Showing posts with label goal. Show all posts
Showing posts with label goal. Show all posts

7 Ways to Be Healthier Right Now

After a very long 14 months of isolation, things are finally starting to open up. Depending on where you live and what you do, you'll have a different level of change. 

But remember this: no matter what your level of active out-of-the-house lifestyle, any change is stressful. This means that prioritizing self-care ... and renewed attention to your health!

Here are 7 health goals you can set for this spring, summer, and beyond: 

1. Commit to Work Boundaries. When the topic of self-care comes up, this is always my first recommendation. Set a time to stop working every day ... and then set a cutoff for looking at your email ... come on, we all do it. While you're at it, schedule time for lunch, breaks throughout the day, and time off on the weekends. When you are fully present 

2 Eat Healthier. This can mean different things for everyone. For some, eat healthier equates to adding a vegetable to your meal ... or eating healthier snacks ... or fewer snacks. Others may want to set a goal to do more cooking and get less prepared foods. Whatever your food-prep habits, there should be something you can do to up the "healthy" on your eating.

5. Find a Workout You Like. You are without a doubt more likely to exercise if you enjoy the exercise you are doing. Now that nearly everything is online these days, you can sample different types of workouts. You can try kickboxing one week, Zumba the next. Or just do some good old-fashioned walking, running, or biking. Set a reasonable workout schedule ... and follow it!

4. Drink More Water. This one always gets me. Hydration is super-important. And I always mean to drink more water, but sometimes get distracted from my water-drinking goals. Set water reminders on your smartwatch, or in your calendar. Or just drink a glass before each meal, and also mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and throughout the day. Figure out what a good water-drinking habit is for you ... and do it!

5. Start Meditating. Take up a Hobby. Or Both. Find a fun, healthy activity for your downtime.

6. Remember to Breathe. Are you stressing out? STOP. Feels better, right? When I get stressed out, I allow myself two minutes to feel it,  then it's back to business as usual. That may not work for everyone, but you know how your body functions, so see what works for you.

7. Get Good Sleep. A good night's sleep sets any day up for success, so stop burning the midnight oil. Turn off the devices while you are winding down at night - the National Sleep Foundation says 30 minutes before you go to sleep. Maybe treat yourself to a new pillow, as a reward for shutting down early. And get some good zzzzs.

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No matter what you do or where you work (from home, office, or hybrid), good health is always in style. Take care of your body ... and your body will take care of you.

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What's your best healthy-living tip? What are your health goals? Please share in the comments.

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Debra Eckerling is the author of Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals and founder of the D*E*B METHOD, which is her system for goal-setting simplified. A writer, editor, and project catalyst, Deb works with individuals and businesses to set goals and manage their projects through one-on-one coaching, workshops, and online support. She is also the author of Write On Blogging: 51 Tips to Create, Write & Promote Your Blog and Purple Pencil Adventures: Writing Prompts for Kids of All Ages, founder of Write On Online, Vice President of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's National Book Association, host of the #GoalChat Twitter Chat and #GoalChatLive on Facebook, and a speaker/moderator on the subjects of writing, networking, goal-setting, and social media.

Snatch Writing Time

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

“What are you writing these days?,” one of my friends asked. I had to do some personal accounting for a second. I’m not currently facing a book deadline and I’m not cranking out a certain amount of words each day.

Most of my personal writing is emails to authors and my colleagues at Morgan James. This type of communication does not show up in print.

If you aren’t writing much but would like to do so, are you committing time to regular writing? If not, then I suggest you take a step back and see how you are spending your time.

Maybe you are doing more reading or maybe you are spending more time playing games or watching television or spending time on social media such as twitter or facebook.  Each of these ways of spending time are OK but none of them include regular writing and do not move ahead your dreams and desires as a writer.

I’m writing these words on a two hour flight. As I look around at others. Some people are asleep. Others are making small talk with each other. Still other people are reading while some are playing games on their computer like solitaire.

As writers we can choose a different path and way to use our time. Instead of those other activities, I’m using my AlphaSmart and pounding out a few more words. I’m writing.

Prolific novelist James Scott Bell teaches writers to snatch time. Check out this video where he talks about it:

If you aren’t accomplishing your novel or your magazine writing or your blog, then I encourage you to take an accounting of how you are spending your time. If your writing is a priority, it will get done.

