Sara Daniel is Doing a Midyear Check on our New Year’s Resolutions. Remember Those?

SaraDaniel_headshot_9-2012_cropped - smallYeah, me neither. But here’s the funny thing: when you post them on the Internet, you can search for them and see what you resolved—and so can everyone else! Back in January I made five bold resolutions for my life and promised to give you an update. (I don’t expect you to remember my resolutions any better than I did, so I included the original goal here.)

  1. Read more books. I love to read, especially romance, but too many times, I feel like I have to choose between reading and writing, and writing always wins. So, my goal is to unplug from the Internet in that final hour before bed, and instead of checking my email and scrolling through Facebook, I’m going to read.

I desperately still want to do this. In fact, I fantasize about unplugging and reading. I have read a few books, including Big Rock and Mr. O by Lauren Blakely, that I absolutely LOVED. However, a dedicated reading time everyday did not happen. It’s not never late to start, though!

  1. Watch more movies. I am not a movie person. I tend to confuse characters with the same hair color, and I miss crucial plot details buried in quiet conversations. But big movies are a part of our cultural landscape, and they can both feed my muse and keep me from being three steps behind on water cooler conversation.

Hmm, well, I did go see Finding Dory last week, but overall I have not seen any more movies than usual. Unlike missing my reading goal, this doesn’t bother me a bit.

  1. Ask for help. So far, I’ve been doing all my publicity myself. I don’t like to rely on other people or admit that I can’t handle something. But I don’t have a marketing background, and I’d prefer to redirect the conversation than talk about myself. That’s not the type of foundation I need to be discovered by readers in an over-saturated book market. So I’m going to start asking for help when I need it.

I did ask for help by hiring a publicity firm to handle launch of The Bad Boys of Regret Hollow this spring, and they were helpful. Now that their contract is up, I’m back to burying my head in the sand. So, although I met this resolution, I didn’t exactly sustain it.

  1. Take risks. I’m like a turtle. I like safe options. I like the “slow and steady wins the race” mantra. But this year I want to push myself out of my comfort zone, try endeavors that make me a little uncomfortable, and truly reach for success.

I did push the boundaries of my comfort zone with the launch of the first four Bad Boys of Regret Hollow books every two weeks this spring. I took a financial risk and took on a lot of extra professional work. Personally, I took the risk of feeding over a 120 people for a huge party (nobody got sick—yay!), and I sent my 16-year-old daughter across the ocean to a non-English-speaking foreign country for two weeks. Now, I find myself exhausted and needing to crawl into my turtle shell to recover.

  1. Let myself fail. Why don’t I take risks? Because I don’t want to fail. Who does, right? But failing means I tried. I pushed myself to the limits and beyond. If I never failed, then I didn’t take enough risks.

Okay, to be honest I haven’t seen the financial return I was hoping for with my new book series. I took the risk and I’m not ready to call it a failure, but it certainly didn’t burst from the gate as a tearing-up-the-charts success. I haven’t read as my books or watched as many movies or said “go for it” as often as my cheerleader alter-ego tells me to. But I’m getting up each morning and doing the best I can.

So, that’s my new resolution—to be kind to myself and give myself a break. I’m not superwoman. I’m just me, doing the best I can. As a writer, as a mother, as a person. And that’s enough.

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