Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Death of a Blog

I used to write another blog. It was called Kyla's Not Normal. I was initially quite excited about it. I wanted to share the writing experience with everyone, just as I wanted to share my story.

But mostly I wanted to create an author's presence on the web.

I really want to make it as an author. I have dreamed of sharing my stories with the world since I was 5 years old. Because there were things I saw and felt that other people simply didn't. I went to other worlds, and I dragged my friends there with me. They weren't upset about it for long. Very shortly, they were having as good a time as I was!

I've wanted to share those worlds and characters on a much larger scale ever since. And a blog was just another tool I used to reach that goal.

It isn't a terrible reason. But the blog was a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. Plus, when I didn't feel it was working, or that my work was going fast enough, it made it far too easy to drop the blog in favor of things like boys and partying.

This time I want it to be different. I don't want to set myself up to fail again. Each post on this blog is an accomplishment in and of itself without anyone commenting, and without my presence as an author being enlarged. Each comment is an opportunity for growth and expression. Each time it's hard to log on and update my blog? That's a challenge and an opportunity to show how much I've grown since the last one.

I blog because I believe it's good for me. I blog because I enjoy it.

And I still hope to make it as an author. But that's not what it's all about anymore. It's about becoming a better person. Becoming great.

Daily Stats:


  1. Did not exercise or stretch today, but meditated and worked on my writing.
  2. Wrote in journal, stayed on budget, and wrote a poem today.
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4. Didn't clean at all.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sick, Sick Girl

I feel AWFUL. Like someone is stabbing me in the throat over and over and over again.

I don't feel like writing. The knife in my throat is a little too distracting. So I'm going to keep this blog post short. But suffice it to say it's hard to make your goals happen when you feel like your body is killing you. I believe, however, that if you keep your determination alive and see this as a challenge rather than a roadblock, you can do anything.

Hopefully, I can take my own advice.

Daily Stats:


  1. No exercise or stretching today. But I did meditate and work on my writing today.
  2. Wrote in my journal, stayed on budget, and wrote a poem today.
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4. No cleaning today.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Weak Points

Some of you out there may have noticed something about every single one of my blog posts: I finish them with a listing of my daily stats of what I did to reach my goals that day. This is a way for me to stay accountable for my actions. No, I don't lie on those stats to impress anyone; that would be missing the whole point. This is my personal improvement exercise. To lie would only be cheating myself of any improvement I could reap from it.

If you have been reading, you might have noticed that I have a few consistent weak points. There are two of the four goals that I find the most difficult to implement in my life. And neither of them have come as a shock to me.

Budgeting and cleaning are not things I enjoy. I doubt many of you reading this enjoy them, either. But I'm trying to face them, head on, to improve my life.

I'm still quite weak at those goals, though. I don't always stay on budget, I don't plan my budget as in-depth as I really should, I don't clean as much as I need to, and I don't make major cleaning projects the priority on my days off work as I planned. These are my weak points. These are the areas of my change plan that need the most work.

Studies have shown that people who spend most of their time in practice working on their weak points, show more improvement overall than those who spend a more balanced time dedicated to everything. Why? Because focus really does make a difference. All those multi-tasking benefits we've heard of? All lies.

 My main focus of late has been on budgeting. Mostly because I believe if I can rein in my spending habits, I can eventually afford some of the more expensive goals I have planned for later. After I get that under some control, I'm going to tackle my cleaning and organizational habits.

So, if anyone out there is wondering why I'm not moving on to goals 5 and 6 yet, this is why. Until I've improved in the budgeting and cleaning spheres, adding new goals will be left on hold. That's just common sense.

Daily Stats:


  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on writing this morning. Too sick to exercise and stretch tonight (strep), so I only meditated and worked on my writing.
  2. Wrote in journal, planned budget for my next 2 weeks, and wrote a poem.
  3. Posted on blog.
  4. Absolutely no cleaning done.

Write A Poem a Day And Your Muse Will Stay

Everyone who has ever wanted to be a writer has heard the quote, "Writers write." And while this is true, most people take that quote a step further and say, "Writers write every day."

I've never been one to agree with that sentiment. I still don't agree with it. I was just as much a writer 4 months ago as I am today.

But I do believe the principal of that sentence is sound. If you change the words a little. Maybe something a little more like this would work: "BETTER writers write every day."

