(Who Needs Conestoga Wagons?) Traveling by Lawn Mower & #Goals

Yesterday I was cutting grass with Chadwin (who happens to be my lawn mower in case y’all didn’t know) when once again the perfect book idea came to me. And I say “once again” like that because this book idea is a recurring theme that strikes me as being brilliant whenever I’m cutting grass.

You ready for the idea?

I want to write a book where the main character travels across the United States on her lawn mower, mowing people’s yards as she travels to earn money to continue on her way. See. I told you it was a brilliant idea.

What could be more exciting than that?

Apparently, the answer most people think is the correct one to that question is “Basically everything in all of forever is more exciting.” Because I suppose traveling 3,431 at a rate of five miles per hour isn’t what the major population in the bookworm world want to spend their summer reading about.

(Which of course isn’t entirely true, because do you know how many thousands upon thousands of books have been written about going West via Conestoga wagons??? But maybe the realistic, historical, and adventurous elements in those stories help carry them along.)

So, once again I reigned in my brainstorming about traveling across the continent with my mower, and focused on my real WIP (work in progress) that y’all will get to hear about soon.

In the meantime though, I’m sharing my goals for the month of August. I haven’t shared goals on here since April, so it’s good to be back into the routine. If you have goals for August, I’d be delighted to hear them!

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If the Lord wills and I live, in August of 2017 I will…

Health:
1. Be in bed by 10:30 Ten Nights
2. Get up by 6:30 Ten Mornings
3. Eat Paleo (my version) Twenty Days
4. Go on at least Five walks a week
5. Do the PEMF Mat Twice a week
Spiritual/Mental:
1. Read two “spiritual” books
2. Read three nonfiction books altogether
3. Go to Wednesday night church when home
4. Go to Church & Sunday School when home
Writing Work etc…:
1. Plot DD
2. Write at least 30,000 words in the first draft of DD
3. Blog by 9:30 Twelve times
4. Research blogging/vlogging for Ten Hours
5. Post a Vlog every Thursday
6. Work on Writing/Vlogging/Research work for 100 hours (bonus – make it 120 hours!)

Goals for May 2017 {Month of Grace}

Goals are one of those subjects I have a delightful time talking about on Noveltea. I regularly have daily, weekly, and monthly goals, as long as longer term ones. It’s been rewarding, productive, and fun for me to share my goals with y’all over the last while, cause not only does it help keep me on track but I’ve gotten great feedback from lots of y’all regarding setting goals of your own.

Because of that, I strive to always show both sides of the coin to you – both when I do and when I don’t accomplish my goals. I don’t want to look like this girl who has it altogether when it comes to checking off my list of things to do, cause that would be totally unrealistic. I can 100% relate to how it feels to wonder how some people accomplish all they do – especially when everything they post makes them look successful.

If you hang around Noveltea for any length of time it becomes apparent that I don’t have any qualms about sharing the tough stuff and mistakes along with the good. That’s cause I think it’s extremely important to be relatable and helpful and human instead of just looking like a wonder-woman. John Maxwell says “You can either impress people or empower them, but you can’t do both.” So, that pretty much sums it up.

All that intro to introduce the fact that I’m not setting goals for May. 

It became apparent around the half-marathon last October that my body hasn’t recovered all of the way from my seven-year fight with Lyme disease. I’m not still sick (thank God!), but I do get worn out extremely fast and need more rest than the average person. The problem with this is that I might have a slight obsession with achieving and checking things off a list and moving forward toward where I want to be in life. And all those things are good when balanced, but unfortunately balance is still one of those elements I’m working at achieving in life. Which means I might sometimes push my body past what is healthy in order to keep getting things done.

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For the month of May I’m staying near the beach in Mexico. I did this last year and accomplished a huge amount of things – in fact it was one of the most productive months of 2016. I was all excited about being able to accomplish another huge list of things this year. I wanted to re-write the third draft of Echoes, study everything I could find about how to be a successful vlogger, learn how to edit on iMovie, read a stack of nonfiction books, and the list went on. (And as a writer, those things are all part of my job.)

At the same time, I was looking forward to hopefully getting to rest more, because I have been utterly exhausted recently. And, by that I mean that despite being excited about life and enthusiastic about my goals and wanting to check things off my list, I spent hours each day for the last while where I could hardly focus because I just wanted to sleep. I was taking daily naps and had been sick for the last month. The thought of sleeping for a couple of months was quite delightful. Except I didn’t have time to do that, cause of y’know I needed to be doing important stuff like, accomplishing.

