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It is that time of the year again… time to say goodbye to the old year and bring in the new. 2017 is finally over. It wasn’t a horrible year, but it definitely had its ups and downs. I’m not the only person who seems to feel this way. I have heard many people say they are so glad this year is over. Time for something new. A new year to try to do what we didn’t get accomplished the year before. I do hope 2018 is better than 2017. Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of good things that happened this year. We went on our anniversary cruise in November. I finally left my profession of medical transcription after 17 years, which that was something I probably should have done way before I did. I was able to land a job as a customer service rep for a great company that I can also work from home for. That was the main reason I stayed at medical transcription so long is it was one of those jobs where most of us worked from home. Problem is pay had gotten so low I was barely able to make minimum wage and I knew I had to make a change. Yes, I have to deal with some very upset customers, but there are some really nice people also. Plus, I have four weeks of vacation per year that they make sure you take. I’ve never worked anywhere that they encouraged you to take time off. In our departmental meetings, we are told to make sure we don’t forget to use our vacation, it is just weird. I was an independent contractor for over 10 years, so vacations, benefits, etc. were not in my vocabulary. I’m still trying to get used to it.

As far as the rest of the year, we had some family problems that are still needing to be worked through, but that is nothing new for this group. There were also the health issues, but those have been a part of our lives for quite a while. I’m not really sure how I really feel about a new year, but you can’t stop time and you either learn to accept that or live in a delusional world all your own. But, what is really important, is to make a plan so 2018 doesn’t pass by and then on December 31, 2018, we aren’t sitting here wondering where the time went and looking at all the things we didn’t get accomplished.

I am doing something a little different this year. I have ordered a 2018 Law of Abundance planner. This is one of those planners that start with you figuring out exactly what you want to accomplish in the upcoming year. You write down your plans, why you want to accomplish them and how you are going to accomplish them. Once you have set out your short and long-term goals you then make a plan to accomplish them. A roadmap for the year that you can follow, rewrite as needed, and then make weekly and monthly assessments and readjustments to make sure you still want to continue on that path or if it needs to break off into a different goal. As they say, if you don’t plan, you are planning to fail, or something like that. I know this is important for me, as I have so much I want to do that I get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing, which then frustrates me and then I just want to give up. I have always admired those people who know exactly what they want to do. They have known since they were little kids what they were going to become and then they persisted until their dreams came true. Now I know some of those people ended up never achieving success and then had no idea what to do with their life after that, as they had no plan B. But, sometimes I think it is good to not have a plan B, C, or D. If you have nothing else you can do or want to do then you have to keep persisting until something happens.

When you are a person who wants to do a lot of things or is good at several different things, then if one thing doesn’t work you go to the next. The problem with this is that mindset gives you an out. Oh, this didn’t work out, well I will just move on to this other path, or you have all these different things going on at once and wonder why you have nothing finished, just a bunch of half done projects. Once you sit down to see what stage everything is in you want to give up as there is so much undone it can overwhelm you. That is where I end up a lot. One of those situations where you see all this stuff, you organize all of it, you plan it all out, but finally, you see you have nothing complete, nothing is working like it should, so you just stop as you have no idea of what you should even be doing. That is why this year I am starting a planner, a roadmap to what my most important goals are, why I want to accomplish them, and then reasonable steps to achieve them. I would suggest to you that if you are wanting to truly make 2018 the year that you see your dreams coming true or that book finally written or whatever you have been wanting to do that you get you a good planner, one that works for you, and then take the time daily, weekly, monthly to set up what needs to be done and then follow your plan. If you get sidetracked don’t worry about it. Acknowledge it and move on.

Find a plan, method, or something that will help you setup 2018 to be the best year yet – the year you finally make progress towards your dreams. Until next time…

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emoticon-question-marksAs I wrote yesterday’s blog post I had no idea how prophetic my writing would be. About an hour after I wrote and posted it I received a call from the CEO and HR Director for the company I have worked for since early 2013. They informed me that I was being laid off. The company was needing to downsize and was letting several of us go and I was one of them. I, of course, am an independent contractor, so I cannot apply for unemployment. Within an hour they had deactivated all my usernames and passwords and that was it. No warning, nothing. I had my little cry, but then realized I needed to take the next four days and take my time and figure out exactly what my plans are, what am I going to do, where are we going in 2015, as now things have completely changed. I don’t have the money base that I just had a day ago. I am now going to have to figure out how to replace that income. I mean it wasn’t that much, but it definitely was better than nothing. For some reason when we are finally getting to the point of the finances going well, getting caught up, things looking really good, something has to go wrong. Loss of job, unexpected bills, something breaking, health issues, etc., why is that? Why can’t life just go along and be okay. I guess I understand we have to go through trials, but at some point in our life you would think we would have gone through enough issues that we get a pass from such an age to the end of our lives. I know we have been through more than a lot of families, but less than others.

