Ethel_BookDiscussion_5“People in their handling of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed. If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning, there will be no failure. ~ Lao-Tzu

Not easy to sustain that feeling near the end as it is at the beginning, but definitely possible– and what a rush to find that success has been accomplished!

Consider your latest accomplishments. Do not categorize as to big or small. Done = accomplishment. And Done is better than perfect. Made the doctor’s appointment; got the electrician to put in the new smoke detectors; updated my website; took the car in for a tune-up, finally; finished the first or final draft of the memoir.

Now, latch onto, hold onto the feelings that went with the accomplishments. Whew! At last! Did it! Even more important–I’m trustworthy. I did what I said I would do. Those feelings make it easier to take the next steps.

Now consider this: January resolutions that get dropped by February, maybe March at the latest. Exercise program goals that fade before the pounds do. And consider, very briefly, the feelings that go with those dropped, failed, not reached goals–disappointment in self, guilt, self-criticizing, and an attempt at self-rationalization. Not fun at all.

“Hang in there” is not the most inspiring way for me to stay involved. But Chunk it down into small tasksDo it for you. You deserve this! Whatever “this” is. Those phrases are more apt to keep me going. Reaching a goal is a self-serving healthy way to take care of my self. And it makes me feel considerably happier.

I keep a written list of accomplishments, both personal and professional. I eliminate words like “just” and “only,” i.e., “I only had three events this month.” “I’m just a beginning author.” Humbug–if I may borrow a phrase from Scrooge. Three events are superb. Being a writer is a courageous and limitless endeavor. Having built a foundation of accomplishments, it makes it so much easier to begin another project.

So take a look at those goals for 2014–we’re at the home stretch. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. We can do it!

I’m wrapping up 2014 with three more events that are centered around my Seedlings book. I’ve promised this book and myself (for she has taken on the quality of a young and precious child), that I would spoil her with events for the nine months following the book launch. I reached out to friends, groups, bookstores, and libraries to find a home for Seedlings. Some folks said, “No, I can’t help you.” NO means next.

And many many people said YES. Thank you with heartfelt gratitude to those who have opened their homes, clubs, and shops for book talks and readings. The benefit has been finding extra venues along the way that have helped spread the word about successful relationships. The extra benefit has been in connecting with readers in person and hearing how certain stories from the book have struck a personal chord in them. What a great year it’s been!