The hard truth is that you have to practice to be good at something. And someone who practices (especially deliberate practice) every day is going to improve faster and more than someone who doesn't. That's why all-star basketball players make the big bucks, and our neighborhood basketball team makes nothing from a 'hobby'. The only thing that truly separates them is practice.

Lots and lots and lots of practice.

So why have I decided to write a poem a day, every day? Because that is writing. That is an exercise of creativity, wit, and skill. And the more I exercise my writing muscles, the better writer I will become.

Not to mention, poetry is a stark exposure of the soul. Melodramatic? Maybe. But that makes it no less true. Every poem I have ever written has exposed a dark, secret part of me. Most people don't know what I'm saying (poetry is like a code because it means different things to different people), but those who truly know me, connect with my meaning and know me even deeper. It's kind of terrifying and freeing at the same time.

Have you ever written a poem? What was its meaning to you?

Daily Stats:


  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal, stayed on budget, and wrote a poem today.
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4. Made my bed, worked on laundry, and picked up in my room.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Lesson of Goldilocks

Many of us have heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It's a common children's tale retold for countless generations.

I never really gave the story much thought, though. The only moral I ever got from the story was that you shouldn't break and enter into someone else's home, and that Goldilocks was awfully picky.

Turns out, though, that Goldilocks was one smart gal (minus the whole breaking and entering thing). She wasn't picky; she had an innate sense of proportion. And I have recently been convinced that this sense of proportion is something all of us should cultivate in ourselves, as well.

Just because I read one book: Drive (If you'd like to discover more about this quite enlightening book on motivation, click here).

In that book, Pink (the author) talks about something he calls 'Goldilocks tasks'. These are tasks that are not too much for a person to accomplish, creating stress, nor too little, creating boredom, but are just right in the time allowed.

I loved that term. And the more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that Pink was on to something.

And not just for tasks. This lesson could be used in all aspects of life. Because the true lesson of Goldilocks, the one I missed all along, is balance.

Goldilocks knew what was too hot for her to handle. She knew what was too cold for her to digest. And she knew where the perfect balance between those two extremes lay. More than that, she acted on that knowledge.

And the more I looked at the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, the more I saw that impressed me. On top of everything else, this simple children's tale points out a common misconception we all seem to have in our perception of balance: the right balance is different for each individual. Papa bear fit in the big chair just fine. Baby bear fit in his cute, little chair perfectly. But Goldilocks didn't fit right in either one.

The same is true about other things. What is a good boundary or point of view for someone else, may not hold true for you. Massive changes may not work for you; taking it too slow may kill your progress. More than likely, your balance will lie somewhere in between a rapid change and a slow, progressive change. And that's okay. As long as it works for you.

I've experimented with how to change most of my life. And this plan right here is working for me better than anything else ever has. But the balance I've forged may not work for you. The best way to find your own balance in your change is to be like Goldilocks and try each method on for size.

I might be alone in never realizing the true lessons of Goldilocks before now. But each of us could use her innate sense of proportion in our lives.

At least, I sure could.

Daily Stats:


  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal, went $17 over budget, and wrote a poem today.
  3. Posted on blog.
  4. Made bed, did laundry, folded laundry and put it away, and picked up floor in room.

Debt Has Become My Prison

I'm 23 years old. And I already owe over $7,000 in credit card debt.

How did this happen? Because I made it happen. I overspent. I spent money I didn't have when I didn't even have a job with a salary high enough to pay for it at the end of the month. Why? Because I "needed" it.

And it's no happenstance that most of my debt has been acquired since I started working at Walmart. Working so hard and getting so little in return made me feel as though I "deserved" the things I bought on credit. More than that, I am constantly bombarded with things I "need" to have. I can personally attest that Walmart's marketing scheme works.

At least, it did on me. Every day. For an entire year.

Until I can't stand it anymore. I'm so far in debt, I can't spend a dollar of my money without worrying if I'll have enough to pay my credit card bills. And as my main credit card debt is to Walmart, I can literally say that I pay Walmart to work for them!

And that is just pathetic.

Not only am I slaving for the company, I'm PAYING them to do so??? That has got to be the very definition of insanity.

No more. I'm going to pay off my current credit card debt, and then that's it. No more spending money I don't have. It's cold hard cash, or it isn't viable.

If you feel as though debt is enslaving you, too, check out Dave Ramsey's site. The man knows his stuff. And maybe he can make you rethink how you use your money, too.

I know I won't ever look at it the same again.