The other day I was reading a book though that really seemed to foreshadow what ended up happening. The basic premise was based on the book “The Secret,” but also brought in a component of NLP – neurolinguistic programming. This is where you basically learn how to speak things into existence, not just claim and wait. One of those things where you can picture being in a certain place, but if you words are negative and you constantly state you will never achieve anything – then you won’t. One of those things to where if you constantly tell the universe you are broke, you’ll be broke sort of thing. I am still not sure how I feel about either ways of thinking, but the book did talk about something that really stuck with me. People who step out and say they are going to do something with no backup plan and nothing to fall back on normally are able to become successful in their endeavors. A person who has nothing to fall back on has to make things work or end up homeless. I mean we aren’t at that point, but I now have to choose. The thing is that is a hard thing to do when you have to have an income and a job is normally an easy choice. It is there. As long as you are working a paycheck will come your way every two weeks or so and you can plan on being able to pay bills. You aren’t sitting in your office hoping someone will call or email so you can make money. It takes away the guesswork of when you are going to get paid, but it also keeps you stuck in a job that you probably do not enjoy or even like. Your time is committed to that employer which normally means you either are too tired, don’t have enough hours, or such to work on your own business. Your own business is normally doing something you enjoy on your own terms. Of course with this freedom comes the feast or famine situation where you are normally sitting for days or weeks with no jobs or you have so many jobs you are having to make waiting lists or turn down customers. Of course, you normally have no control over this type of situation, you just hope you saved enough money or paid enough bills during the feast to get you through the famine. Problem is, a lot of people go crazy with the money during the feast and then have no way to pay the bills when the famine comes. This type of life is just too much stress on a lot of people and that is why so many people never go into business for themselves.

I guess once you get to my age you start having to really take into account everything so that you make the right decision. When you are 20 or 30 starting all over again isn’t that big of a thing, as you still have 40 to 50 years to make up for any missteps or start again if you have to, but once you are 50 you don’t have as much time to fix the situation. I think that is what makes this decision so hard, as I need to take into account if I can continue to make money this way when I am late 60s or 70s or if there is only five to ten year window of opportunity before I am unable to continue. I guess it is like being at a fork in the road and instead of two options there is four and making the right decision gets more difficult the longer you sit there. I guess it is time I figure out what I am going to do, as I’m not getting any younger as they say. Until next time…

Here we are the last day of 2014.  I can’t figure out where this year went.  It seems like only yesterday I was writing the last blog post for 2013 and now here we are doing it again.  Every year WordPress sends you a report of what exactly happened on your post the past year.  The number of posts, visitors, etc.  They also show what your most popular posts were for the year.  In 2013 the most popular were my entries about the “girls,” but this year it was my posts on depression.  Talk about total opposites on the subject scale.  One of my posts on depression was written probably two years ago, but it was one of my more popular posts for this past year.  Are people more depressed?  Are their friends more depressed?  It really makes you wonder.  From the view in my world I thought the economy was getting better.  Everywhere I go there are help wanted signs and for jobs that really do pay quite well.  The huge mall near my house was extremely busy this past month, which isn’t good for me because I live on the service road of the highway that runs in front of the mall, so starting in November one of the main exits I need to get on the highway is closed because of shoppers.  The other day I had to circle around blocks of back streets just to get to the library, because cars were backed up on roads that normally never see traffic.  It was quite the mess, but apparently people were out buying for Christmas in record numbers.

I know for some people depression is an illness that affects them no matter what the circumstances.  Everyone around you cannot see why you aren’t happy, but in your world the darkness is so strong there is no escaping it.  The holidays have become bittersweet for me.  I got to spend Christmas day with my 6-year-old granddaughter and 1-month-old grandson and watching her open presents and act the fool was quite enjoyable, but while we were celebrating a close relative was having a major downswing in their depression.  Three years ago Christmas and other holidays were a very painful thing for me.  It wasn’t until the beginning of this year that I was finally able to say the heck with it when it comes to my youngest son and our situation.  It has officially been three years since I have seen him in person or had a conversation with him… I have offered, reached out, and done everything I know to do to help fix the situation, but we are now to the point that he is the one who is going to have to reach out.  I finally came to accept that you cannot make someone talk to you, love you, or even interact with you if they aren’t in the mindset or place to allow it.  I figure one of these days something will happen, hopefully nothing horrific, and he will decide he needs this side of his family, but my only hope is that we are in a place that we can accept his offer after he has so easily turned on us.

