Friday, January 16, 2015


As you've probably noticed, January, being the month of new beginnings, has been filled with articles to make you think both on a personal level and as a writer.
Today my guest is romance author, Saralee Etter. Saralee's topic is on goals.

“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak!” Goal-setting can be very difficult, when that weak flesh gets in the way of our best intentions. 

Our spirit, and our emotions, are what keep us on track. It's hard to get ourselves to go for our goals unless we've got the proper emotional drive to power us forward.

For 2015, let's try to find ways to help the spirit give us a kick in the, er, fleshiest part, using these five emotional principles:

Focus   Feelings     Desire   Allowance  Alignment

Focus. What are the areas of life that you focus upon most? Where do you direct a lot of your attention, excitement, and feelings? What do you talk about the most? What articles do you read, what shows do you watch – where does your energy go?

Now, think about this: What do you get in terms of your own emotional feedback when you focus on these things? If you got what you wanted from each area of focus, what would you have? What would you be excited about? What are you worried might happen?

First step in goal setting is to pick the top 3 to 5 major areas of focus. No more than five – don't scatter your energies. These will be the goal areas.

 Feelings. Feelings are the core essence of what you want in your life. Everything you do, everything you own, is there so that you can feel something  – happy, excited, fulfilled, connected, respected.

Now, think about this: What would your ideal life be like, described as a feeling? How would you describe your current life? So are there any differences between those two? What can you do to bring those two sets of feelings into alignment with one another?

Your second goal-setting step is to identify the compelling reason why you chose your areas of focus.

Desire. What things do you desire most? How do the things you desire lead you closer to the feelings that you already identified in the previous exercise? For instance, if you really want to increase your income, what would be the emotional states you might expect to experience if you had more income?

Now think about this: What are your biggest complaints about your current life? Flip them around into positive desires. Make sure the desires are things you want to bring into your life, not things you want to avoid in your life. Recognize that you are worthy of good things in your life – reinforce that idea by writing a list of things that complete the phrase: “I am worthy of...”

The third step in goal-setting is to describe what your desired emotional state is, and specifically how the thing you desire will provide you with that goal.

Alignment. How can you get from here to there? The popular saying is that one's reach should exceed one's grasp – but sometimes people have a hard time believing that it's possible to actually have the thing one desires most. In order to envision the reality of a goal, you need to be in alignment with that goal. That is, you need to have a compass that lets you know if you're going in the right direction toward reaching your desired destination.

Now think about this: Can you find evidence in your own life that you already have at least a part of your desire? If you can, expand on that by showing another person what you do have, or sharing your resources in some way. For instance, share some of your writing with another writer, or with an encouraging reader. Explain or teach something you've learned to someone else. Do you have any limiting beliefs that stand in your way? Think about how your life would change if you found out tomorrow that your limiting belief wasn't true.

The fourth step in goal-setting is to get into alignment with your goal – take the next step, act as if your goal is possible and move your mental energies and your beliefs closer to your success!

Allowance. Don't stop the good stuff from rolling in! Know that you are able to receive your goal. Don't push away your success, or discount the possibility that the success you want is possible. Examine your life and think about all the people to whom you give of yourself and your resources. Do you let others give freely to you as well? Giving and receiving must be a two-way street.

Think about this: Do you downplay or ignore compliments or praise from others? Just say thanks! Don't try to deflect or explain away someone's appreciation. Learn to receive the good things that others offer to you. List ten things right now, big or small, for which you are thankful.

Here's to a powerful and productive 2015!


If you are still in the mood for a sweetly romantic tale of Christmas during the English Regency, check out Her Very Major Christmas.

Widowed Rosalind Joslin is an extra female in her in-laws’ household. Longing to prove she still has value, she uses her skills to make remedies and medicinal preparations for the poor. She misses the warmth and sun of India where she was raised but looks forward to her first real English Christmas with holly and the traditional feast.

Major Harry Joslin never expected his cousin’s death to thrust him into the unwanted role of nobleman. Still recovering from the emotional and physical injuries inflicted at Waterloo, he’s not ready for the demands of a new position and his family’s pressure for him to marry a debutante. His cousin’s widow is just another complication.
But it’s the season of miracles and two wounded hearts may find love blooming in the depths of a snowy Christmas day. 

Saralee Etter loves to read, and always knew that writing was the only career for her. What could be better than to think up stories all day long? As a constant day-dreamer, it seemed like the ideal occupation.

Sadly, however, she couldn’t see a way to make a living writing the romantic and exciting stories that filled her head. Instead, she wrote other things: Newspaper articles, public relations releases, legal briefs.

Now Saralee is beginning to share the stories that she has been dreaming about for so long. They’re mostly light-hearted and fun.  As a devoted armchair time-traveler, she finds writing stories set during the English Regency period is the perfect way to enjoy history, romance, and delightful adventures all at once. Website, Facebook