Alayne Kay Christian: Goal-Buster Extraodinaire

jeremys first day at soccer made a goal 9_7‑13

If you haven’t already done it, go and rip the month of January from your calendar!

That right…one month over and gone! Hard to believe…and January was one of the long ones.

Many of us make resolutions or do goal-setting at the beginning of every year – but often, after a couple of weeks, life gets in the way and those resolutions fall by the wayside and those goals remain unreached.

That’s why I’m so very excited to have Alayne Kay Christian here today as my guest for Goal Busters.

 ALAYNE headshot

I met Alayne through our common interest in writing for children – you will find her in just about every kid lit writing challenge out there – many times as an ‘expert witness’ so to speak. She’s an award-winning children’s author, life coach, founder of Sub Six, does awesome professional manuscript critiques (I can vouch for that) and so much more – scroll down to the end of the post to read her bio and find out how to connect with this amazing lady.

Welcome, Alayne! I’m thrilled to have you here today.

Thank you, Vivian, for inviting me to be a goal buster. I have decided to only share some of my bigger goals for 2014. If I shared all my goals, this post would become a total bore. I love goals that provide their own rewards. So, when it comes to rewards, you will notice that in most cases my rewards come from Continue reading

Are You Taking Santa’s Advice? Time Management Tip #1

Jeremy with santa

It’s the end of the year. So much to do and so little time to do it.

In the oft-heard jingle, ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’, Santa is MAKING A LIST and CHECKING IT TWICE.

One of the most important time-management tools is a list. Every day. Of what you need to accomplish.

Without the list, you will probably waste a lot of TIME, trying to remember what needs to be done.

Without the list, you will surely get distracted by other tasks.

There are several types of lists you can use:

  1. Daily to-do
  2. Long-term projects
  3. Yearly or life-time goals

On my daily to-do list, I put an asterisk next to the items that are MOST IMPORTANT and I try to do these first. I also have a small section of the daily to-do list that itemizes what I need at the store…this part of the list can carry over to the next day. I try to go shopping only once or twice a week. That saves time and money!

jeremy in front of tree

What’s on my to-do list today?

  • Finish reading the entries to Susanna Leonard’s Holiday Writing Contest (over 100 submissions (you can read my entry here) – don’t forget to come back on Monday for the link to VOTE for the winner!crashing sleigh
  • Read Marcie Atkins post, We’re All In This Together (WAITT) – I’ve been participating in her blog feature this year and today’s post is a wrap-up of our 2013 accomplishments.
  • Send out Christmas cards and mail out a couple of copies of Show Me How…ON SALE for $24.99 on AMAZON.
  • Work on revising the manuscript I just got back from author and life coach Alayne Christian. I won a professional in-depth critique from her because of my participation in Sub Six and I know that with the suggestions she has made, this will be a powerful story to resubmit to a publishing house that was interested in it. I also gave it to both of my critique groups and will incorporate their feedback as well.
  • Straighten up the house – we had company yesterday – our son from Chicago had to be in Boston for business and come to spend the day – he got to play with his nephew, 5-year old Jeremy.Jeremy and Uncle Peter -bedtime story

What’s on your list today?

Picture Books: A Child’s POV

Picture Books: A Child's POV

I want to apologize.

I’ve had to step back from blogging and other social media because we are moving. Although I’ve packed up houses before, this time it seems harder! Could it be that I am older?

Today I am guest posting over at Donna Martin’s On the Write Track. She has a series called, WRITERLY WISDOM, and Donna is one of the amazing connections I’ve made in this kid lit community – I hope you will stop by and read all about what makes a great picture book and the various genres of books for kids: http://donasdays.blogspot.com/2013/08/writerly-wisdom-vivian-kirkfield.html

By the way, we are in final negotiations for the house in New Hampshire…fingers crossed!

Picture Books: A Child's POV

Sunday Post: Arrangement…Do You Plan to Fail?

Jake at Time after Time has a Sunday Post Challenge…today’s theme is ARRANGEMENT.

Arrangement definition: plans you make so that something will happen or be possible.

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They say that if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail…this is important for EVERYONE who has a goal or objective to reach.

When my children were small, I set up a plan for each day…a simple schedule.

This simple schedule was a LIFE-SAVER…giving order and balance to each day.

Each morning, I read a picture book story…building literacy skills…giving me an opportunity to converse with the children about the story. Conversation is one of the TOP VOCABULARY BUILDERS and gives kids a crucial head-start in school.

Then I would encourage the children to move around with circle games like ‘Farmer in the Dell’ or rhythms like pretending to be a train or a hopping kangaroo. Physical activity is the best defense against obesity.

After that we would make a quick and easy arts and crafts project…helping children develop small muscle coordination and allowing them to express their creativity.

Then it would be time to go outside to play or play inside with puzzles and blocks.

What? Was it lunch-time already? When everyone is having fun, the time really flies, doesn’t it?

In my book, I share the life-saving schedule that I used.

Young children want and need balance and order in their day…the arrangement is up to you!

Do you start the day with a plan? What arrangements do you make for your own well-being? What fun activities do you enjoy with your kids?

inner title page color smallppp Show Me How! Build Your Child’s Self-Esteem Through Reading, Crafting and Cooking can help! Click this link if you would like a copy! The book makes it easy to pinpoint the best books to read. It gives parents arts and crafts activities that are quick and easy. And it provides simple healthful recipes that you can make with your child. Setting up a simple daily schedule doesn’t mean you are being rigid or inflexible…it actually empowers you to encourage creative expression and, most of all, have fun together!

