Bring it on 2017!

Today is the Feast of the Three Kings, so we’ll be taking down the Christmas tree and decorations this weekend. (Or in the words of Curtis the elf from Santa Clause 2, “The desantaclausification process has begun!”) My snowmen collection will be rearranged and kept up until the end of February or until the snow’s gone (April? May?).

This is a good time to reflect on 2016 and look forward to 2017. Every year I write a traditional Christmas letter that gets tucked into each Christmas card we send. Some of the highlights noted in this year’s letter include

  • meeting our first granddaughter in Ohio this past January and celebrating her big brother’s 3rd birthday while we were there
  • watching the Super Bowl in Minnesota at our son and daughter-in-law’s house and getting lots of cuddle time with our newborn grandson son
  • celebrating seven years of sharing true health through Kangen water  (
  • baptism day for our two youngest grandchildren on Mother’s Day
  • the end of my softball career (thanks to a collision on a softball field with another player that sent me to the ICU for 21 hours with a concussion)
  • getting 4th row seats to see Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons in Chicago and getting to meet Mr. Valli backstage after the show!
  • 4th of July visit in Wisconsin with our children and grandchildren
  • traveling to Las Vegas with our two younger daughters and our son for Enagic’s global convention in July where John, Nick and I were honored for rank advancements in the company
  • receiving the  CALA award (Catholic Arts and Letters Award) for my novel A World Such as Heaven Intended — it was the top Catholic young adult novel for 2015-2016
  • having our son, daughter-in-law and grandson move from Minnesota back to Wisconsin — they bought a house less than five miles away from our house!
  • watching the play Wicked in Ohio with our daughters, son-in-law and grandson — it was awesome!
  • celebrating 35 years of marriage to John with a trip to Colorado
  • taking a quick vacation to Galena, Illinois and Dubuque, Iowa
  • completing the NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month) challenge and writing the sequel to my book — look for A Life Such as Heaven Intended in book stores and online this spring

As it happens in any given year, there were sad moments too as we lost some people in our lives. But the good definitely outweighed the bad. Now it’s time to look forward to all the promises 2017 holds in store for us.

Unlike most years, I haven’t come up with any New Year’s Resolutions yet. Not sure if I’m going to set any this year, I’m thinking of just working on completing my Top 10 goal list from 2016. Actually, now that I think of it, there’s still some things on the 2015 list I can work on, no need to come up with any new ones! So if all goes well, by the end of 2017 I will weigh less, be able to do one pull up, have run a half marathon, have a new car, rank advance in Enagic to 6A2-2, have two books published, hit the best-seller list on Amazon again, get more involved in church and spend quality time with our family.

Guess I better get going on that! Happy New Year! May 2017 be your best year yet — a year filled with health, happiness and hope!


Following through on New Year’s Resolutions

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

It’s the last day of March, the end of the first quarter of the year, and the ideal day to evaluate how my New Year’s Resolutions are going. Since my life is only getting more complicated as time goes along, my major resolution this year was to bring more structure to my workdays. I work from home and can set my own schedule and since I’m not generally a morning person, my workday would usually start around 9:00.  I was determined to set that back to 8:00 for 2014. So I’ve got the first part of my day fairly scheduled. We get up at 6:00, make the bed, get the workout gear on, drink a quart of Kangen water, check the i-Phone for texts and new e-mails, rebound/walk/run for up to 30 minutes, drink another quart of Kangen water (half a gallon in before 7:15 a.m.), then shower.

If all works out as planned, I’ve got the house to myself by 7:30 and  I’m in the recliner by 8:00 reading a book (usually personal development or sales training). One of my top 10 goals for 2014 is to read 50 books. I knew if I didn’t schedule this in, it wasn’t going to happen. So my workday starts off with 30 minutes of reading. This week I’m finishing up Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill. Next week it will be The Sandler Rules. We’ve got hundreds of books to choose from so who knows what it will be the week after.

After that it’s off to my office (the 10 step commute). I start working through the list of things that need to be accomplished. Every evening before I go to bed I write down 50 things I intend to do the following day. It sounds like a lot but some things are as simple as sending an e-mail or text, booking plane flights or making a quick phone call. The list always starts out with my morning rituals including writing out my top 10 goals for 2014, visualizing my perfect customer, or studying my dream board. Some days I work methodically down the rest of the list, other days I pick the easiest things and do them first to create some momentum.

There’s seriously something so satisfying about marking something off the list when it’s completed. I’ve got this great set of highlighters and my best days are when the majority of the items are highlighted by the end of the day (which can be anywhere from 5:00 until midnight). Before I turn off the office lights for the night, I put everything back into place (as shown in the picture) so I can start out fresh the next day. My days may sound long but there’s a lot of laughter and some down time thrown in, so it never gets old. I  love what I do for a living (writing/marketing/connecting with people). No two days are ever the same and my schedule is really flexible, which is super important for me.

I’m usually pretty wiped out by the time we go to bed and I dream about work a lot but I can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning and hit the ground running. I’m loving this stage in my life!