Thursday, January 24, 2013

A New Year, A New Plan by Myra Johnson

Myra Johnson
I’m not much into making New Year’s resolutions, but January always starts me thinking about my hopes and dreams for the upcoming year. In particular, I consider areas of my thought life that need to be addressed in order to improve my outlook and increase my success potential in every area.

A few years ago, while searching for some inspiration, I came across a great little book that’s full of big ideas on how to stay motivated and prioritize your life: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself: Change Your Life Forever, by Steve Chandler. Here are some sections I found especially helpful:

#4. Keep your eyes on the prize. Chandler points out that a huge obstacle to success is letting our worries and fears distract us from our real goals. As writers we can allow fear of failure to keep us from either completing a manuscript or taking the risk of submitting it to an agent or editor. 

#40. Find your soul purpose. You’re not going to be much good to others unless and until you’re happy with yourself and excited about your work, so take the time to discover what really makes you happy. That may mean you need to write the book of your heart instead of chasing market trends.

#59. Upgrade your old habits. According to Chandler, bad habits can’t simply be broken. You have to replace the bad habit with positive action. Like eating a healthy snack instead of one heavy on calories and fat. Like doing a workout video instead of watching TV. Like exchanging web browsing time for a concentrated period of work on your manuscript.

#68. Get up a game. Competition can be healthy. It forces us to reach deep inside ourselves, helping us grow and improve. The real victory comes not from besting someone else, but from bringing out the best in ourselves. Is there a manuscript contest you’ve thought about entering? This may be the year to give it a try!

#73. Use the 5% solution. “Great things are often created very slowly,” Chandler writes. What if you brought 5% more purposefulness into each day? What kinds of changes would you see in your life? How many more words could you write in a day?

#74. Do something badly. We’ve all heard the old adage, if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. But what if that isn’t necessarily true? Can you let go of perfectionism long enough to draft the next scene, or perhaps begin that new story you’ve been dreaming of writing?

#101. Teach yourself the power of negative thinking. This one might well be my favorite. Saying no can be a powerful thing. It means standing up for ourselves and our beliefs, taking a stand against things we simply won’t tolerate. Ask yourself what you really don’t want in life, and experience a burst of energy to turn that into positive motivation!

A Horseman's Hope
Grace Lorimer is too busy for a relationship. And love is definitely out of the question while she works her way through college to earn her occupational therapist certification. Besides, her mother’s string of failed relationships and broken promises prove romance is not worth risking her heart—even when she begins to care deeply for single dad Ryan O’Keefe.

Four years after his girlfriend, Shana, became pregnant, Ryan still can’t believe he’s a father . . . and can’t imagine being anything else. His daughter is the light of his life. Now if only Shana could embrace motherhood and the three become a real family. . . .

Then Ryan receives shocking news about Shana, and his world is torn apart as he faces losing his daughter. Suddenly old feelings for Grace resurface, but is a whirlwind marriage of convenience the answer?


About Myra Johnson: Award-winning author Myra Johnson is a Texan through and through, but she has no regrets about recently making the move to the more temperate climate of the Carolinas. She and her husband of over 40 years are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters who, along with their godly husbands, have huge hearts for ministry. Four rambunctious grandsons and two precious granddaughters take up another big chunk of Myra’s heart. The Johnsons also enjoy spoiling their very pampered oversized lapdogs. Myra writes inspirational romantic fiction for Abingdon Press and Heartsong Presents. Her latest release is A Horseman’s Hope (Heartsong Presents, January 2013).


  1. Awesome motivational tips for the new year, Myra, and so encouraging! I especially appreciate #40 ~ Find your "soul" purpose. That's so true.

    I'd also add making friends to this list. The encouragement, support and fellowship of a circle of writers, like our Carolina Christian Writers group, is a necessity for a lonely writer. I'm so thankful that you moved to NC, Myra, and super-blessed to call you friend. :-)

    1. Thanks so much for inviting me to be your guest today, Dora! I am equally blessed by your friendship and so glad we connected through CCW! The writing life would be so much harder without the support of friends who understand the ups and downs.

  2. I think #74 is my favorite. At least I'm doing something, even if it is badly!

    And yes, yes, yes to Dora's thoughts above. We're so glad we've got you in the Carolinas!

    1. LOL, Angie--we all need permission to do something "badly" every once in a while!

      I'm also very grateful for your friendship, and so glad I found you and CCW when we moved to the Carolinas!

  3. I love this reminder, Myra: "You’re not going to be much good to others unless and until you’re happy with yourself and excited about your work, so take the time to discover what really makes you happy."

    Writing hasn't made me happy for a while now, so I'm hoping to find where else my journey should take me. I love my grandkids and want to do a family genealogy search, so that may be it! Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

    1. Tanya, I've always wanted to look into our family tree. That sounds like a fascinating endeavor--and one that will have great meaning for those grandkids someday!

      As for the writing, sometimes a little time away can be a good thing. You'll gain new perspective, probably enjoy some new experiences. Then--who knows?--one of these days the writing may call you back with renewed energy and excitement.


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