May 2017 Goals

I can’t believe it’s already May! The first 4 months of 2017 have flown by in such a blur, I can hardly remember anything that’s happened. Of course, a lot of that has to do with my medical issues. Ack! But enough about that.

May is a fun month for me because it’s my birthday month! I like to celebrate hobbit-style, so I have a bunch of giveaways, sales, and other fun coming up.

But first … let’s talk goals!

It’s been a few months since I had a goals post. That should tell you how disorganized I’ve felt. But, along with my health, I’m getting my life and work organized! I have a lot going on in my life between writing, editing, social media, homeschool, and regular life stuff. The more disorganized I am, the more stressed I get; the more stressed I get, the more apt to get sick I am; the more sick I am, the more disorganized I become. Vicious cycle!

I’m working with my doctor to get my health on track and working with my husband to get home life more organized. I will get on top of things!

In other news, I launched my first newsletter last Friday. My plan is to use this tool to keep everyone updated on all things fiction (mine and others) as well as adding in fun and encouragement. You know, typical Ralene. If you haven’t signed up yet, you should do so! I’ll be making an exciting announcement in the next issue!

My Goals for May:

  1. Get into a routine where I can better balance work and homeschool. I already have my schedule laid out, so it’s a matter of getting everyone on board and sticking with it!
  2. I got my first round of edits for Aletheia back, so I need to get those done before my birthday. That’s my goal. I’ll continue getting up early in the morning to edit for a couple of hours.
  3. Do a shakedown and reorganization of my work layout. I’m going to be focusing more on social media and book marketing (instead of editing). So, there’s going to be a learning curve. Plus, I’ll be changing my daily focuses to reflect this change.
  4. Get my homeschool paperwork organized!
  5. The first step to getting my health under control is to plan better meals! My husband and I are working together to plan out menus and find meals that we all enjoy.

So there are my goals for May. What about you?

 

What are your goals for May, work or personal?

 

Share your goals below so we can keep in touch. If you haven’t already, head over and like my Facebook page, which is where we’ll check in during the month.

Goals: November 2016

PIC1068506062It seems like on the first of every month, I can hardly believe that the old month is gone and the new one is here. Like I blinked and missed a whole 30 days. Yes, October flew by in a flash–but I did manage to accomplish a few things!

 

Last Month . . .

Although I didn’t  get around to doing it until about the middle of the month, I did schedule out a menu plan for the rest of the year, using gluten-free and dairy-free recipes. Now if I can just stick to it.

Bellanok did get finished, the Kindle version anyway. The paperback document just came to me a couple of days ago. I kind of gave a soft launch of the Kindle, but plan to make a big hooplah about the paperback release next week. It may be a few days later than I planned, though. Friday instead of Tuesday.

The rest of my goals didn’t really come to pass, and that’s mostly my fault, mishandling my time or too much time being sick. But never fear! A new month is here, and I can try again!

How about the rest of you who shared your goals in October?

Pam: *Finish revisions for my fantasy novel
*Write a short story for Travis Perry’s newest anthology
*Teach at a one day conference in Georgetown, DE on the 15th
*host a book event in my hometown on the 20th for Realmscapes
*plan and hold a Great Pumpkin party (it’s the 50th anniversary!)

Laura: *Host decluttering challenge & launch new product
*Finish painting baby’s room and move furniture in
*Publish one blog post per week and send weekly email newsletter

 

Tips for Goals:

Give yourself a reasonable amount of time to accomplish your goal, but do set a time. A deadline creates a sense of urgency and gives you a reason not to keep putting the task off forever.

 

November Goals:

1. Win NaNoWriMo for the first time. For those of you who are not writers, this is a competition to write 50,000 words in one month. In theory, it shouldn’t be too hard, but every time I have participated, life got in the way.

2. Finish the Realm Makers website by the end of next week.

3. Keep my husband and I on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet this month. Make use of the menu plan by looking at it every day, and even looking ahead a couple of days.

4. Have a successful book launch for Bellanok. I have some fun things planned, including a book tour, some giveaways, and more!

5. Plan for all the craziness in December. (Yeah, this is kind of an open-ended goal . . .)

 

So there you have it. My map for the month. Direction to keep me motivated.

Share your goals in the comments, and lets keep each other accountable! (I’ll be following up with you on the November goals post.)

Sign up for my newsletter so we can keep up with each other!

 

 

Goals: October 2016 (Plus Giveaway Winners!)