Daily Stats:


  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on my writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in journal, worked on my budget and stayed on budget, and finished my poem today.
  3.  Posted on my blog.
  4. Didn't clean anything at all today (except for the floors, bins, and merchandise at Walmart).

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Writing Down Your Troubles

Why did I make writing in a journal one of my goals? Well, that's simple. Because I'm a writer. And because talking myself through this change will make the process SO much easier, in the long run.

Not to mention, there is something so freeing in writing in a journal. It doesn't matter what you say, how you say it, or even why. It's your journal; you choose who reads it. And it's your space to just be yourself. Admit to your weaknesses. Describe your dark inner thoughts. Explore your flaws.

Only by facing what is wrong with you, deep inside, can you hope to change it. It won't go away on its own. You can't wish it away. It's there, and it haunts every day of your life.

And it will only get worse if you never deal with it.

A journal is truly the perfect place to work through some of that. Some might recommend therapy (and you may need that, too), but a journal won't charge you forty bucks an hour just to talk!

Just look at me! Every word I've written inside my journal has brought me strength in my change. It's part of the reason I've made it this far. Here's a few links to give you some ideas on why I recommend journaling so strongly:

The Health Benefits of Journaling

10 Reasons to Keep a Journal

Still not convinced? Well, think on this: In a journal, you can explore yourself, both good and bad, without fear of judgment or bias. It's just a page in a notebook. It isn't going to hate you or gossip about you. Instead, it will soak your words into its very soul, the truest form of listening you can ever imagine.

If you don't have a journal already, I recommend getting one. It's so simple to begin. All you have to do is write.

Daily Stats:

  1. Exercise, stretched, meditated, and worked on writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal, stayed on budget, and wrote a poem today.
  3. Posted on blog.
  4. Made my bed.


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pursuing Passion

I'm pretty lucky. I've known what my passion was most of my life. Sure, I've wanted to learn everything else and then some, but there is one thing I've never been able to stop myself from doing:


Creating worlds, characters, and stories has fascinated me since I was a very little girl. I've pretty much known I wanted to be a writer since I was 5 years old, in fact. And my passion for it has only grown with time. Today, I can say without any doubt, writing is the one thing I wish to do every day for the rest of my life. 

To be honest, all the rest of my life-changing goals are centered around this one. I want to be an author, published and known. Maybe even famous. (If I'm completely honest, I really want to be famous. To know that that many people have read my stories, walked in my worlds? That would be a dream come true for me.) But my life can't be completely about writing. I want a few other projects in my life someday, such as gardening and beekeeping. But writing is the main focus I want in my life.

If someone was to someday write a sentence summarizing my life, this is what I want it to say:

She was an incredible writer, inviting people around the world to walk inside her worlds and meet her imaginary friends, sharing in the beauty and friendship themselves.

I've found that pursuing this passion of mine has redefined my life in some way I can't articulate (which is a funny thing for a writer to say). I feel happier. More fulfilled. Less burned out by life and pain. More tolerant. Just better.

Maybe that's the meditation. Or exercise. Or the positive thinking. But, then, I only started those things because I wanted to benefit my writing, in essence, enrich my passion. And it has. Beyond my wildest dreams.

What's your passion? How much of your day do you spend pursuing it? I'm sure you don't have the time in this busy world of ours. Nor the money. Nor the skills. Well, neither do I. That's why I'm doing this. So I can acquire those things and pursue my passion for the rest of my life. Is there a way you can bring more passion into your life?

Think on it. Because if this experience is teaching me anything, it's this: Passion can truly change your life, pushing you to do things you never thought possible. Its power is as unending as its rewards...

If you have the guts to pursue it.

Daily Stats:

  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on my writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal, stayed on budget, and wrote a poem today.
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4. Made my bed and picked up in room.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Remembering Calm

Sit still. Think of your body in this moment. What does it feel like? Does it ache? Is it tense? Do you feel the chair resting against your back? Or the bed against your belly?

That is now. That is this moment. That is the present and nothing else.

There is a certain power in living in just this moment, without envisioning a dream future (or a nightmare one, if you're a pessimist) or reliving the mistakes or triumphs of the past. It gives you focus, a skill you may have noticed that I enthusiastically endorse learning.

More than that, meditation gives you a touch stone in your day-to-day life. With just a change in your breathing, or a slight touch of your fingers, you're reminded of a moment of peace in times of great stress.

