5+2 Things I Learned in 2017

Monday, January 1, 2018

New year … new opportunities. As most of us do, at year end I look back at what I achieved but mainly I focus on what I learned or had to re-learn, so here goes …

Some things will never get done, no matter how hard I push. I have several books I started years ago for NaNoWriMo that I haven’t gotten around to writing. This, even though I put them on my list of books that are gonna get published each year. I know He makes all things beautiful in his time, so I've learned that nothing gets done before it is ordained for me to complete it – even if I fight to accept what is.

I can do anything. I can! I will! I did 8 out of 10 things I listed in my planner at the start of 2017. These goals included fixing up a house, pubbing a certain number of books, getting a passport (my Jamaican friends know how difficult the process is to replace a lost/destroyed/stolen passport), and taking a trip. At times, I doubted I'd get some of this stuff done, but one reading retreat and six flights later (don't ask), here I am. I also learned all over again that I am a master at slaying impossible deadlines, but I'm aiming to slow my pace in 2018.

Knowing when to say 'Stop!' I think many of us would be amazed at the amount of time we waste aimlessly scrolling through social media sites. After realizing how many minutes I was using up by gawking at things that didn't concern me, I developed the habit of saying, No more, you’re wasting time! That has been enough to get me to pull back and continue with some productive activity I should have been doing anyhow.

Besides being a time suck, gazing over the fence can lead to comparison. Gee, Suzy Success is doing so well … and here I am, not even making a dot on this landscape. Comparison will steal contentment every time. I've tried over the past year to be more grateful. It is important to realize we're all on different journeys. I'm a long way from where I want to be as an author, but I'm also quite a distance from where I was when a publisher said yes just over seven years ago. With close to 30 books on the market, I've stayed consistent at something and I am thankful for that. As I've reminded myself over the years, this journey is a marathon and not a sprint.

Choose associates with care. This one is obvious, but at times we get caught in the trap of drifting into relationships that are not always mutually beneficial. Sometimes, it's only when I'm in the boat and rowing like mad that I realize not everybody is moving those oars in the same direction. I've learned that less can be more, and synergy is super important when I'm aiming for my version of success. 

And the bonus stuff I learned this year—When God says yes, no man can or will say no. I've proven this so many times in one year that it's unreal and I'm grateful for the many mountains He has moved for me. 

Also, even in small things, I can be a source of inspiration for others. When I don't believe anyone sees what I'm about, a random comment reminds me that while people might not say anything most of the time, they notice what I do.  I also tell people around me to operate with a spirit of excellence. Go beyond what's expected, even if you're the only one who knows about it. This way of doing things has rewarded me in amazing ways!

If you've made it this far, here's to success in 2018!


  1. That's awesome that you accomplished so many of your goals. I need to work on being more grateful too. Happy New Year! Hope you have a great year.

    1. Happy New Year to you too, Natalie! I hope your year is filled with great achievements.

  2. I'm saying amen to choosing your associates carefully. Not everybody is rowing in the same direction as you are. I've learned that when you decides to let go of relationships that are not beneficial to you, you gain freedom. And your last statement, when God says Yes then no one else can say no. That is a powerful statement. And I am beginning to see this reality in my life.
    Wishing you a great year 2018, J.L.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G

    1. Hi, Pat, thanks for stopping in and reading, and sharing your thoughts. Yes, freedom can be found by letting go of relationships that are going nowhere. Enjoy your year!


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