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WritingAfterDark

Blogs of Writer, Artist, Photographer, & Caregiver Joanne D. Kiggins

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Joanne has published more than 2,500 articles and was award recipient of the 1990 Woman of the Year for Beaver County, Pennsylvania, for her accomplishments and excellence in journalism and to the community. Her co-authored book, “Unforgettable Journey,” won fifth place in the Grand Beginnings romance contest. An excerpt from her WIP, “Unearthed,” placed her fifth in the Absolute Write Idol contest. Most recently, her essay, “Perseverance,” is published in the Stories of Strength anthology in which 100% of the profits are donated to disaster relief charities. Her most recent articles were published in ByLine Magazine, Writer's Digest, AbsoluteWrite.com, and Moondance.org. She has a monthly freelance writing column at Absolutewrite.com. Currently, she is the sole caregiver for her 85-year-old mother.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Keith’s Reflective Questions—For Your New Year Consideration

With Keith’s permission, I give you his list of reflective questions for the New Year. Keith is one fantastic guy at the Absolute Write website where I moderate the Freelance Forum. I hope you enjoy his New Year reflections and find them as thought-provoking as I did, and I hope they help you consider all that is wonderful in your life as well. Thank you, Keith!!! You’re a gem!

In Keith’s own words: Joanne, I'm grateful that others might be finding the list of questions useful. Feel free to use the entire post if you think it will help anyone. Above all else, that's what it's about!

Thanks, Joanne.
Keith

What's everyone doing for New Year's Eve? It's my second favorite time of year and I'm really excited for this one! I don't go out. I stay home, alone, and reflect on the past year. Here are just a few things I try to consider:

What have I done with the year? Which goals did I accomplish? Which ones didn't I? Why not? What am I willing to change about myself to accomplish those goals? What do I want to focus on in 2008? If I accomplish only one thing next year, what's the one most important thing that should be?

Where have I gotten off-track in my life spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc? Have I fallen into a rut (which is just a grave with the two ends knocked out)? Has my routine become complacent and overly comfortable? Where have I gotten lazy? What do I procrastinate on?

Am I living the life I want to live? Granted, no one person has all of their dreams come true, but am I still dreaming? Have I been reaching for them? Am I enjoying what I'm doing or did I just fall into it? Am I living deliberately, and on purpose, or am I just taking everything as it happens and coping with it all? (I don't want to just cope, I want to live my life!) What's been holding me back and how can I change it? What more could I do?

What are my priorities -- my real priorities? Have they taken the back-burner to lesser important things in life? Have other people's (coworkers', boss', relatives', friends', etc.,) needs and urgencies enveloped me to the point that mine, and my families', come second? Have I said "no" enough? Have I said "yes" to enough of the right things? How have I been spending my time? Have errands and work robbed too much of my time from family and friends? Do I have a work/life balance? What can I change to make it better? If writing is important to me, as I say it is, have I allowed enough "me" time to enjoy it? (That's allowed, you know.)

How do my family and friends see me as of right now? Am I always busy? Am I short-tempered and harsh with my words? Have I taken extra moments to really give the people in my life those extra bits of attention to let them know I love them? When they try to talk to me, do I give them my attention or chat as I'm busy with other things? Who would I like to spend more time with? What relationships in my life need to be pruned back or cut off?

What are my financial goals? How do they compare to how I've been spending? Are there things I could cut out completely to help save expenses? (For example, do I really need a land line and cell phones? Could we live without cable channels and just stick with the basics? Am I willing to bring my lunch to work every day?) What am I willing to do to reach my financial goals?

How's my spiritual life? What do I believe? Have I taken the time to really think about this and know why I believe what I believe? Or do I just believe what I do because others have said it? Do my beliefs play out in my life or are they, in reality, just nice sentiments that I don't really put into practice?

How have I been blessed? If you keep a notebook of all the good things that happen, this is a good time to read through it and remember the things we may have forgotten during the bad times. (Personally, I do not journal. It's too Oprah.)

Once all of this reflection is done, I spend time in prayer - in thanks. I do this all through the year, too, but this is a very special day that I set aside to spend with God, without interruption. It's gotten addictive and I can't see spending my December 31st any other way!

How about you?
__________________
Keith

Thank you for letting me share this, Keith!

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