What do I mean when I say this? Well, think about it. How many times in your life have you faced a scary prospect, or become so angry you're about to blow a gasket, and someone has told you to just take a deep breath and calm down? Like it's that easy. As simple as taking a deep breath and making yourself calm down when you're feeling such tempestuous emotions!

It isn't that easy. Emotions rule our day-to-day life more than we even realize. And creating calm and relaxing your muscles in the face of strong emotion is almost impossible, just as facing a large crowd to give a speech can be almost impossible (public speaking is the number one fear of humans worldwide, according to most studies; death comes second in most people's estimations).

But what if you prepare beforehand? Practice your speech by yourself over and over until you know it by heart. And then take it to your family and friends to practice it in front of them. Is it as impossible then?

Not really. It's still pretty hard, but each preparation makes the fear lessen a little more. And instead of creating your speech on the spur of the moment, with the crowd staring you down and your heart speeding too fast to be measured, you have a pre-written speech ready to be recited from memory. It's always easier to remember something you already know than to craft it from nothing in the face of heavy emotion.

The same is true about relaxation and calm. It's hard to pull those feelings up on command, like a rabbit from a magician's hat. But what if you practiced every single day? What if you took the time to feel that feeling every morning before you went to work or faced your family? Would remembering that feeling, preparing for the stressful moments of life when you'd need that calm most of all, make a difference when facing that moment of truth?

Yes. It's still pretty hard, but the practice makes it a little easier to do. Instead of creating calm and relaxation from nothing, you merely remember what it felt like when you meditated. Remember your muscles relaxing. Remember your emotions falling to the back of your mind and your body becoming your focus. Remember how it felt to be calm.

And then you won't have to remember. Because you're feeling it right now.

If you wish to explore your own calm, why not try a simple site like It never mentions meditation, you can choose whatever nature background noise you wish to hear, and it's a great beginner's source for learning to be calm. Hope it helps you as much as it has me!

Daily Stats:

  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on my writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal, stayed on budget, and wrote a poem today.
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4. Picked up a little in my room.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Better Than Enough

I never realized how much I hated myself until today.

I've been told over and over again throughout my life that I'm a very positive, calm person. I make other people feel good. I'm so upbeat. I have nicknames like sparkles, sunshine, giggles, bubbles, and feathers. People think I'm happy and sweet and fun.

And I am all of those things. For other people. But not for me.

I say and do nice things for others. And yet I tell myself, over and over again, that I'm not good enough. That I'm not motivated, hard working, determined, dominant, or even sweet enough. I beat myself up for every flaw. Worse, I come up with excuses for the things I do wrong just to screen over the feelings of self-hatred they evoke. I tell myself that it's okay that I didn't get up and do my work for the day; I wasn't born with that kind of motivation nor was I trained to do it. It's okay that I didn't stand up for myself when my mother put me down; I can't stop her from thinking what she wants and there's nothing I could say that would change her position anyway. It's okay that I wasted my day off from work watching television; I needed the down time, I was so exhausted.

You get the picture.

But, underneath the excuses, self-hatred eats away at me, crumbling my resolve and abilities even more. I hate myself for not getting up and doing my work, no matter the reason. I hate myself for not standing up to my mother when she's railroading me. I hate myself for sitting in front of a television all day while my writing lays on the table, unfinished.

I just hate myself.

Which is ridiculous! I'm a great person. Not perfect, by any means. But I am a great person. I make other people feel good about themselves, help them find solutions to their problems, not by telling them what they want or need, but by advising them to find what they themselves want or need, and I support people emotionally through difficult times. I'm fun, upbeat, and I make other people feel good.

And if there are some things about myself I don't like, well, that's okay, too. I'm only human. I'll never be perfect. But I can change what I don't like.

But first I have to accept it. It is what it is. I am who I am, both because of what has been done to me and what I have done to myself. There is no real way to change who I am in this moment. But there is a way to change who I will be tomorrow. And that starts right now.

If I don't like something about myself, fine. Change it. But to change it, you have to acknowledge it, accept it, and then refine it.

It seems, however, that my brain hasn't quite gotten the memo. My inner critic constantly undermines my belief in myself. I'll be going through my morning routine and suddenly I hear my own voice whispering in my mind: You're just not good enough. And with just those five little words, my body aches, my muscles tensing together like they took a real blow. My heart breaks, and a rush of overwhelming sadness sweeps through me. Because I believe it. I believe that I'm just not good enough. Not good enough for another person to love, not good enough to reach my goals, not good enough to live a real life.