PIC1068506062We have now entered my favorite time of the year. Everything about October 1 thru December 31 sends delightful shivers through my body. Eee! Okay, I’ll calm down for now. As much joy as I get from these next 3 months, there’s still the matter of business and life.

Stay tuned at the end of the email for the winners of the giveaway!

September Goals

Last month, I had a wide variety of items on my goals list. Thankfully, I accomplished at least part of most of them. Did I confuse you there?

I did start getting up at 6 a.m. like I intended, but not every day like I wanted. Enough that I know that I like that routine and will continue to make it a priority.

My blood sugar is not under control yet, but it is a lot better. Taking my medicine and watching my portions has helped a lot. Now to rein the rest of it in and get those numbers to where they need to be!

I did plan a block schedule for my work. I’ve been working out the kinks and am excited to see how it works this month!

Obviously, I finished Bellanok and got it off to my editor.

The handbook from Realm Makers is done, and I got a jump start on the website, but it still needs work before we reveal it to the public. Soon, I hope.

So, I think September has been my most productive month of the year as far as goals go. I got a good jump on several projects and am excited to see what happens in the next 28 days!

How about those of you who shared your goals last time?

PAM: 1. finish revising my fantasy novel
2. plan and schedule some book events for Realmscapes
3. finalize everything for my fantasy picture book series, which a friend and I are indie publishing
4. attend an Artists in Residence weekend at Highlights
5. celebrate my granddaughter’s 10th birthday! “I’m gonna be double digits, Grandmom!”

CINDY: 1. Relocate to Iowa
2. Start my new job
3. Get the OCR text for A Suitable Arrangment settled
4. Do a couple marketing events (Book signing, a couple online things, etc)
5. Get busy on Christmas present crafts

GRETCHEN: 1. Finish my rewrite so I can plot in October for NaNoWriMo.
2. Keep up my morning quiet time.
3. Train for a half marathon the first weekend in November (my second one this year so continued training).

KELLIE: 1. Finish polishing book 1 before September 22.
2. Edit “The Lost Chapter”, which I plan to put up for free on my website in either October or November. (I’ve already got my other free chapters on there! That’s at least one August goal done!)
3. Battle that beast of a book 2. It needs a major rewrite.
4. Do all this around my three jobs. It’ll be tricky, but so far getting bits done on the commute to and from work and during lunch seems to be working.

 

Tips for Goals

Make your goals challenging, but achievable. They should not be so easy that you can achieve them with little to no effort. But if you make them too hard, you will find more discouragement than motivation.

 

14516388_1109048352477241_2121187037269415336_nOctober Goals

1. I need to work in some low carb recipes to help my husband and I get our blood sugar under control. This week, I’m going to plan out the month of recipes so that I can start shopping with purpose rather than on impulse. Though I don’t think I can get rid of pumpkin rolls . . .

2. Get Realm Makers website up and running while planning out some reveals for October and November. I need to get the website done this week so we can start adding the new stuff!

3. Plan and execute the launch of Bellanok as a complete ebook and paperback. (If you’d like to help, let me know!) I know there will be a blog tour, an online launch party, and other fun stuff. Yay!

4. Prepare for NaNoWriMo! I already know the story I’ll be writing, I just need to do some outlining and character sketching and all that jazz.

So, there you have it! All my goals and only 28 more days. With God, all things are possible!

Share your goals in the comments, and lets keep each other accountable! (I’ll be following up with you on the November goals post.)

Sign up for my newsletter so we can keep up with each other!

 

thankyou_circles_noto_email_us-main-_cb268957429_Giveaway Winners

A huge thank you to all of you who participated and helped to share the giveaway. I always have so much fun organizing these kinds of things. I won’t keep you in the dark any longer. The winners are as follows:

Heather S. won 9 Strategies to Build & Grow Your Author Platform.

Gabrielle Compolongo won Heir of Hope.

Sarah Grimm won the $20 Amazon Gift Card.

Congratulations, ladies! If you would just email me your physical addresses, I’ll get the books out to you.

Have a fabulous October, everyone!

Goals: September 2016

After a summer full of conferences, vacations, and fun surprises, I can hardly believe it’s September already! Everyone’s kids are back in school (or almost), fall is in the air, and my schedule is slowly down ever so slightly. How about yours?

After a week-long work trip, I took a day to relax and refresh. Now it’s time to kick my brain into top gear and get going on all these goals and plans I have for the rest of the year. I need to break the big goals down into smaller, more attainable chunks, so I can stay focused and get more accomplished.