So what is coming in 2015, I have no idea.  I have my 2015 business planning workbook that I am slowing filling out so I can have a road map of what, where, and how 2015 needs to go.  My true goal is to finally be able to quit my day job and make a living through my own projects, books, etc.  I have new ventures in the works and for the first time in a long time I actually see an exit plan coming to life.  The main thing is to make sure I have a clear plan of how I need to proceed so when I am sitting here writing my last post of 2015 I’m not in the same place I am today – in a job I dislike, no clear plans, and wondering where the heck 2015 went.  That is the problem with time, it keeps marching on whether we want it to or not and there is no way to get that time back once it is gone.  You can lose money and then make it back.  You can lose friends and make new ones.  Time – once it is gone it is gone and then all you can do is sit and wonder where it went.

I hope for all of my readers out there a prosperous and fulfilling 2015.  May your plans come to fruition and your life go down the path of your choice.  Till next time…

Here we are another Christmas. For some reason it absolutely does not feel like that time of the year. I guess I didn’t believe people when they said the older you get the faster time flies, and I guess I am to that age. The year 2013 has come and gone and I really at this point have no idea where it went. I mean I remember several firsts this year. I hooked my first rug and my second rug placed third in the Texas State Fair. We went on our first cruise. I finally am paid hourly instead of being a production typist. I am still an independent contractor, but do not have to worry any longer about making quotas and my wrists hurting. I mean 2013 wasn’t the greatest year for us, but it definitely was better than the year before, and I know that 2014 is going to be even better. Like the guy at Jack in the Box I ordered my breakfast from the other day said, “Every day you wake up breathing is a good day.” I must admit the day he told me that I told him he was nuts, but then the more I think about it he was right.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is now that Christmas is here we only have a week until the new year. It is time to sit down and make goals for the upcoming year. I do not mean resolutions, as those are just statements of what you would like to happen in 2014. You need to sit down and make a plan of what you want to accomplish next year. Just saying you want to lose weight or get in shape or make so much money are not goals. Goals are tangible things you can follow. If set up properly you have set an exact time line of what you plan to accomplish, how many days it will take, and you know where you want to end up. Of course these need to be obtainable goals. I mean we all know that losing 50 pounds in month is not a goal that is smart or accomplished in a healthy manner. Now saying you plan to lose 30 pounds in five months by changing your diet, working out so many times per week, and keeping a journal every step of the way means that you are setting yourself to truly accomplish your goal, not setting yourself up to fail.

The best thing I found to bring 2013 to a close and preparing for 2014 is the Leonie Dawson 2014 CREATE YOUR AMAZING YEAR WORKBO3D-Combo-PackOK, PLANNER + CALENDAR:LIFE AND BUSINESS EDITIONS at http://tinyurl.com/mmtu5rd or click image. There is a life and a business edition. I am slowly going through my life edition and it has really helped me to see what I am really wanting to do in 2014. It is interesting the things you learn about yourself when you start working on the exercises in this workbook. I do not normally push anything on this blog as far selling something, but this workbook actually is working for me and that says a lot. I am the person who has no idea how to set goals or even figure out what I want to do, but I feel like 2014 is definitely going to be different. I have both editions, as I am wanting to expand my business, but also accomplish certain milestones in my life, as I sure am not getting any younger. I do wish a profitable and prosperous 2014 to all my readers. Till next time…

ImageI have a reason for my silly drawing.  I said I was going to do a drawing a day no matter what.  Well, today I had an outpatient procedure where they burned the nerves in my low back and I have felt kind of puny the rest of the day, plus I have a heck of a headache.  I told myself that I said I was going to draw a face every day, so that is what  did.  They are pretty sad, but they are better than nothing, don’t you think?  Tomorrow I plan on doing a better job with my drawing…

Well, my NaNoWriMo is becoming more of a NoNoWriNot… I still have over 20 days to get in action, plus we will be on a cruise most of the next week, so I should be able to get back on track and get the first draft of my novel.  I am part of the Book in a Week website where you post your goals and then the first full week of the month you have seven days to make your goal.  There are people on the list who have done upwards of 300 pages in a week, which is the equivalent of 75,000 words, not sure how they do it, but it is possible.  I guess you would call it setting your priorities…. you figure out what you want to do, set a blueprint or road map of how to get there, and then follow it.  The majority of us I am sure say we have no time, but we get caught up in our TV shows, our friends, or whatever is our time killer and then we wonder where all our time went with nothing to show for it.  I know the TV is my biggest time waster.  If I start watching a show I have to know how it ends, or I will spend the rest of the day stewing over how the show could have ended… really kind of sad in a way.  What is your time killer?  What makes you turn from your goal and waste time instead?  I’m sure everyone has one, you just have to figure out what it is and figure out how to quit doing it.  They say it takes 30 days of doing something for it to become a habit, so guess it is time to start a habit of writing… Til next time…