If someone else said such things to me, I'd blow a gasket. And I'd tell them just what bridge they could go jump off of, for all I'd care. But for my own mind to say such things? How could I be my own worst enemy?

So, on this journey to change, I found another part of me that is going to have to alter for my dream to become a reality. From now on, whenever I think I'm not good enough, I have a ready retort for my inner critic to face:

I'm better than enough.

Daily Stats:

  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in journal, stayed on budget, and wrote one poem today.
  3. Posted a blog entry.
  4. Did a load of dishes and cleaned in bathroom.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An Object in Motion

An object in motion stays in motion. But an object at rest, stays at rest.

You may recognize Newton's first law of motion, also known as the law of inertia. Why am I mentioning it here?

Because this blog is all about changing your life. And the only way you can change your life is if you have the energy and ability to achieve your goals. Exercise is your body in motion. Once it begins to move, it'll continue moving and you'll lead a productive day.

You stay at rest, sitting in front of your television set or computer screen, however, and that's where you'll stay. Stuck. For the rest of your life.

A chilling thought, don't you think?

I exercise, not for the body I hope it gives me. Not for the desire to lose weight. I do it for my health. I do it for my goals. I do it to become a stronger person who can achieve anything

I do it to stay in motion.

Daily Stats:

  1.  Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in journal and did NOT stay on budget.
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4. Picked up in room, cleaned out purse, and threw away trash on bed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Meet The Woman I Want To Be

I want to be a calm, happy, intelligent woman who writes. I want to feel good about myself and my life. I want to be happy with my vocation, happy with my hobbies, and happy with my choices. And I want to be healthy and motivated, able to do anything and everything I set my mind to.

And I want to become that person, that ideal, by the age of 30.

Here's a more detailed, vivid picture of who I want to be by the time I'm 30:

  • A published writer.
  • A healthy woman NOT on medication for diabetes, heart disease, etc.
  • In a stable, enjoyable vocation.
  • Taking regular classes in different subjects, just for the sake of learning.
  • A seasoned traveler who's been to Africa, South America, India, and toured Europe.
  • Living a green, self-sufficient lifestyle.
  • Debt free.
  • HAPPY!

I do not want to be any of these things when I'm 30 years old:

  • Still working at Walmart.
  • A procrastinator.
  • A person with a list of nothing but unfinished projects.
  • Still not green or self-sufficient.
  • Knee deep in debt.
  • Stuck in the same dead-end cycle of life.

 It's a tall order to fill in just 7 years. But I can do it, if I just take it one day, one step, at a time. Because that's who I want to be someday.

And I will be her. That transformation has already begun. If I never give up, never give in to self-doubt or immediate gratification, then that person is who I will be.

That's why I'm doing this. That's why I'm here.

Daily Stats:

  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on my writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal and stayed on budget.
  3. Posted another post on my blog.
  4. Picked up in room, did laundry, and did a load of dishes.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Meet The Woman I Am

I am 23 years old. Too young to be respected, and yet too old to be given allowances. But in respects to change, I feel like a small child who has finally been given the means of how to walk.

I've lived my life believing that I had no 'drive'. No motivation. I was a calm and good person, whatever that means, but I wasn't competitive and I didn't strive to reach goals for myself. If someone put a small goal in front of me, I reached it and then laid in wait, like a wind-up doll, doing nothing of any import until someone else decided to come along and give me another goal to attempt to strive for.

I have always believed that I could not set my own goals and achieve them. I've tried despite this from time to time, determined to change.

And then I would fail, reinforcing my belief that I couldn't do it for myself. I needed someone else to make me do it.

Schools, jobs, parents, all of them teach you this through the use of the carrot and the stick approach. If you do what they want, you're rewarded. If you deviate from that path, you're punished. In small regards, this is healthy. It's a normal means of controlling a society and also a strong motivator. Taken to extremes, however, it can be addicting and have a negative impact on your personal growth.

And this is what I've become.

I am 23 years old. I've still never done more than a first draft of a book, never learned a second language, never raised my own vegetables, never traveled to Europe or South America or Africa. And I'm afraid that those things won't change over the next 7 years.

Because they won't. Not if I don't change today.

