As a new year begins I always look back to the year before to see how my life is progressing and to celebrate achievements and special moments.
Some things were expected, others were unexpected, all of them I am grateful for.
Here are 7 highlights from my 2015, followed by something brand new I’m launching today! It involves 7 things to help YOU make your dreams come true in 2016 🙂
- 4 book releases! Not only was the 3rd book in my Tarrin’s Bay series, MIRACLE IN MARCH released, but also the first 2 books in my new Young Adult series, THE DELTA GIRLS. This story idea about five psychic sisters came to me about five years ago, and it was so rewarding to finally see it in print, and also hear it in audio, as the audio rights were sold to Audible. Also, my novel FEBRUARY OR FOREVER was included in the MORE TIME FOR THE BEACH 3-in-1 anthology which is available in Australian stores now. Something I’ve learned from all of this… I need more bookcases or a bigger house 😉
- ARRA award finalist! I drove down to Canberra to attend the Australian Romance Readers Association awards dinner where I was thrilled to be a finalist in the favourite paranormal category with HAUNTED EVER AFTER and 12 DAVES OF CHRISTMAS, and the favourite continuing series with my Tarrin’s Bay series. A highlight of the night was wearing silly hats and making silly faces with friends in the photobooth!
- Unexpected book deal! In early May, after hearing about how hot adult colouring books were, I pulled out some sketches I had been doodling just for fun which contained positive words. I was going to paint these onto canvases, but then I wondered if I could make a colouring book using the same concept. So I came up with a proposal and a few designs, as well as ideas for empowering activity pages to accompany them, and sent them off to my agent. Rejections came in, but by the end of the month I had a book deal with Sourcebooks USA! COLOR YOUR DREAMS releases April 2016.
- Writing, writing, and more writing! As well as The Delta Girls series being released into the world, I still had to write the remaining 3 books in the series, each with tight deadlines. Somehow, after late nights, my trusty writing sprint timer, and sheer determination, I completed the final book just before Christmas. The remaining 3 books all release in 2016. And somehow among all of that and creating my colouring book, I also wrote the 4th Tarrin’s Bay book, APRIL’S GLOW, which I absolutely loved writing and will release this year too.
- My first proper holiday! I didn’t have time for a holiday, but I took one anyway. Apart from going away for conferences and a few brief family trips here and there when my son was young, I had never actually been on a proper holiday as a grown woman! It was about time. So with the help and encouragement from some friends, I let go of all the guilt and thoughts that I should save my money for living expenses and bills, and took the plunge. I invested in my own wellbeing to have a blissful, indulgent, restorative one week stay at Gaia Retreat, Byron Bay, a place I have always wanted to visit. It was an amazing, healing experience, and I really felt like a new woman when I returned!
- Good health! The holiday came at the right time, because a week after I returned I was due to get some important test results after a year of bi-monthly blood tests, scans, and a biopsy for a couple of different health concerns. I went in for that crucial test feeling positive and healthy, and my results reflected that. Which meant I was able to avoid surgery and stay off the medication that I had needed for five years, and reduce my checkups to six months apart. My body was, and still is, healing itself, and I felt such relief. (By the way, I attribute this to a healthier change in diet (paleo), exercise and meditation, natural medicine, and some mindset strategies I will talk about at the end of this post).
- Connecting with others! It was one of my 2015 intentions to connect more with others and experience more joy and fun in my personal life, and that I did. I’m so grateful for the likeminded friends I’ve made who make my life extra special.
All of this doesn’t mean everything was perfect in 2015. Nope, I had moments and days where I felt like crap. Felt like giving up. Times when things didn’t work out the way I wanted or hoped. I felt sad, worn out, frustrated, scared, nervous, angry, disappointed, misunderstood. But I’ve learned that those days and moments pass and you always have the power and the choice to bring yourself back to a place of positivity and gratitude, and that is the place where miracles happen. If you can look back on your year, see the light and joy through any tears that blurred your vision, and end the year with a smile on your face and excitement for the future, then that is a life worth living.
