Tag Archives: goals

Happy New Year 2013!

Yes I realize Times Square dropped the ball six weeks ago. Unfortunately, I wasn’t ready to ring in the New Year then. I had too many things to finish before 2012 ended. I was behind on book 2…behind on karate work…behind on household projects.

I was a duck paddling like hell to keep afloat.

How could I possibly start off the New Year with a clean slate when there was no way humanly possible to reach my goals by December 31st?

I needed another month. That’s when the idea hit me. If I followed the lunar calendar, I could add six more weeks onto my year. That’s six more weeks in which I could finish everything before the New Year started.

The Chinese New Year. February 10th.

You know what? It worked.

I finished and turned in book 2 to my editor on Jan 27th. With the help of a hardworking karate student, I caught up on outstanding dojo business. And I’ve tackled a lot of those household projects. Still working on the biggest one, which is cleaning and purging the basement and putting everything up on Freecycle. I can’t believe how much we’ve already gotten rid of. Though, what really blows my mind is how much is still down there. Does the rest of America accumulate as much STUFF as we do? Where does it all come from? I don’t even like to shop! Sorry…I digress.

Anyway, I feel great having accomplished what I’d wanted. Now I have a reason to raise my glass and celebrate. It’s wonderful starting off this New Year (the Year of the Black Snake) with a new writing project.

Of course, this led to a curiosity about what the Year of the Black Snake has in store for me. I Googled my Chinese zodiac sign (the ox) and found this on the About Sichuan China website:

Year of the Ox 2013 – Summary

2013 should be a good year for the Year of the Ox person.

Their hard work, loyalty and reliability should ensure a successful year in business, career, fortune and relationships.

Just beware of those negative traits – stubbornness and misplaced loyalty.

And they should look after their health in 2013 otherwise sickness will spoil a lot of good things that should happen in 2013!

For the person born in the Year of the Ox 2013 should have successes as long as the Ox person builds on their positive traits and manages their negative ones!

So the ox person needs to work hard but balance that hard work with exercise and good nutrition to avoid health problems.

In other words, 2013 will be a good year if I maintain balance. That’s good advice for anyone in any year, don’t you think?

~K.M. Fawcett

I Get Knocked Down…

Daruma doll

Have you ever worked months, maybe years, toward a goal you really, truly wanted? I’m talking blood-sweat-and-tear-shedding, sleep-depriving work for this goal in which the pain never bothered you because your excitement and hope blunted it, especially when success was within reach; so close you could stretch out your fingertips and brush the goal’s smooth, pristine surface. Only to have your heart’s desire tip over, fall off the pedestal and shatter on the tile floor into a million teeny tiny pieces?  Along with your heart.

If you’re a writer who has received a rejection letter, you understand exactly how I feel.

I really believed this manuscript was the one. The manuscript that would bring my first contract, start my career, drop me on the path toward New York Times bestsellerdom, and keynote speaker at RWA’s national conference. (What, your dreams don’t include being a future keynote speaker?) Anyway…the editor had good things to say about my writing, but thought my twist was a little too different. Argh! (Side rant: I’m beginning to think the NY publishers don’t want “a new twist on an old story” they want “slight curvatures”.) Granted she was only the first editor we’ve heard back from on the new project, and my agent and I still love it and wholeheartedly believe in it, but the rejection knocked me down anyway. What can I say? I’m a sensitive girl. So as I was sinking into the quicksand of self-pity and crushed dreams, I thought about the Daruma I gave my husband for Christmas.

A Daruma is a traditional Japanese wishing doll that helps us achieve our dreams. When you get a Daruma, you set a special goal and then color in one of the doll’s eyes signifying the start of your commitment to work toward achieving it. Then you place Daruma where you can see him everyday – either at home or at work. He motivates you to stay focused on your goal. Once your goal has been achieved, you signify your accomplishment by coloring in his other eye.

Daruma’s are made from papier-mâché, are rounded, hollow, and weighted on the bottom so they will return to their original upright position if tilted or knocked on their side (like a Weeble Wobble – remember those?). Because of this unique ability to right itself, Daruma is associated with the Japanese proverb, nana korobi yaoki, which states, “Fall down seven times, get up eight”.  In other words, the proverb and the doll represent persistence and perseverance.  Not only is that a good writing motto, it’s a good life motto.

Daruma reminds us to never, ever give up on our dreams. No matter how many rejections we may receive.

~K.M. Fawcett


Happy New Year!

My husband and Me on the slope

After the crazy fun of Christmas part 1, 2 and 3 and a great week skiing with my family and friends (there were 16 of us!), I hardly had time to think about my goals for 2011.  But finally, after giving some thought I wanted to share them with you.  I figure I’ll be more accountable if I publicly state my goals.

At first, I came up with three goals:

1) Get published

2) Learn the last 3 Isshinryu weapons kata

3) Lose fat and gain muscle

Unfortunately, I realized those weren’t good goals.  Why?  Because they aren’t precise, measurable, or realistic.  Especially when the success of the first two are contingent on other people.  I have no control whether or not editors and publishers will love my story and feel it is marketable just as I have no control over how many weapon katas (karate forms) my sensei feels I am ready to learn.

So after a little more thought, I came up with some precise, measurable and attainable goals that will hopefully set me up for success in 2011.

1)  Write five days a week.  Every week. Even if it is only a sentence.  Blogging doesn’t count.  Only novel writing counts.  The more I write, the better I’ll become and the more finished novels I’ll have to give to my agent to shop.  This increases my chances of getting published.  By not giving myself a daily word count to reach, I feel that this goal is attainable.

2) Practice all my katas three times a week. I wanted to go for everyday, but didn’t think that sounded realistic.  If I missed a day, I’d be angry with myself and give up.  By practicing, my sensei will see my proficiency and confidence and know I’m ready to move to the next kata.

3) Increase my exercise regimen with running and P90X. While, I’m not sure how much running I can do over the cold winter months (I much rather run in warmer weather), I do have a measurable goal for the P90X.  My husband and I will be starting it tonight after work.  This is a daily exercise program that continues for 90 days.  I have done it before for about 40 days and then life got in the way.  This year the goal is to reach the full 90.

So there you have it.  I hope you can help keep me accountable.  And if you’d like to share your goals (remember precise, realistic, and measurable) in the comments section, I can help keep you accountable too.

Have a Safe, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year!!

~K.M. Fawcett