Daily Stats:

  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on my writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal and successfully stayed on budget. Even made up for my spendthrift ways yesterday and the day before. :)
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4. Picked up in room a little and in den.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Change Anything

In my last post, I talked about focus. Well, this post is all about our means of directing your focus. The best part? The same methods used against you to alter your focus to immediate gratification may be used to direct your attention towards the ultimate goal you truly want to attain in your life.

I actually discovered them in the book entitled Change Anything, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler.

According to this book, there are six sources of motivation (which I believe is more about focus than anything) and they are: personal motivation, personal ability, social motivation, social ability, structural motivation, and structural ability.

What do these mean? Well, I'll walk you through them one by one, and tell you how I'm using each one of these motivating factors in my life.

The first is personal motivation. You have to connect with the overall goal in your crucial moments (that is, when you're about to give into temptation) and focus on what you want for your future rather than what you want right now. I implement this motivating factor with abstract thinking. I keep my goal and ultimate desire (to be a healthy, happy, and successful writer someday) in the forefront of my mind as much as I possibly can. Then, it's easy to pull up to the front of my mind when I want to remember not to be tempted.

I also make it more specific. I want to be a prolific, self-employed writer who doesn't have to rely on secular work to pay the bills. I want to be self-sufficient, always learning, and have finished my main project's books by the age of 30. Keeping this vision vivid gives me more to draw from when I'm tempted to stray.

The second is personal ability. This refers to the skills you need to tackle the task at hand. Chances are your life before now hasn't prepared you for the new life you wish to take on (mine certainly hasn't). So, you must learn new skills to pull from and use to reach your goal.

I'm learning all kinds of new skills to help me with my goals. Exercise, meditation, organization, budgeting. The list goes on and on. The important factor is that you learn them so that you have a bigger chance of success at whatever you're working towards.

The third is social motivation. We are who we hang out with. Our mothers told us this when we were kids, but we refused to believe her. But it's true! What you see as the norm (as in, who you associate with) is what you view as the desired goal for yourself. So, if you hang out with people who complain a lot, you'll find that you do, too.

You'll also find the reverse is true. If you're around positive, peppy people, you'll feel more positive and happy.

The fourth is social ability. This means that change is a difficult thing to do on one's own. Humans are social animals and we like to do things in a group. If you have support, encouragement, and guidance from those around you, you're far more likely to succeed.

I'm implementing the third and the fourth of these motivators by talking with my existing friends about my changes and starting this blog in hopes of meeting those with similar goals.

The fifth is structural motivation. If you link short-term rewards and punishments to your changes, you'll be far more likely to succeed. I implemented this by allowing myself to get that game I've been wanting only after I had kept to my routine for half a month. I also don't allow myself to eat out at a higher priced restaurant until I've managed to keep below budget the rest of the week.

The sixth and final motivator on the list is structural ability. This has more to do with your environment. What are the things in your life influencing you to do? If you have a tv at the center of your room with all the surrounding materials based upon it, you're not going to get much else but watching tv done. However, studies have shown that the closer your treadmill is to your television set, the more exercising you'll get done.

I implemented this motivator by organizing my room and, most importantly, straightening my desk so that my writing has plenty of space to be laid out there. It makes it much more inviting and tempting to sit down and get to work. I also cleared out my floor so that I had plenty of room to work out there.

If you'd like to see the scientific studies the researchers did that lead them to these conclusions, check out this book at or your local library.

Daily Stats:


  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on my writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal and did NOT stay on budget again today.
  3. Posted on my blog.
  4.  Picked up in my room a little.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Just Fo...Ooo, Shiny Object!

Whatever your focus, that is your life.

If you focus on negative things, your life will be negative. You focus on positive things, your life will be positive. We've all heard this. But that's not specific enough to truly alter your thinking, is it?

Think about your day. Mine is constantly filled with temptations that alter my focus. I walk into work (at Walmart) with my focus pumped up to save money and not diverge from my budget. But then I see that chocolate cake, and my mouth starts to water and I imagine myself eating it. And voila, my focus has shifted from my budget and future savings to the immediate gratification of blowing that budget for that tasty cake.

9 times out of 10, I buy the cake.

Guess what my life has been filled with? Constant allowances and excuses as to why it's okay to give into the immediate gratification rather than struggle and strive for my overall goals and lifetime dreams.

But I don't want that anymore. I want to live my dreams. I want to achieve my goals. And I want to beat my own desires so that I can achieve those things. For my own good, of course.

