a bonus for me this week. 

I had never thought about February 29th being a bonus day until it was mentioned on Facebook earlier this week.  One of the people I followed had a status update that it was a slow day in the store, and another follower suggested he blog about the extra day that we get on Wednesday.

For most of the world, February 29 with just be another day in the history books.  Oh, there are many people trying to mark this day as a special day, planning weddings and other special events and those are among some taking full advantage of this special day that only comes around once a year.

So make the most it, if at all possible.  Even if you did just one extra task to help you meet your goal, that's making something of the extra day.  If the have the opportunity to go all out and really make a dent in your dream journey, I won't hold you back either.  This is one of those times when going outside of any boundaries you might have set might be a good idea.

Do you have anything special planned for Leap Day?  I'd love to hear about it!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

You Can't Wait for Inspiration

You can't wait for inspiration, you have go after it with a club ~ Jack London

No matter what project you're working on, you have to attack it head on and with vigor. If you're working on a business project, there are usually procedures, however loose, that prescribe how one completes a task. But it's different for entrepreneurs, especially us creative types.

I've written about this before. In some of my most uncreative stretches, I've found that just jumping in and started writing has helped the muse return and inspire my writing. This week, I even did some old-fashioned brainstorming to get beyond a stumbling block and get my novel moving again. Can you believe it, brainstorming with pen and paper still works?

So whatever dream journey you're working on, don't wait for success or inspiration to come to you, go out and attack it with a club, like Jack London says.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

It's OK to Say No

It comes from saying 'no' to 1000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much ~ Steve Jobs

I hope your dream journey is going well.  I have been off the work-job all week, so I've made some real strides on my novel, A Place to Call Their Own.  For those of you who might me new to my blog, I have set a goal to be finished writing the first draft by August 30, so I can start editing and start looking at publishing options before the end of the year.  Things are moving along very well, I hit 50,000 words this week, which feels great to be this far so close to the first milestone, completing the first draft.

Along the way, I've had to say no to some different opportunities that have come up along the way.  Most of what I say no to is myself.  I have to keep telling myself, focus on my writing, on my novel and nothing else.  Earning a living from writing is my goal and I have to stay focused.

Sometimes I have to say no to other writing projects.  In addition to A Place to Call Their Own, I have notes and ideas for eight other novels and two non-fiction books.  Sometimes, I just have to have get my inspiration typed out, just to get it out of my head.  I take a brief, one or two day break, type up my notes and the scenes that I'm inspired to write and then put them aside.  Sometime these breaks help me brainstorm some more story lines for the primary work in progress.

Sometimes you only have to say no temporarily or you can postpone the opportunity that is calling.  If you can spend some time on your dream journey now to be rewarded with more time later, readjust your priorities to help say 'yes' sometime in the future.

Whatever your dream journey, you will have to make sacrifices to reach your goal.  Some of those sacrifices will be permanent and some may be temporary.  Stick to your priorities and you'll reach your dream goal.

What are some things you've been happy to give up to reach your dream goal?  I'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Keep It Simple Stupid!

KISS it!!

My chore for the day was to go get the tags on the car renewed today. What should have been a quick trip to the DMV to get this done turned into a two hour ordeal and I still don't have that chore completed.

Keep it simple, stupid is an acronym I've heard most of my professional career. In my frustration with the Missouri DMV, it occurred to me that the whole process could be much simpler. And that's what I needed earlier today.

It also occurred to me to take my own advice for the DVM and make sure my dream journey of getting published simple. As a modern day novelist, all I need to do is write every day, read every day, and be social every day. That's it until A Place to Call Their Own is done and ready for publication.

Any dream journey should be whittled down to three to five different steps. What is your dream journey and how can you KISS it today?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Action has Magic, Grace, and Power In It

Action has magic, grace, and power in it ~ Goethe

How are your New Year Resolutions coming along? I hope you haven\'t forgotten about them. Remember, two of my biggest accomplishments were New Year\'s Resolutions that I didn\'t get stated until much later than this in the year.

Whatever Dream Journey you\'re pursuing, I hope that your acting upon it. Acting on your goals and dreams is the only way that you\'ll reach your journey. Good Luck!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Guest Post

Today's post is by Sister-In-Law, Lori Frech.  I wrote about her last springs when she trained for her first 5K run.  Here is some more from her inspirational story.

Where do I begin? I have to so much to say, but I will try to keep this short and to the point. My life has been nothing but a series of ups and downs, sometimes feeling like I am on a roller coaster. I was always trying to let go of my difficult childhood and could never find a way to do that. I look back and I see now that my negative attitude was the reason my adult life did not go as planned. I was always looking for the next bad thing to happen to me......and guess always did. It was either a bad relationship, losing my job, getting divorced, health problems, etc. Some of these things could have been avoided if I only maintained a positive attitude and not let poisonous people in my life.

Fast forward to about 3 years ago. I was in a horrible relationship and I knew I had to get out and I had to change. I was introduced to the law of attraction and positive thinking. Shortly after, I met my husband and we fell madly in love. At some point in our relationship I started thinking negative thoughts again and I knew I had to take control of my life or my relationship would not last. I started reading more about positive thinking and about exercise and nutrition. I have always exercised, but not on a consistent basis. The motivation to exercise came from within......I no longer could live this way. I didn't want to be unhealthy when I was older and I wanted to be strong for my future children, and show them the way life should be......pure happiness.

The benefits from a healthy diet and exercise are phenomenal. I have overcome my anxiety and bouts of depression, with no medication. If I am feeling down, I head to the gym and everything is better. I feel better about myself and I feel like I can conquer the world.

I have had several obstacles that had to get through in order to be the person I am today. I have a severe hearing problem and balance disorder. If that wasn't enough, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 endometriosis about 2 months ago, following a laparoscopic surgery. To top it all off, I have to have major surgery in about a month to separate all the tissue in my abdomen from the endometriosis. If this surgery works, then my husband and I will hopefully be able to get pregnant! Fingers crossed!

I'm not going to tell you that these past few months have been easy, because they have been difficult and trying at times. During this time I resigned from my job after being on disability for my hearing/balance, since they didn't have a job available for me. I also had my laparascopic surgery for endometriosis and got hearing aids. Oh, and I can't forget my hormone injections that mimic menopause! Oh fun!

I am telling you all of this because during this time......I exercised regularly (5 times a week), I started working out 8 days post surgery, I became a certified personal trainer, and I started a new job as a personal trainer. All of these things happened because of my positive thinking and envisioning myself as a personal trainer and living my dream. I would NOT feel this way, if I did not exercise and eat healthy. 

"Like" Lori's Facebook Page at:

Saturday, February 4, 2012

So you pulled a Monica?

Or a Dean?  Or a Lori? or a, well you fill in the blank.

I was watching Friends yesterday, "The One with the Cuffs."  In the episode, Monica is hired by her mother for a big catering event and looses a fake fingernail in the preparation.  Her mother, prepared for her to "pull a Monica again," is prepared with back up food for the event.  Phoebe comes to the rescue and helps Monica realize that "pulling a Monica" doesn't have to be a bad thing.  Why not make "pulling a Monica" a good thing?

So why not make "pulling a ____" a great thing this year?

I hope your year is going the way you've planned it.  We just completed five weeks.  Where are you on your resolutions?  If you are well on your way, congratulations.  It is tough, but if you're working hard to develop new habits, hopefully they are in place.

If things aren't going the way you wish, don't despair.  You still have 47 weeks to accomplish your goals, the year has just begun.  I'm not as far as I want to be, but working hard to "pull a Dean" this year and get my novel finished.

What about you?  How is your 2012?