I’m choosing to write some words and get them out to you. What about you? Let me know in the comments below.


How can you snatch writing time?  This article has insights and encouragement. (ClickToTweet)


W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. His work contact information is on the bottom of the second page (follow this link).  One of his books for writers is Jumpstart Your Publishing Dreams, Insider Secrets to Skyrocket Your Success. One of Terry's most popular free ebooks is Straight Talk From the Editor, 18 Keys to a Rejection-Proof Submission. He lives in Colorado and has over 205,000 twitter followers 




So far, we’ve discussed your PREMISE, the PLOT POINTS and COMPLICATIONS, and SCENES.

Today let’s talk about determining the meat of the story which will help define what the story is about, who the protagonist is, what he/she wants/needs, who your audience is. Without answers to these questions, your story might be a great idea, but will it develop into a readable story?

These 5 points were the hardest for me to define. I had the most trouble with the THEME. It changed about fifteen times before I realized what it was.

First, let’s look at MOTIVE. This is not your protag’s motive, but that of the story. Here’s mine:

Tell a story set in the far future about how a strong female deals with an oppressive, male-dominated society.

Pretty straightforward. 

Next is DESIRE. This does apply to the protag. What is his/her biggest desire in the story? What must they accomplish or die trying?

Mine: to be left alone to live her own life her way, to meet her birth mother, her twin sister and be with the boy she loves without government interference.

GOAL. Every character in the story must have a goal. Even the antag has a goal. But here we are concerned with the protag’s goal. What drives your character?

Mine:  to get through this horrific experience, required by the government of all girls her age but escape if she sees a chance.

CONFLICT. I know you’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: You don’t have a story without conflict. There should be LOTS and LOTS of conflict in a good story. We’re talking here about the MAIN conflict of the story and maybe one or two SUB conflicts.

Mine: Shawna’s bullying (jealous); government’s Generational Program which is inflicted on every girl age 12-20; internal conflict about who she is.

THEME. Like I said, this was the hardest for me. I read through list after list of possible themes looking for the one which fit my story. I found several, but they never seemed just right. For example, knowing who you truly are can make you strong enough to deal with adversity. While this is true of my character, it is not the theme of the entire story.  Information can lead to knowledge. Oppression leads to rebellion. By losing everything, sometimes you gain a true sense of self. While all of these held a glimmer of what the story is about, none were complete.

Then I thought of this one: Sometimes, it’s only by staring into the abyss one finds the courage to jump across.

This fit my story in many ways, which I listed in my notes and was pleased to see how well it fit. So don’t try on just one or two, keep looking for the right idea until you find the one that fits.

Another interesting way of getting the theme across is the use of Symbolism. What are some symbols you can use to establish the theme in the reader’s mind?

Mine: Rayna’s view out the window beside her top bunk is of a narrow street and the front of another tall building. The street is so narrow she imagines getting a running start down the central dorm aisle between the beds and launching herself to freedom across the chasm of the street, landing on the roof of the next building.

In the Exercise Yard, where they all go for one hour every day, Rayna presses so hard against the chainlink fence while staring down her street to freedom, that she become imprinted by the links on her cheeks, forehead, shoulders and hands.

Next month, getting to know your Protagonist.

For an in-depth discussion of these points be sure to read K.M. Weiland's Outlining Your Novel

Rebecca Ryals Russell, a fourth-generation Floridian, was born in Gainesville, grew up in Ft Lauderdale then lived in Orlando and Jacksonville with her Irish husband and four children. Due to the sudden death of Rebecca's mother, they moved to Wellborn, near Lake City, to care for her father, moving into his Victorian home built in 1909. After teaching Middle Graders for fourteen years she retired and began writing the story idea which had been brewing for thirty years.  Within six months she wrote the first three books of each series, YA Seraphym Wars and MG Stardust Warriors. The world she created has generated numerous other story ideas including two current works in progress, SageBorn Chronicles based on various mythologies of the world and aimed at the lower Middle Grade reader and Saving Innocence, another MG series set on Dracwald and involving dragons and Majikals. She is finishing a YA Dystopian Romance which has been a NaNoWriMo project for three years. She loves reading YA Fantasy, Horror and Sci Fi as well as watching movies.  Read more about Rebecca and her WIPs as well as how to buy books in her various series at  You may email her at

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