Then, a week ago I went to my wellness doctor who has been helping me stay on the correct course to become totally healthy after Lyme disease. Without hesitation she informed me that I needed to take it easy for a while – sleeping more and chilling – because my adrenals, thyroid, and immune system were all so tired they were all deciding to take a break. So, if I don’t take the time to rest now, then my health will decline to the point where I not only have to rest, but I’ll have to rest for a lot longer. That actually made a lot of sense.

After thinking it through and listening to others and praying about it for a while, I decided to forego setting goals for this month. Cause, you see, even though I want to set goals for May, when I step back and look at the long-term picture, and I mean thirty years down the road…. Well, that’s when I get a better perspective. Moment to moment, day to day, checking things off a list is a lot of fun and gets me closer to where I am striving to be in life. But, if I don’t also take care of my health, then eventually I’m gonna totally crash, and there’s nothing productive about that.

Besides, Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is sin you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. (1 Cor. 6:19-20) Because of that, I want to make sure I take care of my body instead of just always zooming ahead full-steam. (Cause obviously I would eventually crash if I did that, anyway.)

I’m still looking forward to getting things done this month, but each time I have the urge to push myself to go into accomplishing-mode, I remind myself that this is my Month of Grace. Instead of going, going, going, I’m giving myself grace to sit back and take a nap. To close my eyes and just bask in God’s goodness. To not worry if I don’t blog by 9:30, or even if I miss a couple of days. Instead of rushing to check things off my list, I’m going to stop and think about why I’m wanting to do something, and then think about if I really need to or not.

I realize it’s not possible for all of y’all to take time to rest while needed, but I pray that those of you who are pushing yourselves will be able to gain perspective like I have, and perhaps find a way to cut back a little. And, no matter who you are, remember to extend grace – not only to yourselves when needed, but also to others. Cause, grace really does make life better.

I would be delighted to hear about y’all’s goals for May, and I look forward to being back to setting goals in June. In the meantime, I’m thankful for this chance to “Come aside and rest a while.

And now I’m off to play Uno with my little brother….

Goal Recap For April 2017 {Vlog}

Today is the second to last day of the month, so I’m excited to be sharing my goals vlog with y’all. I was sick a lot this month, but thankfully I was still able to accomplish a fair amount.

And, speaking of it being the end of the month, thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who commented during the A to Z Challenge! It was so much fun to get to connect with y’all. I haven’t posted the “Z” post yet, but for the other twenty-five letters (plus a few other posts), we’ve had a grand total of 362 comments this month! Of course half of those are my replies, but still. It’s been so thrilling to have SO much interaction with y’all. I’m so thankful to have all y’all in my life.

Watch “Goal Recap for April of 2017” Here 

If y’all would subscribe and like the vlog and pass the word along, that would be utterly delightful!

And, one more thing before I go…. Check out the Author Chat Party that’s coming up for one of the books I’ll be reviewing next month: unnamed-2

Raise your hand if you’re ready for Becky Wade’s new series! Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4thduring a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that’s 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!
Pre-order your copy of True to You so you’re ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here. Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky’s True to You Facebook Party!

Goals – Recap for March and New Ones for April 2017

Happy Monday, y’all! For the last week I’ve been intending to post a recap about my March goals, and tell what my April goals are, but I was kinda hoping to vlog about them. And, as it turns out I haven’t been able to vlog because of being sick. (For some reason it’s easier to write out my thoughts when I’m all sneezing and sniffling and nasally than it is to tell them to a camera.)

Finally I decided that since April is a third of the way through, I’d just give up on the vlogging dream for the moment. Thankfully I did write my goals for April at the beginning of the month this time. So, even though I didn’t post about them, I have been working on them.

But first! The recap for my March goals…

  1. Blog 20 times – YES, 22 times altogether
  2. Vlog 2 times – YES, 3 altogether (although I didn’t post all the vlogs yet)
  3. Read and review 4 books – YES, 15 altogether
  4. Send out 15 query letters – NO, I only sent out 9 or 10. #oops
  5. Plot the 1st draft of a book – YES
  6. Catch up on emails – YES
  7. Go to bed by 10:30 10 times – YES
  8. Go on 10 walks – YES

I’m quite thankful to have done this well on my goals for March – thank you everyone for helping keep me accountable!

