We’re almost at the end of February. We watched the Olympics and the “Big Game,” soldiered through more cold weather, celebrated love, and made steady progress toward our goals (I hope). Now it’s time to focus in on four topics and share some specifics from the month. Share your own responses by linking up at HeatherGerwing.com.
Every February for the last seven or eight years, I’ve put hearts on the kids’ doors for the first two weeks. Each heart lists something I love about them or love doing with them. Often, like this year, I forget about it until I see a Facebook reminder from previous years. One year, my daughter asked about the February Fairy who put the hearts on her door, which I found adorable. It was the first year I’d forgotten about the ritual. My daughter is a “Words of Affirmation” person like me, so she loves it and is always the first of the two kids to comment on the hearts’ appearance. I plan to continue to do this for their remaining years at home with us, because I believe that words matter and what we tell our kids about themselves, they take to heart.
Did you do anything special to celebrate the month of love?
I read The Circle Maker this month and began sending quotes to a friend after we’d gotten together to talk about our goals and the struggle to take concrete steps. While the book’s focus is on prayer, there is a lot that is applicable for goal setting and achievement. I wrote my favorite snippets in a notebook and will share a few below with you.
“Having vision beyond your resources is synonymous with dreaming big. And it may feel like you’re setting yourself up for failure, but you’re actually setting God up for a miracle.”
“There are no shortcuts. There are no substitutes. Success is a derivative of persistence.”
“For better or for worse, your destiny is the result of your daily decisions.”
“If you keep trying, you are not failing. The only way you fail is if you quit trying.”
“You’ll never achieve the goals you don’t set.”
“Goal setting…creates a category in your [brain], and you start noticing anything and everything that will help you accomplish this goal.”
“Don’t let what you cannot do keep you from doing what you can.”
For me, this category feels like times when I’ve allowed myself to be vulnerable, to expose myself to the potential for failure or the opinions of others. This month I’ve done a fair amount of that.
One of my monthly goals was to submit queries to three literary agents. I’m making one last push to find representation for my first novel, before I completely commit to the self-publishing path. I received a request for a partial manuscript in December, so I have a mid-March deadline for feedback from that agent. I will also wait to hear from the four agents I queried this month before making a final decision.
While querying, I’m also trying to get my manuscript into tiptop shape. This month I sent the book to people for Beta reading. I tasked them with reading and giving me feedback about any glaring issues so that I will be ready to publish it later this year if that’s the route I end up going. Giving my work to strangers (and friends) makes me feel extremely vulnerable, but I know it’s part of the process. It also reminded me that I love talking about my book with other people. It’s fun letting other people into the world I’ve created.
What brave thing have you done this month?
This month I began leading a small group at my church. We’re new members and I hope to meet women in a similar life stage for connection. I was nervous about not having anyone participate since I’m new, but it’s been an encouraging endeavor. Two women were interested but had conflicting work schedules. I met one of them for coffee because I think we’ll get along even if she can’t come to the group. As for my small group, it’s just four of us, but seems to be working well.
I also tried my hand at making Reels on Instagram. As a perfectionist, I struggle with new things because I know I won’t be great at it right away. It’s something I choose to work on because I hope to one day feel more comfortable with the discomfort of being a newbie. My Reels turned out okay, and I learned a good bit, so hopefully they will get better over time.
Tell me something you achieved recently.