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Archive for 'Goals'

Genevive Chamblee: Goal Setting for the New Year
Monday, December 12th, 2022

I know; I know. Christmas hasn’t even made it and already I’m writing a post focusing on the New Year. If it seems like my decision is because I’ve fallen into that pit of commercialism, rest assured that it is not. See, goalsetting now may be a diversion from busy holiday shopping and reduce the stress of welcoming the New Year by having a plan. I’m not speaking of a few random resolutions that will begin strong and fizzle out by April. I’m speaking of mapping a detailed agenda of what you want to achieve in the future. Anything worth accomplishing generally is successfully attained by using a thorough and well-designed blueprint. For example, a common New Year’s resolution is weight loss. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to shed a few pounds. Okay, but how will one reach that goal?

It’s not enough to want and say what is desired. One must actively pursue it. So, to lose weight, a person may decide to join a gym membership, especially since many gyms discount their fees this time of year. But is this the best choice? Is this something that the person will have time to do? Is the gym located in an area that is not an inconvenience to attend? Will the gym hours work with the person’s hours? Financially, can the person afford the membership fees beyond the initial discount? These are all factors that should be considered. Waiting until December 31 to consider them, a person may feel he/he pressured to begin on January 2 and not skip sorting through options. Studies have indicated that when people are asked why they failed to succeed at their New Year’s resolutions, the response is because the resolution was not well-developed—that other events in their lives interfered and threw them off course. However, the truth is many of the hiccups could have been avoided if they had been considered before starting—being proactive instead of reactive.

Big goals frequently take a great deal of time to complete. This suggests that big goals also require much thought. Instead of sitting down and attempting to hash out a game plan in one go, perhaps what is needed is to consider choices for several weeks. Once one begins planning, he/she may realize that he/she needs to do prep work before setting his/her plan in motion. For example, a friend decided that she wanted to do a vision board to keep her inspired throughout the year. When another friend asked her if she had begun constructing the board, she confirmed that she hadn’t and would do it later in the month. As the other friend continued to acquire about the board, the first friend realized that making a vision board to hang on her wall would take longer than she had anticipated. Yes, she had determined she would download images from Pinterest. However, she hadn’t calculated the number of hours she would need to browse through the site. The sheer abundance of picture options can be overwhelming. She also had neglected to purchase extra ink and paper or the size of the board she would use. While she hasn’t begun assembling her board, she has begun collecting images and trimming them to attach.

However, I’m jumping ahead slightly. Therefore, let me reset and start from the beginning. How does one determine goals for the new year?