In summary, if you keep your focus on the big picture (what you want for your life overall) you will live a life that perpetuates that ideal. But if you allow temptations to shift your focus to immediate gratification (the thing you want right now) and don't immediately force yourself back on track, well, you will live a life that is the exact opposite of that ideal.

How do you keep your focus? I've discussed how I'm doing it in previous posts, but we'll go even deeper in how focus works in my next post all about Change Anything, a book by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler.

Daily stats:

  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on my writing twice today.
  2. Wrote in my journal and failed to keep my budget, but planned how to make up for that.
  3. Created and posted a blog post.
  4. Picked up in room and den (but not much).

Friday, March 15, 2013

Struggling to Tread Water

I feel so exhausted this week. I've done most all I've set out to do, and worked a 6 day, 40 hour week (unusual for me) at the same time. Not to mention, I've put in a lot of early mornings. Which means I've had very little sleep this week.

Shouldn't be a big deal, right? It probably wouldn't be, but I have lupus. And this missing sleep thing has caused repeated fevers, extreme pain, and other health problems. It's really frustrating when it feels as if you're own body has turned against you. How do you fight yourself?

I know I can't. But I have to try to struggle with it just enough to get some of my goals done. Win a few battles, and then wave the white flag in defeat against the tide.

I keep reminding myself that if I can keep this schedule up through this, I can keep it up through anything. This is a challenge, one I'm determined to win. I repeatedly drag the big picture into the forefront of my mind and look at it, reminding myself WHY I'm doing all this. I want to be a successful writer. I want to be happy. And I can achieve that, if I just stick to my goals.

But sometimes it feels as though the illness is stronger than I am. I worry that I'll give in to the weakness.

I don't want to be weak anymore.

I wish I had someone to share this with. Someone to tell me just a little further and you'll be over this hump. Just a little more and you'll win the war.

Oh, well. Guess I'll just have to tread water on my own until I find myself a swimming buddy.

Daily stats:

1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on my writing twice today.
2. Wrote in journal and worked on budget.
3. Wrote in blog
4. Picked up room

Thursday, March 14, 2013

My Motivation

I never thought about motivation before I read this quote. It hit me hard. I had always thought how I lacked motivation and drive, because I didn't strive for my goals the way people said I should if I did have those things. Obviously, I was just born lacking them.

But motivation isn't something you're born with. And it isn't something you can just acquire and use to change your life.

It's something you have to make for yourself. And then remake it. And remake it again. Remake it over and over and over again, every day, for the rest of your life. As the quote says, it's like bathing. Without a shower, we'd all start to stink to high heaven. Well, without a daily dose of motivation, we'd all lay around doing nothing of any import. Until we starved to death, that is.

Some motivations are so hard-wired into us, that they DO come naturally. I think that's because if we didn't have motivation to get up and eat, drink, or have sex, we really would just lay down and die.

But if your goals go beyond your basic needs for survival, those hard-wired motivations will do little to help you achieve them. If you want to motivate yourself towards that, you must work out your own motivation and concentrate time and thought on it daily. Place reminders of it throughout your home and especially in areas where you find yourself most tempted to stray from your goals.

I love sticky notes for this. I have them on my door, tv, mirror, and dresser. Pretty much scattered throughout the room. And every time I look at one of those things, I'm reminded about my goals and why I want to achieve them.

Wanna know my motivation? Honestly, I've always WANTED to be a writer. I've dreamed and dreamed about getting published, living a happy, healthy life that made other people who had looked down on me see what I was truly made of, and escaping the life I live now. But I never seemed to be able to change my dream into a reality.

Until I met a boy. I trusted him. I loved him. And he crushed my heart like a tin can. It drove me into one of the deepest, darkest depressions of my life. For one entire month, it seemed all I did was sit in front of the tv and veg out. Or snap at my parents. Or go to work and struggle with dealing with my customers with a smile.

I got madder and madder about all of this. I had long ago determined I would never grow so dependent on another person that I would be lost without them. I could miss them, want them back, and even cry a little. But I could never allow my life to end because of them.

And, for all intents and purposes, I had done just that. I'd let myself become so depressed that my life seemed dark and terrible.

So, I came up with a plan. First, I was angry with the boy. I wanted to prove I was good enough for him or anyone else I wanted. Which lead me to my decision to follow my dreams again and pursue my writing.

But I'd tried that path before, many times, and failed. Over and over and over again, I failed. What would make this time any different?

