SAYING NO TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS
by Kitty Bucholtz
January is an excellent time to look back and take stock. Over the last year, I have been an active volunteer at OCC RWA and made a LOT of new friends. I’ve taken more than my share of writing classes online, and I attended my first RWA National Conference. I’ve said to yes to the majority of opportunities that came my way, opportunities that made me a better writer and a better person.
But looking forward to the year ahead, I see that I’ll need to be incredibly focused to achieve my goals for the year. I want to finish and submit a single title book that’s been wrapped around my heart. I want to write a category romance for Harlequin American Romance and one for Steeple Hill Love Inspired and see if I like writing them. (I think I will!) I’ll be running in a half marathon for the first time, and in fact, I’m running in three half marathons in 2009. I’m also moving to Australia, and may be enrolling in a master degree program. That’s a lot to do in one year!
In Sociology class in college, I learned that we experience distress and stress in our lives. One is negative and one is positive. But if you don’t give thought to why you’re stressed, you may not recognize the difference. That’s why saying no can be a healthy way to avoid distress and enjoy the things that add stress to your life.
I’ve already begun practicing saying no. I don’t necessarily feel good about it, but I can feel the negative stress fading. And that feels good! I’m even going to the library today to borrow an audio version of the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.
So among other things, I am going to say no to being a monthly columnist here on the Slice of Orange. This is my last blog, at least for a while. But I wanted to leave you with this thought: where can you say no to something in your life this year that will ultimately lead to you being a better person, a better family member, a better friend, a better writer?
It will probably be difficult to do, but trust me, it’s worth it.
Kitty Bucholtz is a co-founder of Routines For Writers, a new web site to help writers write more. Even though she loves talking about, writing about, and teaching about writing, she’s pretty sure she knows at least three people who aren’t writers.
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