  1. Clearly defining the goals. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how vague some people can be in listing his/her goals. For example, the broad statement, “I want to be wealthy?” Ask ten people to define wealth, and one is likely to receive ten different answers. Wealth for one person may mean earning a million dollars. Another person may consider “being wealthy” a lot less expensive at one hundred thousand dollars. Another person may define wealth as financial independence to have all bills paid each month without consideration. Yet, another may define wealth as being spiritually fulfilled. If one isn’t specific about what he/she wants to accomplish, it will be more difficult to obtain it.
  2. Reflect on the past year for a baseline. This does not mean getting so bogged down in the previous year that the person becomes discouraged for the upcoming year. This reflection is an assessment so that person has a baseline to begin. In the losing weight example, the baseline would be the person’s weight and measurement prior to starting any weight loss program. It also probably should include a discussion with a physician or nutritionist regarding safe dieting and health.
  3. List wins and fails. It is beneficial to note if a goal has been attempted previously what actions were successful and which weren’t. This avoids wasting time repeating behavior that does not work and increases doing the things that do. Referring back to the weight loss example, a person may find that he/she is more motivated to swim than do aerobatics. So, why would that person register for an advanced aerobatics class? Studies have shown that many “can’t have diets” fail because the person feels hungry and deprived. Dieters who “limit” (e.g., portion control) but don’t “prohibit” their consumption of certain foods are more likely to be successful. However, this may be a slippery slope for some because once they do not adhere to the “limit.” They argue that the temptation to have a little is too great, and it is better to have none at all. Therefore, to determine a diet plan, the dieter may consider which method they previously had the most success using.
  4. Make a list of challenges and obstacles. What barriers stand in the way of achieving your goals? When a person knows what obstacles he/she faces, he/she is able to devise a strategy to avoid them. A coworker discussed having toxic friends who got into her head whenever she talked of a career change. They convinced her that she was making a mistake and that the situation would improve at her current job. And perhaps for a time, things did get better. However, it would always revert to misery. Months of being sedentary turned into a year. Now, the coworker has reservations about switching careers because of her age. She had this to say. “I think the advice from my friends wasn’t in my best interest but theirs. I think they wanted me to stay because they were staying. They knew I wasn’t happy, and instead of encouraging me to chase a dream, they convinced me I wasn’t being realistic. I can’t blame them entirely because I had no confidence in myself. If I did, I wouldn’t have listened. Instead, I empowered them to allow my fear to stifle my professional growth.” This leads to the next point.
  5. Be confident that the goal can be achieved. If you think you can, you will.
  6. Understand setbacks. Not-so-pleasant things happen. That does not mean it is the end of the road. If appropriately viewed, all setbacks can be learning experiences. Besides, they happen to everyone. If a plan is well-devised when a reversal occurs, all one needs to do is consider the options detailed in the strategic plan to continue moving forward.
  7. Purpose of goal. Sure, the purpose of a weight loss goal is obviously to lose weight. However, why does the person want to lose weight? Is it to fit into a dress for a special occasion? Is it to meet the requirement for a sport? Is it for health reasons? Or is it to impress someone else? Many years ago, a relative who was a nurse who was in her mid-sixties at the time revealed that her dream had been to be a mortician. When asked why she had never become one, she stated that her parents had pushed her to be a nurse because her older sister was a nurse. She adopted the path of being a nurse to please others and follow a path that others had laid for her. This is similar to the situation with the coworker who failed to leave her job. However, in this instance, it wasn’t fear or a lack of confidence that kept the relative from following her dreams. It was her desire for approval from her family. When setting goals, it is important that the person setting the goal actually wants to achieve the goal for himself/herself.
  8. Measurable steps. This is self-explanatory. Any goals set should be able to measure. With a weight loss goal, calorie intake and tracking weight are measurable steps. For becoming wealthy, counting money saved or gaining promotions are measurable steps. Without measurable steps, it’s difficult to determine progress.
  9. Accountability. It may be challenging, but anyone who has goals must weave measurements of responsibility into his/her goal plan. When a plan lacks accountability, it is easy to get off track and stay off. Several years ago, a friend had a goal to stop smoking. Each week, he deposited the money he would have spent on cigarettes into a special account that he planned to use partially to pay for a vacation to Fiji. As a punishment, if he decided to smoke, he had to smoke a cigarette from the pack he’d purchased before deciding to quit. The thing about this pack was that it had been opened, and the cigarettes had started to grow stale over time. Also, he’d accidentally left them outside, and they had gotten wet from the rain. The worse was that one of his brother’s cats had twinkled on it. He enlisted his family to watch him and be sure that if abided by his own rules. (If anyone is wondering, he was successful in quitting, but not before smoking a “cat special” cigarette. He has always said smoking it was so disgusting that he now gags each time he sees a cigarette.)
  10. Have achievable goals. Now listen. The sky is the limit, but at a certain point, the sky turns into space. Many years ago, a professor told the class a story of one of his clients who wanted to be a fireman. This was not an obtainable goal because the person was deaf, and his not being able to hear would make him a liability in a fire that he could not hear his coworker’s warnings and/or have smoke obstruct his view to read their lips or signs. However, the local volunteer fire department founds other ways that he could help (e.g., preparing the equipment and managing the firehouse). It was not a perfect solution, but at the time, it was the best anyone could devise.

With that said, that’s all that I have for today. What did you think? What is your take on the subject? Do you agree or disagree? Did you find this information helpful or informative? Did you learn anything new, or did it change your opinion? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section. Also, let me know if you would like me to cover more of these types of topics or dive deeper into this one. If you like this post, please click the like button and share it. Your feedback allows me to know the content that you want to read. If you’re not following me on Creole Bayou blog, what are you waiting for? There’s always room at the bayou.

Get ready. It’s almost time to hit the ice again. Future Goals Coming soon.

Future Goals

When a college hockey player needs the help of an attractive older attorney, he gets more than he bargained for when trying to sort out the troubles in his career. Falling in love was never part of either man’s plan, especially as Corrigan’s and Sacha’s lives should never have collided. Now they’re left questioning if they’re standing in the way of the other’s future goals, or if there’s room for redirection.

Preorder your copy at:
Other booksellers:

Missed the first four books in my hockey romance series? No frets.

Out of the Penalty Box (book #1), where it is one minute in the box or a lifetime out, is available at It also can be ordered on iTunes, Nook, or Kobo. For more links on where to purchase or to read the blurb, please visit

Defending the Net (book #2) can be ordered at or Crossing the line could cost the game.

Ice Gladiators (book #3) is the third book in my Locker Room Love series. When the gloves come off, the games begin. Available at or

Penalty Kill (book #4) retakes the ice. Get a copy at or and let the pucker begin.