 

Join in the fun with Jake’s Sunday Post.

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http://jakesprinters.wordpress.com/

Have You Abandoned Your New Year’s Resolutions: Healthy Habit Thursday

Hiking Symbol

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If you’re like me, you start the New Year off with good intentions.

All of us probably KNOW what we should be doing to stay healthy.

Every January 1st, I make a list of New Year’s resolutions or goals.

Many of them focus on good health habits like walking every day, drinking 8 glasses of water, eating nutritious foods and getting 8 hours of sleep each night.

Then, life gets in the way!

We all lead busy lives and many of us have so many responsibilities that we often push our own needs to the back burner.


Can you believe that 2011 is almost half over?

I’m revisiting those resolutions and goals to see how realistic they were and whether or not I need to revise them.

Taking a time-management class would probably be a great thing for me to do.  I know that 24 hours should be enough time to accomplish what I want to do…the problem is making sure that I am devoting the right amount of time to each task.   Blogging always tends to take more time than I thought it would, but I love connecting with everyone. 🙂

I think what I need to do is write down a schedule of how I think each day should go…and then keep a log of what is actually happening…I’ll then see where I am spending time that might be better used in some other activity.

How do you plan your time?  I’d really appreciate your input because right now, unless I give up sleep, there is no way I can fit everything in. 🙂

I do know that I must walk and exercise…if I let a few days go by without doing it, my muscles tighten up and my back hurts.

I do know that I need to stay hydrated by drinking enough water…if I don’t, I wind up eating more…my body seems to tell me it is hungry when really all it wants is a glass of water.

I do know that I have to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night…if I try to make do with less sleep; I have a lot less energy in the morning and am less productive throughout the day.

I do know that I need to watch what I eat…if I eat “fast food” or highly processed foods, my body complains.

So I am rededicating myself to my 2011 New Year’s resolutions and goals that focus on staying healthy.  The warmer weather is here, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming…it’s time for my walk!


Please stop by tomorrow for Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian?  I have several exciting upcoming local events (Summer Soulstice in Monument, CO – June 18, and PBS kids Fun Fest in Acacia Park, Colorado Springs – June 11) to tell you about and also a new special book offer that will go up on my website this weekend.

Restful Sleep…Crucial Factor in the Fight Against Obesity

Main health effects of sleep deprivation (See ...

Image via Wikipedia

I know I feel out-of-sorts when I haven’t had a good night’s sleep. And I had heard (thought it was a rumor) that lack of sleep could cause weight gain. 

Tonight, one of our local TV stations ran a special report on kids who get too little sleep being at risk for obesity and diabetes.

So I did a little research and found that studies have shown that “insufficient nighttime sleep among infants and preschool-aged children appears to be a lasting risk factor for subsequent obesity.” (WebMD Health News) http://children.webmd.com/news/20100907/sleep-linked-to-childhood-obesity

I’m always blaming fast food, super-sized meals and lack of exercise on the increase our country is seeing in childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes.  But, now it seems that we can add another villain to the mix.

And that is one more reason to set up those bedtime routines for your children…and STICK to them.  One of the pediatricians on the TV report had several suggestions: 

  • Bedtime should be the SAME time EVERY night for your child. 
  • Wind down 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. 
  • Children should be getting 9 to 10 hours of sleep every night. 
  • If you are missing an hour or two of sleep for the week, you can catch up on some sleep on the weekends. 

You can refer back to yesterday’s post about bedtime routines for more tips. https://viviankirkfield.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/bedtime-routines-rituals-and-can-i-have-one-more-glass-of-water-please/

In that post, I suggested you read CORNELIUS P. MUD, ARE YOU READY FOR BED? with your child and I provided a recipe for Overnight Cookies.  Bedtime is a very special time for young children, but without routines and limits, many try to delay going to bed as much as possible.  I promised to give you a simple craft project that may encourage good bedtime routines.  With your help, your child can “set” his clock to the particular time when he will need to be ready for his bedtime story.  Then he can check that time against the real clocks in the house and will know when he has to complete his toy cleanup in order to be ready for that special treat…the bedtime story.

NO TICK-TOCK CLOCK

You will need: A piece of cardboard (from a cereal box would be fine), metal paper fastener, construction paper, marker and scissors.

  1. Cut a large circle (the clock face) from the cardboard.
  2. Cut two “hands” (one longer and narrower than the other) from the construction paper.
  3. Attach the hands to the center of the clock with the paper fastener.
  4. Draw the numbers in the correct order on the clock face.

Parents…keep in mind that if you’ve been trying to lose a few pounds yourselves (as I have been), perhaps getting a good night’s sleep on a regular basis may do as much for you as cutting back on calories and exercising.  In fact, if you treat all three elements…restful sleep, nutrition (not diet) and exercise with respect, you may be rewarded with better health than you ever had before.  Believe me, I know how difficult it is to call it quits for the night…there always seems to be something else that MUST be done…laundry folded, dishes put away, lunches made for the next day, bills to pay and checkbook to balance…the list goes on and on.  This is another reason that making lists of short and long-term goals as well as a daily to-do will help organize and prioritize what needs to be done.

P.S. This post somehow got put in drafts and didn’t get posted on Tuesday…sorry. 🙂

Stop by tomorrow for a look at a very special lady…my grandmother…she was a role model for Positive Parental Participation in an era before spending quality time with your children was a catch-phrase.