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And now! For April…

If the Lord wills and I live, in April of 2017 I will:

  1. Get to bed by 10:30 twelve times
  2. Eat Paleo for 24 days
  3. Go on 12 walks
  4. Do the A to Z Challenge (and post by 9:30 at least 20 times)
  5. Leave 200 comments on A to Z blog posts
  6. Vlog 4 times
  7. Read and review 4 books
  8. Finish the 19th draft of WLHYL by April 20th
  9. Begin the 2nd draft of Echoes 
  10. Get ready and leave for Mexico

Do you have goals you’re working on for April? I’d be delighted to hear about them.

Goals for March of 2017

March blew in with all the furry February lacked. Yesterday was full of squealing windy squalls, flooding, and heavy downpours. Today the world has mellowed out a bit, but the wind is still howling as it whips big snowflakes about.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s nearly nothing as cozy as curling up in bundles of fuzzy blankets at night and sleeping right by the open window as small, stingingly cold droplets of rain dance on my face. I remember as a little girl sleeping in a delightfully cold room when my sister left the window open, and huddling under thick, woolen patchwork quilts.

Recreating that childhood memory last night (although with different blankets, obviously) reminded me of how crazy thankful I am for my life. It’s wonderful to know that I’m right where God wants me at this moment. Embracing the small moments and finding thankfulness in the little things reminds me of how rich and full my life is.

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And speaking of where I am in life, here are my March goals for 2017.

If the Lord wills and I live, then in March of 2017 I will…

  1. Blog 20 times
  2. Vlog twice
  3. Read and Review 4 books – at least 2 non-fiction
  4. Send out 15 query letters
  5. Plot out the first draft plot for my new book
  6. Catch up with all emails (end the month with less than 5 emails in my inbox)
  7. Get to bed by 10:30 ten times
  8. Go on ten walks

I’d be delighted to hear about y’alls goals for this month!

February Goals

If you didn’t notice, February began without my customary “Goals for the Month” and vlog post. Oops. I’m hoping that won’t happen again, and I’m working at getting back on track with goals.

So, even though it’s incredibly late, I wanted to share my goals for February with y’all. I don’t have as many as usual because 1) It’s a short month 2) The short month is half over 3) I have a few goals I’m working on that I’m not going to share.

If the Lord wills and I live, then in February of 2017 I will:

  1. Write 3 book reviews
  2. Send query letters to 10 agents
  3. Blog 18 times
  4. Do at least something with writing every weekday
  5. HIS goals (Goals with my non-writing job)
  6. Write out goals for March

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This month is a rather non-ordinary month for me where I’m getting to work and do stuff with different areas of life that can’t exactly be tracked and written down and marked off as goals. So, it’s not necessarily that I’m not accomplishing a lot (although, this past week I haven’t really), it’s just that it’s out of routine and non-normal.

Also, isn’t that a beautiful rose? My wonderful brother gave it to me for Valentine’s Day. (Yes, he is utterly amazing.) It adds a beautiful cheer to my office, and makes it quite homey.

If y’all have any goals you’re working on, I’d be happy to hear about them! Hopefully you’re doing better with staying on track this month than I am….

Query Letters, Running, and Psalm 119 = Goals for January 2017

A wonderfully happy 2017 to y’all!

I’m so excited to see what God has in store for this year. Last year was amazing and there were a lot of areas I grew in, which was good cause I needed it. I’m looking forward to growing and learning and doing in 2017, too.

Since this is the beginning of the month I’m posting my vlog recap (find it on Youtube Here) of Decembers goals, as well as the goals I have for January 2017. I also briefly talk about the differences between resolutions and goals and why so many people fail at their resolutions. (Ah, what a fun topic!)

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Goals for January 2017:

If the Lord wills and I live…

  1. Send query letters for WLHYL to 40 Agents
  2. HIS Hours
  3. Work on growing Noveltea and learning about WordPress 12 hours
  4. Read and Review 2 nonfiction books, 4 books altogether
  5. Run (not walk) 5 times – at least a mile each time
  6. Memorize the first 30 verses of Psalm 119
  7. Vlog twice