For more of my stories, shenanigans, giveaways, and more, check out my blog, Creole Bayou, New posts are made on Wednesdays, and everything is raw and unscathed. Climb on in a pirogue and join me on the bayou.

January into February… (Contest)
Monday, January 31st, 2022

UPDATE: The winner is…Kathleen Bylsma!


I had a very busy January. Big goals and I hit them all.

Eli (Montana Bounty Hunters: Dead Horse, MT Book 6)

Some were work-related:

  1. Revise and publish my Dark Realm-related short story, “After Dark“. check
  2. Write and publish my fifth Montana Bounty Hunter: Dead Horse, MT, Eli: check
  3. Complete two editing jobs, one of them a whopper 87,000 words: check

Some health-related:

  1. Annual physical: check
  2. Start weight loss program (Weight Watchers): check & lost 12 pounds!

Some home-related:

  1. Repaint my bedroom, which is 3/4 done (lots of large furniture to work around): check

All of these accomplishments were part of my 2022 Goals/Resolutions, and since I’m following the plan, so far, I’m feeling pretty good. Maybe it’s the 12 pounds I’ve lost so far, or the terrific sleep I’m getting, I don’t know. I played with insomnia for years, but since I started using a CPAP, I get very deep, natural sleep. And I’ve moved my going to bed time earlier and earlier, from midnight to about 9 p.m. so those 4 or 5 a.m. wakeups simply allow me to get so much more done before the rest of the house wakes up—I consider that a huge win.

Yes, I’m happier, getting healthier, and I hope that will be my 2022 trend!

Hate me yet? 🙂


I’m going to put it out there and see what happens.

No Tender Mercy

For work-related, I plan:

  1. To publish my short story from the Cowboys anthology as a single short story release, “Hunk of Burning Love.” I’ll have it in Kindle Unlimited sometime next week and offer it FREE for download on this website from the 11th to the 14th—my Valentine’s Day gift to you.
  2. To write and publish the next Texas Vampires novella, No Tender Mercy. (Have you pre-ordered your copy?!)
  3. To complete 5 editing projects in February!

For health-related:

  1. I’ll continue with Weight Watchers and hope to lose another 5 pounds. I’m not pushing it, because I like how I feel. Slow is good!
  2. I’ll begin some low-impact aerobics, which will include a video workout for old people (I’m not old, and my joints aren’t effed, but I like the low-impact part!), plus, I’ll add some outdoor activities, like pool maintenance and blowing the patio—counting the things I should already be doing to get ready for pool season. All of them burn calories and build muscle. Guess I should count housework, too. Blech.

For happiness-related: 

  1. I’m going to work on getting my art room better organized, because…
  2. I’ll be working on the #100DayProject art challenge beginning February 13th! My third year in a row. Can’t wait! The puzzle I have to work out is how I’m going to fit in daily art with everything else I’m doing!


Comment on anything you’ve read in this post. Give me suggestions. Tell me what you’re doing to make yourself happier and healthier. Tell me what you plan to read… Like I said, comment on anything for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Keeping Real about Goals and Accountability, Plus Open Contests!
Tuesday, January 26th, 2021

Not a sexy title for a blog, is it? But I do like the picture because, hey, I have a thing for Post-It Notes. 🙂

Can you believe this is already the last week of January? I had so many goals. Some of them I did achieve. Today, I’m retooling plans so I can finish the month with a flourish and start February with a steely purposeful mindset! Next month, I want to wrap up a book; I have several editing projects to complete; and I being the #100DayProject art challenge! So, plenty to do and little time for lazy days—that’s for sure! My sis and I are planning writing sprints to slam some words onto paper, something I love doing but haven’t in quite a while. I’ll also try to do some weekly, if not daily, progress posts on Facebook to keep myself accountable.

Anyone else with me? Want to state some goals you’d like to achieve? Maybe we can figure out a way to keep us moving forward, even if it’s just household tasks, like “I have a closet to Marie Kondo or a garden to prepare for Spring planting.” Does that sound like something you’d like to do?

Open Contests

There’s still time to enter!

  1. Cover Reveal! (Contest) — Win a FREE book!
  2. Thinking about Montana… (Contest & Open Contests) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  3. Puzzlers, “un-puzzle” this! (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
  4. Anna M. Taylor: My New New Year’s Resolution (Contest) — Win an Amazon gift card!
New Year’s Plans… Blech! (Contest)
Saturday, December 29th, 2018

UPDATE: The winner is…Michelle Levan!

I’m a planner by nature and education. I make lists. FOR EVERYTHING. That doesn’t mean I’m super-organized. It just means I track my achievements and know all too well where I fall short.

