Showing posts from January, 2017

#52Stories Goal Lessons for Children and Grandchildren

What would you want your children or grandchildren to learn from your example about making and achieving goals?

#1 Keep it Simple
I think about this quote a lot: "When eating an elephant take it one bite at a time" (Creighton Abrams).  There is also a scriptural reference for this principle. Alma 37:6 reads in part, "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." This is important because it keeps us from getting overwhelmed; increases the likelihood of achievement; and allows us to live life in fullness while still working on specific goals. I think having too many goals or the grandiosity of goals causes us to neglect other more important things in our lives.

#2 A Little Organization Goes a Long Way
I'm taking three classes this semester which is more than I've ever taken at a time in graduate school. I knew it would only be possible if I organized my homework assignments to make sure I was getting everything done. I got out a calendar and …

52Stories Hidden Achievements

What are some of your hidden achievements--things that were challenging for you, even though they may seem simple to someone else?

This is a good question. It's sort of funny because I decided to skip the question about academic achievement, which is something I feel I have a lot of, and that mentally came easily for me. Emotionally, though, it was a different story. I have severe social anxiety. This is only something I've discovered in the last few years. I think I began to understand it when I went back to graduate school because after having worked on my personal awareness for several years, I was now keenly attune to the panic I felt when in a room full of strangers, especially when there was high pressure, like a teacher who might ask a question, for example. :)  I knew going to school was difficult because I was "shy," but I really had no idea what was going on or how challenging it had been for me from elementary school through college, especially at times or…

#52Stories Failure

What role has failure played in your efforts to achieve your goals? Have you learned as much from your failures as you have from your successes?

Writing and getting published seem appropriate topics for these questions. I got so many rejection letters when I was trying to find an agent and/or publisher. It wasn't just failure, it was failure stacked upon fat failure. It was excruciating at times, so much so that I decided to quit more than once, only to pick the pen back up again because that's what writers do. Failure can be discouraging, but I'd have to say that sometimes it only fuels the fire more. It can make me more determined to achieve a goal. And as for learning, I learned WAY more from my failures than from my successes. There is no comparison. My writing improved exponentially; my ability to write a query letter was perfected; and my skin thickened so much that sometimes I don't feel human anymore. :) I think that's a good thing, anyway. I love failure. …

Hidden Gems--Nephi's Record

I just finished reading the Book of Mormon again and, therefore, started it again. I love reading this book! I decided to record some of my thoughts during this read and I'm calling this series of blog posts Hidden Gems.

Sometimes I look forward to reading 1 Nephi, and sometimes I dread it. It can be difficult to listen to Laman and Lemuel complain, or if I'm in a complaining mood it can be difficult to be reminded how unhelpful that is and that I need to stop it. But I love Nephi. My opinion of him has evolved over the years. I used to see him as a bit prideful and/or self-righteous. And he may have been. We all have our faults. One of mine, for example, is fault-finding. Thus, my previous opinion of Nephi. I'm trying to focus on the good in others, and Nephi had a ton of good. He was pretty much a fireball of faith and determination. He endured a lot, and was loyal to his God and his people. He was hard working and kind to his brothers, especially his younger brothers. H…

#52Stories Physical Achievements

What has been your greatest physical or athletic accomplishment? How did you stay motivated to reach the finish line?

A few things came to mind when I read this question. Giving birth, for example! It was never an easy thing for me to carry a baby inside my tummy. My body seemed to detest it, actually. I experienced severe, constant nausea for the first few months, varicose veins the second half of each pregnancy that got worse with each pregnancy, and had a hernia during the first pregnancy that caused a lot of pain. By my third pregnancy, the physical difficulties began to take a toll mentally as well. So worth it, though! I always envied those that had an easier time with it.

Another thing that came to mind was the Halloween Half Marathon I ran several years ago in Provo, Utah. It was especially satisfying because my training got interrupted by an injured toe and despite the set back I was able to finish strong and ran the whole time with the exception of bathroom breaks. I never h…

#52Stories Gratitude

Here is another question I wanted to answer in Family Search's #52 stories challenge.

What is something you taught yourself to do, without much help from anyone else?

This seems like a trick question. I feel that everything I know how to do I had a great deal of help in. I describe myself as being "self-taught" at the piano, but in reality I still had help. My mom taught me a bit when I was young and answered my questions as I went along. She also played the piano a lot which taught me by example. I also had a lot of music instruction in orchestra growing up which helped me learn other instruments.

It is the same with writing. I learned from teachers, classmates and critique group members over the years. Not to mention the encouragement of family and friends. When it came to trying to get published I turned to books and blogs to learn the ropes and SO MANY PEOPLE that I don't even know helped me learn how to query agents and publishing companies, market, and format a …

#52stories New Year

I love this idea from because it is helping me decide what to write about. :)

Last week's question was "What goals do you hope to achieve this year?"

I like to set little goals as I go along throughout the year so I've decided not to set any big goals at the beginning of the year. Last year I had one goal--to be optimistic--and that served me well all year long. This year I'm thinking of KINDNESS, to self and others. I would also like to improve in the areas of organization and preparation. These two things have also become awesome allies in my life. Things go smoother and I get more done and if feels great.

Speaking of which, I need to go do some planning for this week.

Happy New Year!

Tired of Hobbling

This is a picture of my ankle eight days after I sprained it.

This picture is on day eighteen. I think it's getting better even though it looks mostly the same. I'm hoping for an injury-free 2017.