Well, it is now 2013 and I am back…. I got a bit miffed I guess you would say last month and just quit writing about anything… not the smartest thing to do, but what can I say… we all have our bad days that turn into weeks and then, well you get it.  Now that it is a new year and we can forget about the mess than 2012 was, what to do now.  I have really been thinking about this, as I don’t make resolutions, as to me they just become broken promises.  I remember growing up and every year we would sit and make our resolutions for the next year and guess what, nothing ever came of them.  I would get so excited that we were going to finally do certain things and then life got in the way and other things and guess what, the next December we were in the same place, making the same resolutions, and the process started all over again… You know what the definition of insanity is?  Doing the same thing over and over again and thinking it will turn out differently.  Sound familiar?  So, I have started making goals.  I sit down in January and decide what I want to have accomplished by the next December.  I’m not saying I have much luck with this, but that is what I try to do.  I guess my problem with goals is I have never figured out how to set them correctly, so a few weeks or months down the line I am wondering why I didn’t accomplish anything and then I realize it was because I made a goal, but didn’t make out a road map or plan to accomplish these goals.  What they became was wishes instead of true goals that I could accomplish.  I think that is where the problem comes in.  I have no idea how to make a proper road map to make sure the goals come to fruition… I have gotten books from the library, listened to audiobooks on the subject, talked to people and still have no clue.  I think the best advice I got was to make a backwards goal.  See yourself in December having accomplished the goal and then backtrack and figure out how you got there.  That sounds like good idea to me.  The question would be though if you can turn those steps into a true map on how to accomplish the goals you are wanting to get to.  I guess I am going to have to figure that one out.  I know one thing I plan to do is post more on this blog.

I do want to focus more on my fiber art and writing.  I want to be able to produce enough sales through art and writing to be able to exit out of doing the transcription work I do now.  I have been doing medical transcription for almost 13 years and now am back to doing general transcription.  It is okay, it pays the bills, but there is a difference between sitting and typing out a book you are working on and banging out lines after lines of type that has to be done by a certain deadline and the fast you type better your hourly pay is.  I mean you are talking the difference of transcribing two hours of audio to be anything from $20 an hour to less than minimum wage if it takes you eight hours to type that two hours of audio.  The joy of being paid by production instead of hourly.  At times I miss a regular job where you go in, put in your eight hours, and you know exactly what you made that day, instead of the uncertainty of how many lines will my hands let me type today or is there enough work to even make the daily minimum pay wise so I can pay the bills… When you are an independent contractor working on production you never know what your paycheck is going to be and that sure reeks havoc on paying your bills… I don’t like that much uncertainty, but that is the nature of the beast and I am not in the position in my life to be able to go out to a regular job, so you work with what you’ve got.

So, back to the original idea of this post, for 2013 why don’t you try something different.  Instead of those resolutions that normally never come to pass, why don’t you try to do backward goal setting and see how that works for you.  I have been told for years that thoughts are things, so if you picture yourself being something or doing something and keep you eye on the prize, it will manifest… kind of what the book The Secret was all about, you know that law of attraction thing… till next time….

I used to be the one who was the encourager to all those who have lost their dreams/passion.  I would tell people that no matter what your age it is never too late to pursue your dreams.  Of course there are certain exceptions, such as if you are 60 years old and always wanted to be a pro football player I think your window of opportunity was closed many years ago, but you can still follow your passion.  You could start a business that specializes in football items or something else along those lines.  If you always wanted to sing, paint, learn to play the piano, ect., there is no time like now to follow your dream.  Well, I turn 49 in August and I feel like my life is about over and that I am getting too old to do anything.  I mean, where is that coming from?  I looked at going back to school, but then thought about what age I was going to be when I graduated and thought who would hire me then?  I decided not to go to school for other reasons, one of being I really did not want to, but when I look at my other options I feel like I have just waited too long.  I mean really, where is cheerleader Michelle of old.  The one that told everyone that you should never give up on your dream.  The one that said to find your passion and work towards it.  I am the one who now is talking myself out of doing my passion because I feel I am getting too old or there is no one out there that would buy my stuff anyway.  Geez, I think I need to start listening to my own advice.  People talk about the fear of failure, well I think I have the fear of success.  Maybe it is time to step back and look at what I really want to do and go for it.   If you are reading this, maybe you need to do the same thing…or maybe not – LOL.  Till next time.

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