I teach a free goal-setting class every December to other authors, hoping that while I kick their butts to think about what they want to achieve that I’m inspired to do the same.

So far, I have listed everything I want to do writing-wise. I started out with a goal of making my life a lot easier next year with a sedate writing pace… Yeah. By the time I figured in everything I NEED to write, that easy plan went out the window. Crazy as it is, I have my 2019 writing plan mapped out. But work’s not everything, right?

What about real life? Family fun and obligations. Fitness goals (ha!). My artistic goals (paint for fun, re-open my Etsy store, produce something to sell…). Build my savings. Get ready for retirement (like that will ever happen!).

To get all my goals in alignment, I set up a Bullet Journal. I’ve kept one for about three years now. It’s time-consuming. A pain in the ass to set up and maintain, but everything I need to do is captured in one little journal book. That’s what I’m trying to wrap up today.

So, my question to you is whether you worry about the coming year. Do you plan? Set resolutions? Set up journals or calendars? Answer for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card!

Elizabeth Andrews: New Year, Fresh Start (Giveaway)
Thursday, December 27th, 2018

UPDATE: The winner is…SnarkyMom!

Hello, everyone! First I want to thank Delilah for hosting me today, for sharing her space with me. It’s always generous of her to do that, and always fun for me to be here. 

I have to admit, I’ve been looking forward to the end of this year. I thought I was looking forward to the end of last year, but then 2018 happened. The last couple of years have been rough here, but the challenges look like they are winding down, which is a huge relief. I’ve been anticipating the start of the new year for a fresh start. 

My fresh start doesn’t include New Year’s resolutions–I’ve never had much success with those. Instead I always set goals for myself (mostly writing, though I used to include personal things on those lists) and try to break them down into smaller, manageable bites that make it more likely I’ll reach those goals by the end of the year. Sometimes life gets in the way, like it has for the past three years. Some things you simply can’t plan for. 

I had high hopes for last year, even after the really lousy start we had. But if you’ve experienced loss, you know what happens: even when you think you’re good, or you think you should be better, grief has a way of pulling you under when you least expect it. 

So I am looking at next week, at the start of the near year, and am determined that the last couple of things we still need to wrap up will not slow me down. I have my writing goals fine-tuned (Thanks for that, too, Delilah! I do love the goal-setting workshop each December!), and I am almost ready to go. I have a few days left this year to relax a little before we turn the calendar forward–just the direction I’m aiming for. 

My list is ready, posted on my bulletin board here beside my desk in my home office, and tucked into my day-job tote bag where I will see it daily when I pull my things out to put on my desk there in the mornings. I did add some personal goals to the list this year (You know what else loss and grief can do? Screw up your day-to-day schedules, including meals and exercise.), so I can end next year in a much better place, writing-wise and personally, than this year or last year, or even the year before, before things went really haywire. 

I’ve had some really ambitious lists in previous years, must bigger lists that I managed to pull off, because things went my way in every conceivable circumstance. These last few years? Not so much. So my list for 2019 is a little smaller than I would like, but I don’t want to set myself up for failure. If I get more done, that can be a nice bonus when we get to this time next year. But honestly, I’ll be thrilled to check off everything on my goals list for the year, even if there is no extra. 

I wonder how many others are ready for the new year to begin, for your own fresh start? Do you have specific goals? A short list? A long list? Just a reading list? I have an electronic copy of my book Hunting Medusa and a gift card for either Amazon or Barnes & Noble to give away for one commenter. I’ll do a drawing via for these and include entries for everyone who comments between now and 5pm EST on Friday, December 28, 2018.   

Happy New Year! 

About Elizabeth Andrews

Elizabeth Andrews has been a book lover since she was old enough to read. She read her copies of Little Women and the Little House series so many times, the books fell apart. As an adult, her book habit continues. She has a room overflowing with her literary collection right now, and still more spreading into other rooms.  Almost as long as she’s been reading great stories, she’s been attempting to write her own.  Thanks to a fifth grade teacher who started the class on creative writing, Elizabeth went from writing creative sentences to short stories and eventually full-length novels. Her father saved her poor, callused fingers from permanent damage when he brought home a used typewriter for her.  

Elizabeth found her mother’s stash of romance novels as a teenager, and—though she loves horror—romance became her very favorite genre, making writing romances a natural progression. There are more than just a few manuscripts, however, tucked away in a filing cabinet that will never see the light of day.

Along with her enormous book stash, Elizabeth lives with her husband of more than twenty years and two young adult sons, though no one else in the house reads nearly as much as she does. When she’s not at work or buried in books or writing, there is a garden outside full of herbs, flowers and vegetables that requires occasional attention.