Smart Girls Read Romance

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Monday, December 30, 2013

In With the New!

By Kimmie Easley

It's hard to believe 2013 is almost over. This year has flown by for me, albeit a whirlwind of awesomeness. My husband and I bought acreage. I went to my first writing conference. My sweet girl turned the big thirteen. I made a plethora of amazing connections, many of whom I know will remain lifelong friends. Oh, and let’s not forget, I published my first book, Souls Set Free. *First of many*
  
With 2014 just days away, it has me asking. What’s next?

I’m sure the year will hold its fair share of milestones. The one I’m most excited about is the release of Gutter Princess, my new contemporary romance novel. Seeing it come to life has been a long road. It follows the story of Baby Jade, a New Orleans native trying to navigate her way through the underworld of exotic dancing and caring for an unstable mother when a very hot, mysterious, and unexpected love interest named Lucky drops into her lap. Actually, I guess it kind of happened the other way around. (Ba-dump-bump)

 

Gutter Princess, much like Souls Set Free, is about self-redemption. We all find ourselves, at some point in our lives, not liking who we are. Maybe we don’t like the rut we’re in, or the job. Maybe we’ve made mistakes, a wrong turn in a relationship, a financial blunder, or indulged in one too many cupcakes (if there is such a thing).

No matter what pitfall you find yourself in, the important thing to remember, other than the fact that it’s only temporary, is you’re the only one who can change it. I came across this quote by Barbara de Angelis, No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.” I know the sentiment is a little cheesy, but that doesn’t devalue its merit.  

Self-loathing is a miserable way to live. Life is too short to be unhappy, something Baby Jade has yet to understand.

 
So, as I anticipate 2014, I can’t help but think of the old cliché: New Year’s resolutions. Some don’t believe in resolutions, so far sake of argument; we’re going to call them goals. Here are a few tips I thought might help me achieve my goals for the year, personal, as well as professional, and I wanted to share!

1.      Be specific in your goals. Regardless of what you’re looking to achieve, be specific with your strategy.
2.      Make your goal public. Share your goal with friends and family, allowing yourself some much needed support and encouragement.
3.      Track your progress. This is especially helpful with financial and health related goals.
4.      Be prepared to change some habits. Yes, I said be prepared for CHANGE. *shudder*
5.      Write down your goals, it helps to visualize the outcome.
6.      MOST IMPORTANTLY: Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for past behavior. Forgive yourself for not getting it (whatever ‘it’ may be) exactly right. Forgive yourself if you fall of the wagon and hop back on. Stumbling is part of the journey.
  
This is where I see a lot of myself in my characters. Emma from Souls Set Free traveled a horrific road before forgiving herself and being able to find joy in her destiny. And Baby Jade’s story is definitely one for the books (hint, hint). It’s a daily struggle for some of us to remember we hold the power to our own happiness.
 

So for the next 365 days I will make every effort to choose happiness. To choose success. To choose to not only conquer the year, but also revel in my accomplishments. I will publish books, I will make lifelong friends, I will be a stronger mother and wife, and I will push myself to be better in all that I do.

Happy New Year’s to you and yours! CHEERS!  

  



7 comments:

  1. Kimmie, enjoyed your blog. Sounds like you had a fantastic 2013! Your tips for success in keeping your goals for 2014 are great! Looking forward to hearing more from you in the coming year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Karren! Thank you for stopping by and the kind words! Yes, 2013 was very kind. Have a fabulous New Year's!

      Kimmie

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  2. Kimmie, thanks for an excellent blog. Your tips are meaningful and inspire me to follow them. Choosing happiness is the best one!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Caroline!

      Thank you for the kind words! Hopefully we can all encourage one another during the rollercoaster known as 2014! ;)

      Happy New Year's!
      Kimmie

      Delete
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