Ten Things (Plus One) To Think About for 2015

Making 2015 betterIn my last post, I shared some topics to help you create a list for writing success in 2015. Let’s take it one step further today. Writing is just one part of our lives. For some, it’s a huge part. Regardless if you write all the time or write when you get that rare moment, your passion of creating words into art intertwines with your financial, health, social, and life issues.

So, without grandstanding or much ado, here’s a few nuggets to think about as we begin 2015.

Create and celebrate – I’ve said this one before, small victories add up. Be sure to acknowledge them.

Connect with others – Mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice. Connecting with others in their feelings will make you a better person.

Reverse the Ratio – This is a biggie! Spend 20% of your time acknowledging problems and 80% of your time fixing them. Most people follow the opposite ratio.

Use your ears – Answer less … listen more.

Intention – Start every day with intention that supports a goal. It doesn’t have to be a big goal, but drive with purpose each day.

Balance – Find a work-and-play balance. All work will deter your goals. As for all play — I’ve been guilty of that at times — will also deter your goals.

Prioritize – Make a list of three action goals with three timelines — immediate action, within three days, and by the end of the week. This will help you keep things in perspective and not get overwhelmed. If you find some things that keep dropping back into the “by end of the week” category, maybe they aren’t that important after all.

Know your flow – This is a tough one at times. Get to know your finances. Budget (Ahhhh, dirty word.) A 2013 Gallup poll showed that only one in three Americans maintain a budget. When you live within your means, you are free to create. The pressure is off and you don’t have to feel guilty about writing.

Skills – Take a look at your goals for 2015 and decide what skill you need to master next year. Focus on learning, practicing and perfecting that skill. Don’t try to find a zillion things to master. Pick one and be great at it. It doesn’t have to relate to writing. Maybe it’s cooking 30-minute meals! Who knows? Anything you master in other areas of your life will open up your creativity and writing.

Laugh – Enough said.

Plus One (We should all be doing this) … Serve others – Everybody needs help every now and then. It doesn’t have to be financial. You’re time is just as important as money. Carve out a specific plan in your goals to help others. Even the smallest actions can go a long way.

I’ll leave you with this story.

A boy found an eagle’s egg and placed it in the nest of one of his chickens. The eaglet hatched with the other chicks. Over the years, he scratched and clawed the ground for insects and other food just like the other chickens. With a thrashing of wings, he would flutter a few feet off the ground, playing with his other feathered friends.

Years passed and one day, the eagle saw a magnificent bird high above him. With a white head and dark wings, the graceful bird soared without as much as a flap of his wings.

The eagle turned to his chicken friends and asked, “What a bird! What kind is it?”

The chicken replied, “That’s a bald eagle … the king of birds. Don’t get any ideas, you’re a chicken, you could never be like him.”

So, the eagle never gave it another thought and remained with the chickens the rest of his life.

How many of you are eagles trapped with the chickens? It’s all in the mindset. Let 2015 be your breakout year. Don’t listen to others that say you can’t do it. Don’t listen to YOURSELF saying you can’t do it. Plan, execute, and dream. Let me know what you’re looking forward to in 2015.

Happy New Year!

Author: Jim Devitt

Jim Devitt’s debut YA novel, The Card, hit #1 in three separate categories on the Kindle Bestseller list in early January and was a finalist in the Guys Can Read Indie Author Contest this past summer. Devitt currently lives in Miami, FL with his wife Melissa and their children. Learn more about Jim at his blog and his Amazon author page.

22 thoughts on “Ten Things (Plus One) To Think About for 2015”

  1. Excellent food for thought. It’s a different and insightful way to look at planning for the future that allows for individual differences. These suggestions require true thought and insight.

    And I love the eagle story.

  2. Thank you Jim. We’re conditioned not to flaunt our talents and be modest. But then we’re listening to the wrong advice. I just loved the eagle story!

  3. The word that came to mind when I read this was “perspective.” With a healthy perspective, our lives gain a balance and flow that is good for us and good for our environment (which includes people). A good 2015 to all.

  4. Thank you, what a wonderful story and great advice. I falter in some of the above areas. 2015 and change. Happy New Year to you and yours Jim.

    1. Thanks, Aron. Your comments throughout the year have helped me have a great 2014. Cheers to 2015.

  5. Thank you for the very thoughtful and very well worded post, Jim. I especially like what you said about “Reverse the Ratio”. 80:20 is definitely a good goal to work towards. Your point about mindset is also something that I think needs serious consideration. Recently, I read that for every hour of work you do, you need to play for 2 hours. I’m not sure how this could be possible unless we use mindset to redefine what work is. I think, in 2015, one of my goals is to reconsider my ratio of doing vs worrying, as well as my work vs play.

    1. Thanks, Martha. I really appreciate the comments. If everyone worked on that 80:20 ratio, the world would be a better place. Happy New Year and the best of luck in 2015.

  6. Awesome post, Jim! I definitely need to do that whole prioritizing thing with the immediate, 3 days, and end of week categorizing. So often I get caught up in thinking I need to do everything “right now” — and yet a lot of stuff can wait. I need to learn to allow a couple of loose ends to dangle now and again.

    Happy New Year 😀

    1. Thanks, Daphne. I think we all need to dangle a few loose ends! Happy New Year and I wishing continued great success for you.

    1. Especially if you are an eagle, right RJ? Happy New Year … and in my book, you’re an eagle.

  7. I love the eagle story. 🙂 And I love your idea of prioritizing your to-do lists. I have several tasks stored in the back of my brain that I will probably never get to — and I’m okay with that. Mostly. 🙂

  8. Great post, an excellent reminder for starting the year. The only thing I would add would be when setting goals identify the obstacles that will get in the way of achieving those goals and how those obstacles will be overcome.

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