I don't know about you, but I'm not one who makes New Year's resolutions. Every time I have, I fall off the resolution wagon before early February. But recently, due to various reasons, I've decided to make small changes in my life, four of them, actually, and so far, they're paying off. Granted I'm only a few weeks in on some of them, a few days on others, but progress is progress.
1. I've turned off the news. My friends will tell you I've been a news and political junkie for years. I've got my favorite shows scheduled to record in case I miss them. I scroll through Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates and...well, it's exhausting. Especially mentally. After just a week of going cold-turkey, I'm already sleeping better and feel less anxious. Worrying about things I honestly cannot do anything about was wreaking havoc with my mental health, so bye-bye! Programs deleted and instead, during those hours, I'm re-watching some of my favorite shows like Babylon 5 and White Collar. Because looking at Matt Bomer for just an hour a day really does improve one's outlook and mood.
2. I'm out and moving! Writing is horribly sedentary. Painfully sedentary. Sitting for long periods of time, pounding on the keyboard wreaks havoc with your legs, arms, and back. So every morning, by six fifteen, I am out walking around my neighborhood. Yes, it's still dark. I say hello to the moon the moment I'm out the front door but by the time I get back, more than half my step count for the day. During my writing hours, my FitBit vibrates every hour to let me know to move so now I get up and walk down to the mailbox. It's only a few hundred steps, but they all add up. And it gets me out of the house and into some fresh air. I also get to watch the sun rise and enjoy the flowers in bloom, so bonus!
3. I've given up sugar. Yep. That's right. Me, Queen of the Carbs, has said audios to refined sugars. For the record, if you ever do this, do so in solitude, preferably locked away in a cabin far in the woods. How long will this last? Not sure. But I do feel better and more focused, especially when I"m writing (my full-time job). It's not easy. Sugar is in everything and I'm not perfect. But I'm way better than I used to be. Here's hoping this one lasts, LOL.
4. I'm giving myself a break. Guess what? I can't do everything (apparently I was the last to know). That took me a while to come to terms with. Between deadlines and family obligations, commitments and trying to stay above water, well...it's okay to admit sometimes things just have to go. The world will not end if I'm five hundred words shy of my daily word count goal. It's okay to take a few hours or even a day off and just goof off. I'm human. I'm imperfect. And that's just fine.
So that's what I've been working on lately. How about you? Have you made any small changes to your life that are making a big impact? Share in the comments below. Maybe there are more I can add to my growing list!
In the meantime, if you're in the holiday mood, this week I'm celebrating the release of my fifth Butterfly Harbor story, HOLIDAY KISSES. Calliope Jones is one of those characters (and people) who understands the importance of stopping to smell the flowers (and maybe play with the butterflies). I think I'll use her as my role model for a while.
USA Today and national bestselling hybrid author Anna J. Stewart writes sweet to sexy romance for Harlequin's Heartwarming and Romantic Suspense lines. Early obsessions with Star Wars, Star Trek, and Wonder Woman set her on the path to creating fun, funny, and family-centric romances with happily ever afters for her independent heroines. A former RWA Golden Heart nominee and 2018 Daphne DuMaurier finalist, Anna lives in Northern California where she deals with a serious Supernatural , Sherlock, and Jason Momoa addiction and surrounds herself with friends and family. When she's not writing, you can find her at fan conventions, at her local movie theater, or building her client list for her content editing services. You can read more about Anna and her books at www.authorannastewart.com.