PIC1068506062One of the big concepts I walked away with from ACFW is allowing for flexibility in all areas of my life. Flexibility for what? For God. I want to walk closer with God, and if I am making all these plans, it has to be WITH Him. I want His plans to be my plans, but I want to be listening for His cues because His plans may not always line up right with mine, right?

But I know there are some things I need to be doing to walk closer with Him and to be able to do what He needs me to do. Hence a few of my goals this month.

September Goals:

  1. Get back into my early morning routine. You know, I always feel better when I start my day with God, in the Word. It seems to give me more patience for the day, more focus and purpose. I’ll talk more about my routines in a different post, but this is one I’m definitely picking back up and making a priority.
  2. Get my blood sugar under control. Although weight loss is important, I’m not going to be doing much of anything if my blood sugar numbers don’t come down. This month, I am focusing on portion sizes and eating more veggies.
  3. Plan a block schedule for my work time. Between writing, editing, and other work commitments, I need to have a clear schedule so I know how much time I have to devote to any project on any given day during any given week. Time management has been a weakness of mine as I have struggled with homeschooling and health. But if I want to do all of this, I need to step up and do what needs doing.
  4. Ralene Bellnock 1 The Reluctant SaviorGet Bellanok compiled into one book, revised and polished, and ready to send to my proofreader/formatter by September 20. (October 14, folks . . . be ready!) I have 2 hours, M-F, plus a few hours on Saturdays, to devote to getting this done. If I can focus, might only take me a couple of weeks!
  5. I’m fresh from the Realm Makers planning retreat with a host of projects to work on over the next month. The main 2 projects being our handbook (for the planning committee) and a new website. I’m excited about finishing up both! Realm Makers will be part of my block schedule as well!

 

So there you have it, folks. I’m ready to tackle September and come out on top. What about you?

 

What are a couple of your goals for September?

 

Janeen and Sara, how did you do on your goals from the August post?

 

If you haven’t signed up for my newsletter yet, now’s the time! There’s lots of fun stuff coming up this fall, including the release of Bellanok and more Confessions posts!

Goals: August 2016

PIC1068506062So this post is a few days late, but my recovery from Realm Makers and my crazy week prevented the post from coming out any sooner than, well, today!

I didn’t do a goals post in July, so I don’t really have anything to follow up on. I did manage to get everything I wanted done in July done, except for finishing an edit on my own story. I’m okay with that, though, because I still pitched it at Realm Makers and got a request for a full!

Back to August–and my quest for world domination. Actually, this month, I’ll settle for dominating my to-do list. It’s kicking my rear!

So, here are my goals for August:

  1. I need get a jumpstart on my revision of Dividing Spirits, which is now being aptly retitled, Soul Seer. I need to get the first 3 chapters polished before ACFW.
  2. Which brings me to my 2nd goal: prepare for ACFW. I have to design a new one sheet for Soul Seer and get all the papers printed out. Yay! Plus, I need a newsletter signup/contest sheet for the freebie table. And I need snacks.
  3. Start on my diet. I’ve actually already started on this. Yay! My friends Amy and Michele are jumping in on the quest with me to lose weight and get in shape before Realm Makers next year. Plus, there’s the being healthy part, which is important too. 😛
  4. Get on a homeschool schedule. Yes, I only have 2 weeks to homeschool before I leave for a week, but I think it’s important to get everything together and organized and work the kinks out. That way, AFTER I get back from ACFW, we can jump in to the routine, rather than fumbling about for another few weeks.

And that”s all I’m giving myself this month. I think it’s important to focus on a few things at a time. And this is plenty. Especially since there was only 3 weeks between Realm Makers and ACFW.

What are a couple of your goals for August?

Let’s keep each other accountable. I’ll keep a list of those who respond, and we’ll all check in the beginning of September! Sign up for my blog/newsletter so you can check back in with us!

June 2016 Goals

PIC1068506062Can you believe that another month has flown by? I love May because of my birthday and Mother’s Day . . . and a bunch of my friends have birthdays. It’s a fun month–usually.

This year, though, it was a big ball of illness for my house. Half of April until the last week of May had at least one, if not more, people in my home laid out, too sick to do much of anything. It was rough, but we recovered.

As a result, though, I didn’t full accomplish any of my goals for May. I finished the first draft of Bellanok 4, but did not get revisions done (working on those now), which means I didn’t get the whole thing put together either. And being sick did not make for getting into routines or fixing our diets.

So, this month, is a try and try again type of month. Here are my goals for May:

1. Finish revisions on Bellanok 4 so I can release it mid-month. I should get revisions done by Wed. next week, then out to my proofreader/formatter. Hopefully, life doesn’t intervene too much.