Well, I couldn't stay where I was. Not without hating myself forever for giving in to the dark feelings and letting that stupid boy have that much power over me. Nuh-uh. Not me. I was going to get out of this depression, pursue my passion, and prove once and for all I had the stuff to be successful.

So, I did some research. Turns out, regular exercise, daily meditation, a healthy diet, and an organized environment were all contributing factors towards successful goal achieving. Everything said to start slow, and while I wanted to follow the advice, my gut said that if I didn't apply all those changes now, I wouldn't stick with my plan long enough for the slow build-up to work.

And that's my motivation, folks. Because I want to be a strong, independent, and successful woman who doesn't give in when depression and bad circumstances hit her. I want to be the me I always dreamed of. I want to be happy, with or without another person to lean on.

I continue on each day, because I found that the journey I planned out towards happiness, has made me happier than I ever thought possible. It dug me out of a bad depression and gave me the will to survive and thrive once again.

That is, after all, the power of motivation.

Daily stats:


1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and worked on writing twice today.
2. Wrote a journal entry and worked on budget
3. Wrote and posted my blog entry
4. Picked up room and folded and put away laundry.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Becoming Great

Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.
-William Shakespeare

Or, in more modern terms, some people are MADE to be great. We can't all be born that way, and with my low achievement past, I'd say I wasn't. But that doesn't mean I can't ever be.

I can make myself into whoever and whatever I want to be. Which brings me to why I'm here, tonight, starting a new blog.

I want to change my life.

Who doesn't want to change a thing or two in their lives? And we all swear that someday, we're going to do it. We're going to pursue our dream profession; we're going to exercise more; we're going to eat better; we're going to work harder at our jobs. But we'll do all of those things tomorrow.

Well, my tomorrows have come and went and no change has been seen. I still haven't finished my books, I still haven't become a regular, steady blogger, I've never kept to an exercise schedule, and I've never believed that I even COULD stick to a diet regimen. My financial situation is nothing short of abysmal, and if I don't change something quick, it's only going to get worse. Not to mention, my messy house just seems to grow messier.

I've beat myself up over these lack of achievements for years, and still gotten no where.

But this is where I change all of that.

I'm going to take a stand, now, before my life has passed me by without my ever doing any of the things I've always dreamed of. And I'm sick of hating myself for not being "in control" or "disciplined" enough to make what I want happen.

But it isn't a lack of control. It isn't a lack of self-discipline. I have those things in spades, as I've proven time and again as I've turned down drugs, cigarettes, and gratuitous sex. 

So, why do I have control on some things, but not in others? Well, I've trained myself in how to deal with those situations, I have the skills and personal motivation required to address them, I am friends with people who support my beliefs in those areas (even if they don't always share them), and I stay away from situations and things that would push me towards giving into temptation.

Unfortunately, I've done the opposite when it comes to my other goals.

So, to change, I'm learning new skills that apply to these goals, concentrating on my motivation whenever I am tempted, and surrounding myself by encouragement and an accommodating environment for change. And now I'm making myself socially accountable through this blog.

Here are my goals for this year (2013):
  1. Exercise, stretch, meditate, and work on my writing every morning & every evening
  2. Journal, stick to a budget, & write a poem daily
  3. Blog daily
  4. Clean & organize environment
  5. Set diet (list healthy choices, count calories consumed & calories burned)
  6. Learn to cook healthy alternatives
  7. Sketch something daily
  8. Write daily (x amount of words daily on main project)
  9. Improve posture (Alexander technique)
  10. Learn Spanish
  11. Learn belly dancing
  12. Improve my Walmart work performance
  13. Start composting
  14. Study anatomy
  15. Learn chess
  16. Study classical literature
I've already been at the first one for almost a month now. (will be at 4 weeks tomorrow, actually) without missing a day. And I've begun integrating the second, third, and fourth. I have to remind myself to start slowly, but those first four are so important that I can't feel right in putting them off very long.

Well, in case you haven't guessed yet, I'm starting this blog to catalog and encourage myself towards changing my life. And, in some part, I'm doing this with the hope that someone else out there who also wasn't born great will read this, and maybe be inspired to start achieving goals of their own. Who knows? Anything could happen, right?

That's what this is all about.

Daily stats:

  1. Exercised, stretched, meditated, and wrote both in the morning and night
  2. Wrote in my journal and began designing my budget for the coming 2 weeks.
  3. Blogged for the day.
  4. Cleaned the kitchen and bathroom, did laundry, and picked up in my room.