Posted in Happiness, The Zanzibar Moon, Writers, Writing tips, Year of Gratitude

Write down goals and gratitude

Write down your goals and gratitude and you’ll be surprised by what can happen

While cleaning my office (and it was about time too) I found an old journal. I have lots (they are tucked in all sorts of obscure places). Anyhow, I flipped through it and was delighted by what I had written six years ago. If you regularly read this blog, you’ll know that gratitude is conveyed in a lot of what I write. Without appreciation there is no true happiness.

Writing journal
Keep a journal of your goals and gratitude.

I gave myself a goal of 365 Days of Gratitude this year

Yep, I’ve missed some days (as far as writing them here) but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t appreciative. All those days are with more thankfulness than I could imagine. Days 249 through 310 were sixty-one days of extraordinary events that, particularly as a writer, have left me wondering if my dreams are coming true.

Back to the journal

In that tiny pink journal, I’d written a writing business plan. Six years ago, I was working fulltime (not writing) and any writing was accomplished in the early morning hours, lunch-time or after work. It didn’t matter. I put the effort in and tried to write every day, even if it was just in this blog. It’s not a chore to find those hours because it’s my passion.
I had written fifteen goals. Seven of those have been reached. Keep in mind, I had no idea how I would reach these goals, but I wrote them down and believed in them.

Here’s some I have ticked off:

  • I will be running a successful freelance business (I have three jobs lined up. One is a huge opportunity)
  • I will be in demand (after proving I can do the job, I am in demand)
  • I will publish my novel ‘Finding My Tarzan’ (The manuscript became ‘The Zanzibar Moon’ and was self-published in June)
  • On average I will work 3 days per week
  • I will write every day
  • I will regularly have my hair done (I’ve got to look like a published author, don’t I?)
  • I will see my friends more often
  • I will teach my kids good business and money principles, with love.

Here’s some I’m still working on:

  • I will earn $150,000 per annum (one day, ha, ha!)
  • Finding My Tarzan (The Zanzibar Moon) will become a bestseller (working on it)
  • I will have a column in a national magazine (that would be fun and challenging)
  • I will own a beautiful house with an awesome office overlooking the water
  • I will have spare abundance to share with my family

Things I didn’t write down that have happened:

I couldn’t have imagined some of what I had written would come to fruition. I didn’t put a date on my goals or make them too specific. That allowed for anything to enter my life. I’m writing genres that I never expected. That’s because I left the windows open to any opportunity that might fly my way (like a hawk). I’m a published author of contemporary women’s fiction and articles. Now I’m also skilled in biographies, short stories and sci-fi fantasy fiction. The diversity a fun challenge. It’s more than I could have imagined. That’s lots of gratitude in sixty-one days.

If you write down your goals (and what you are grateful for as well) I hope you’re as pleasantly surprised by the results as I have been. Look back on them in a few years, readjust the goals if you must. Keep looking forward to what you can achieve.

What are your goals? Write your dreams down. Imagine they are here. One day they will be.

Posted in Book Reviews, Happiness, Health and fitness, Women's issues, Writers, Year of Gratitude

A motivational read Turia Pitt ‘Unmasked’ review

A motivational read Turia Pitt ‘Unmasked’ review

I finished ‘Unmasked’ by Turia Pitt and Bryce Corbett (336 pages), between writing and other jobs. I couldn’t put it down (but of course I had to or I wouldn’t have met my own deadlines).

Turia Pitt Unmasked, writing computer.
Turia Pitt’s Unmasked, just finished. Next to writing laptop and the essential morning coffee.

From the first chapter, I shed tears. They stayed throughout, but mixed with smiles, chuckles and ‘wow’ moments.

My husband commented, “Are you still crying?” I was up to chapter twelve and had a box of tissues next to me, my head in the book.

This is an inspirational read; not only because of what happened to Turia, but what she did about it. It’s not just about Turia. The people around her show wonderful human spirit and love, particularly her fiancé Michael. Inspiring love flow through the pages.

Have a sense of humour

Turia has a wicked sense of humour and undeniable courage. She probably would have been a motivator, even if the fire didn’t happen to her. Her voice is loud but her physical achievements are thunderous. How many people take on Ironman events, the Kokoda Track, support charities (she did this before the fire), empower other people and live a humble (if not selfie-filled, ha ha) life? See her Instagram account.

Turia is spurred on by those who say she can’t do something. Doctors told her she’d struggle to walk; now she runs, swims, rides and climbs (and not slowly either). It made me realise how insignificant my own struggles were. I have no excuse not to exercise. I cannot complain when I feel pain (arthritis perhaps) in my knees, elbows, shoulders and neck. I will soldier on because I’m very grateful to still be fit and healthy. If I don’t keep moving I may not stay that way. I will stick it out because Turia’s voice is in my ear.

It’s not just a physical lesson

I didn’t just learn a physical lesson. I think the main thing is about our mind and how we use it. Turia breaks things up until she achieves them, be it physical or mental. I’ve always fragmented my writing projects into, words, scenes, chapters, then they become full manuscripts.

With multiple projects on the go it was getting to a point, I thought completing them was pushing my limits. Then I read Turia’s book and I had a light-bulb moment. Keep doing what you originally did; break it up. Finish the first bit, then the second and so on. I’m back to a flow of 3,000 words a day. I’m back on track. Mentally I’m in the writing zone. It’s not the same as an athlete’s zone but it works for me.

We can all be better people.

Turia is proof. She chose not to be bitter and angry; instead to live a full and meaningful life. We would forgive her for the first (considering what she’s been through) but that wouldn’t have been Turia, the person.

As an individual, I choose to be the best I can be. That’s all we need to be. We compete with ourselves. We run our own race. Be proud of what you are doing. If you’re not proud of what you are doing change it. It’s also advisable to keep supporters by your side. The people who love you will cheer you on like no one else. Just like Michael is always the first to greet Turia at her finish lines.

I’d also like to say what an excellent job John Corbett, Turia’s ghost writer, has done to pull the story together. I loved the chapters from the viewpoint of each of Turia’s loved ones. To say I had my heart in my throat, is an understatement. He brought the personal emotions to the surface and made Turia’s tale captivating, engaging and un-put-downable. (Lots of applause going off in the background).

Best advice: Take just one step.