In 2016, there will be more books, more writing, more surprises, more ups and downs like the above, as that is life. But there will also be ‘more’…more dreams fulfilled, more plans made, more goals to strive towards. And, I’ve decided, more JOY (my word for the year). Because life is a gift and I plan to make the most of it.
I believe living a great life comes down to following your heart and your passions, taking inspired action aligned with your passions, being consistent and persistent, knowing your priorities and setting healthy boundaries, and, probably most importantly; believing in yourself and in the idea that anything and everything is possible. This is the fun part. When you believe in that, life becomes exciting. And to maximize this belief, each year I do 7 specific processes to help make dreams and intentions come true, and make progress towards my goals…
As I was working on these 7 processes at the beginning of January, I kept having to write post-it notes to myself to remind myself of what to do next, and I had a thought… Other people could benefit from these processes I use. So I carved out some time and wrote out all my processes, and in a flurry of inspiration I created a 70 page document with guidelines, tips, practical instructions and templates…and a fun, practical, inspiring program was born!
I was going to call it something fancy like The Life Creation System, or 7 Tools to Change Your Life, but then I thought… hang on, it’s kind of like a life kickstart; a kick in the ass to take inspired action in your life. Then I thought… screw it, I’m calling it the Kickass Kickstart! 🙂
So there you have it, if you want to give your 2016 a kickass kickstart, then try the 7 processes in my new program and let me know how they work for you! Some of them you may have heard of, or even used, and some maybe not. But even if you have, each has been modified (or Julietified?) with advanced techniques to maximize their potential. And all 7 work together to get your year, or any new phase of your life, off to a great start.
In the program I’ve created you’ll learn how to make a vision board that works, and a lesser known tool called the vision box. There are processes involving the power of gratitude, and a fun variation on a bucket list. You’ll give New Year’s Resolutions the flick and learn how to create New Year’s (or any time of year) Intentions, how to come up with a meaningful word for the year and embrace it in your life, plus a powerful creative process to bring the energy of your intentions to life to help them become reality. There’s also help with turning challenges into opportunities, and a process, tips, and resources to help you commit to yourself and your intentions and to maintain your positive state of mind throughout the year.
I wish you all the best for the coming year, and I can’t wait to hear about the amazing 2016 you’ve created for yourself!
~ Juliet xo
“Be grateful, not hateful.”
Here’s a fun CHALLENGE for you:
Think back on the year that has passed and on what brought you joy. Write a list of everything you can think of that you’re grateful for from 2015. I did this last year and wrote 100 things. Once you get going, more things come to mind, and they build on each other, and by the end of your list you will feel amazing. Try it! 🙂
But don’t just write 5, or 10, or even 20… Aim high, see if you can get at least 50 or more. At first I didn’t think I could get to 100 but when I did, I could have kept going. Be very specific and break each down into smaller things, for example: “I’m grateful for my family” could be: “I’m grateful for hugs from my children”, “I’m grateful for enriching conversations with my partner”…etc.
Then in the new year, try to maintain the momentum by writing at least 1-3 things each night before bed that you’re grateful for from your day. It could simply be ‘breathing’.
The more grateful you are the more you attract into your life to be grateful for.
If you’ve been through some challenging experiences this year, before starting your grateful list write down the challenges you faced and next to them write what you learned from them, or something positive that came from them. There is always something.
And if you like, share some of the things, people, or experiences you’re grateful for in the comments on this post.
To sum up, here’s what to write in your list or journal:
- 2015 Challenges and what I learned from them, and/or a positive aspect of these challenges:
- My 2015 grateful list (aim for 50 or more):
- Daily gratitude diary (1-3 things each day, or on most days):
Let’s end 2015 in a state of gratitude and joy! 🙂
~ If you like empowering activities like this, there are 100 more in my upcoming inspirational activity and coloring book, COLOR YOUR DREAMS! Published April 2016 by Sourcebooks. Join the group HERE for updates and exclusive content or PREORDER the book.