Given I have some time off from work and have the luxury of extended reading, I have been catching up on blogs, New Year messages and generally any posts about publishing. One of the sanguine topics at the moment is goals for 2014. Sure I could write a post about them too – that I’m powering ahead with my Indie publishing dreams, and that I’ll try and do everything better this year. I could write about those things but I’d prefer to look at reality for a minute.

Reality. It’s not something that we want to spend too much time on is it? We prefer to live in some future tense or we dwell on the past because regrets are a natural human condition. Rarely do we stay put long enough to live in the present.

Capturing the present moment is not hard when you don’t over think it. It’s about taking stock of what’s around you and really experiencing that. Trouble is, our lives are rarely perfect or where we want them to be. That’s called reality: the way we are thinking and feeling in this minute.

Most likely there have been stresses over the ‘festive’ season. I know there have been for me. I’m probably one of many where Christmas and New Year haven’t gone quite right for various reasons – concerns about family health matters, a look in the mirror that says some things will need to be done differently in 2014, or simply taking stock of the old happiness barometer and finding it needs to rise a tad.

So given my present ‘reality check’ here are a few things I will be thinking about over the next few months (before I dare make any ill-informed, naive and unrealistic goals):

  • Learning to love yourself…as the Whitney Houston song goes. Tricky, very tricky. None of us had a perfect childhood unfortunately and this is where we learn to love – well even like – ourselves. To get it right in adulthood requires a whole lot of unpacking and repacking of those negative thoughts and experiences.
  • Better health: Not to strive for it is simply unacceptable. Everyone can find two small things to do better, even if it is brewing a green smoothie in the morning with all the good stuff to start the day. Or finding 15 minutes at least for exercise. Simple.
  • Relationships: We are born to get old. Yes everyone of us, you and me. Sometimes it’s time to throw out the relationships that aren’t working, and probably haven’t been for a long while. At the very least, we can demand more than just complacency from our relationships.
  • Standing strong: It requires courage to be true to yourself. Say what you mean, when you mean it. No games or clever double entendres. Stand firm in what you want and need and avoid the footsteps that will, otherwise, be planted across your person (don’t let people walk all over you).
  • Follow the dreams that have been with you since childhood because they are the best indicator of your ‘purpose’ in life. Yes, yes and amen to that!
  • Don’t forget kindness and compassion. Without it, we suck at life.

Maybe that’s enough for the moment to think about. On another note, I’ll be releasing Shadowscape – The Stevie Vegas Chronicles (Book 1) in mid January as an Ebook across all the major publishing platforms. Thanks to all the Indie authors who have been so kind with their information and resources. Yes, kindness and compassion are most definitely part of anyone’s ‘reality check’ if they look hard enough.

All the best for 2014.

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