2. Pull the whole Bellanok story together in one book and work on revisions.

3. Read through and make notes on revisions for Aletheia. This is a fantasy I was working on before Bellanok. It’s had a year to rest, so I’m hoping to use my agent’s and CP’s notes to make it stronger.

4. Get into a summer routine where we are still doing homeschool while I am working on big writing/editing plans!

We will get our diet under control by using a monthly menu plan and working it into our routine.

What about you? What are 1-3 of your goals for June?

(Let’s hold each other accountable!)

If you sounded off with your goals on May’s post, how’d you do? Were you more successful than I was? I hope so! (Amy, Jennette, Janeen, Becky, Randy, Liberty, Celesta, Jill, and Josh)

Goals: May 2016

PIC1068506062At last. We have come to one of my favorite months of the year. So many fun things happen in May–including Mother’s Day and my birthday. 🙂 This year just happens to include a book birthday as Bellanok: The Dragon’s Oath will be released soon.

So, what are my goals for the month? I have 2 writing goals and 2 life goals:

  1. Finish Bellanok 4 so I can release it in June. I should finish the first draft this week, then after a revision send it off to my CPs. Hopefully get it back mid-May so I can apply edits before sending it to my proofreader/formatter–and get ready for a June release! Who else is as excited as I am about this?
  2. Revise Bellanok as a whole to get it ready for paperback release. Yes, you heard that right. I will hopefully have a paperback version available sometime this summer.
  3. My husband and I sat up a new schedule/routine for us to find some stability in our crazy busy lives. We start today. So it is my goal to keep with this schedule and make sure that my family does as well. Hopefully this will help me to keep from dropping too many of my various spinning plates.
  4. My husband and I are also determined to start getting healthy. We both know what we NEED to do to get healthy, but we just keep putting stuff off in favor of more convenient options–largely due to lack of planning or poor scheduling on our part. Number one this month is to get our diet under control.

I think that’s plenty for one month, don’t you? I’m looking forward to feeling better and less crazy, and especially excited about having another completed book–and one that is published at that!

What about you? What are your goals for May?

Share a couple of your goals, and let’s keep each other accountable!

Happy & Healthy: Preparing for the Holidays

2015If you’ve been following me on Facebook and such, you know that I haven’t been keeping up with Happy & Healthy this year. I know, I know–shame on me. However, that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take the opportunity RIGHT NOW to start anew, to make better choices, and to share the ups and downs with all of you.

Of course, I would choose the months with the craziest food holidays to jump back in. Let’s just say, my biggest goal is not to GAIN any weight this holiday season. Losing weight would just be icing on the cake–I mean, gravy on the potatoes–wait, no, dressing on the salad?

Going into this time of year, there’s a few things to keep in mind.

  1. Halloween candy should be banned after Nov. 1. Get rid of it. Pawn it off on the neighbor kids or do some cool science experiments with it for your own kids. There’s no reason to be plumping ourselves up before we even get to the big event.
  2. Find ways to get/stay active, even as the weather turns cooler. If you don’t like the outdoors, find some workout videos or visit a gym. My church will let people come walk around the track over our gym on certain days! Yard work might be killer, but it also burns calories!
  3. Say this with me: “It is okay to indulge a little during the big meals, but do NOT overdo it!” C’mon, now, the holidays are important. Families comes together over this deliciously prepared food–and lots of it. While you may normally avoid the starchy mashed potatoes to “trim the waist,” there is no reason you can’t have a small helping on Thanksgiving Day. Now, if that helping takes up half the plate, or if that “small helping” happens 10 times over 2 days–that’s not good. A small dessert plate with a couple favorite desserts is NOT going to completely throw your diet into a tailspin.
  4. In fact, some experts say that denying some indulgence completely can actually cause more issues, including totally giving up, overindulgence when stressed/guilty, depression, etc.
  5. After the big meal, though, show some restraint. Combine leftovers with healthy options, eat smaller portions, etc.
  6. When you do eat a little more, just be sure to find ways to keep your metabolism high: a family football game after dinner, a quiet walk with a close family member, serving in a soup kitchen for a few hours . . .

I think I’m about ready for the holidays. Right now, I’m more worried about NaNoWriMo, and how my body is going to survive that! My priority in November is to make sure I am consistent in taking my medications, that I find ways to move around while I’m being productive in my more sedative jobs (writing, editing, homeschooling), and that I keep portion sizes in mind while I eat.

How do you combat overindulgence during the holiday season?