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Surviving Mexico’s First Two Book Series

You’d think that only leaving the house for essential items would mean that I have a whole lot of time on my hands. To my surprise, I have found that simply isn’t true. Granted, I am working 3 online jobs/gigs right now. However, I thought for sure I’d have a chance to start in on that large pile of mending that needs done. I even ordered a new pair of pinking shears in preparation. Three weeks into January, the pile is just as intimidating as it was in December. 

I also thought I’d have more time to work on my books. Silly me. No new books are forthcoming for January. Maybe February? I did however make some regrouping progress. Amazon has added a “series” feature and I “created” two series from my books I’ve already published. 

The first series, A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing Your Book, is for would-be writers. It includes: Book Building: A Beginner’s Guide to Crafting Your Book, Book Hawking: A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Your Self-Published Book, and Book It: A Beginner’s Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing on Amazon.

The second series is A Woman’s Survival Guide to Living in Mexico and it isn’t finished yet. I have at least three more titles to include in that series. But as of today, the series includes: A Woman’s Survival Guide to Disasters in Mexico: A Framework for Empowered Living Through Crisis, Surviving Voluntary Exile: Overcoming Common Obstacles to Making a Successful Life Transition, A Woman’s Survival Guide to Mexican Healthcare, A Woman’s Survival Guide to Holidays in Mexico, and A Woman’s Survival Journal: A Guide for Making the Most of Your Life in Mexico.

The neat thing about the series setup is that readers can check to see if they have purchased all the related books in the series or not. And if they haven’t, you can order them all with 1-click. 

There. I’ve tooted my own horn enough for today. Hopefully I’ll have some new releases in short order. If not, perhaps that pile of mending will disappear.

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21 for 2021 List and Balance

The last few years I have been doing a one-word focus for the year. 2020 was Improvement. 2019 was Organize. 2018 was Create.

This year I’m going to try something different. Gretchen Rubin published an article about making a 21 for 2021 list and I thought I’d give it a try. Initially I had difficulty since all my goals were work-related. I don’t want to be working ALL THE TIME, even as we continue in our quarantine, I thought I needed some balance. 

So in 2021 the one-word focus for me will be Balance. I divided the 21 goals into home improvements, creature comforts, spirituality, family, career, financial security, and physical/health. I also ordered a habit tracker calendar from Amazon to help me stay on track when the days all run together.  So here are my goals:

Home Improvements

  • Paint the outside front of the house
  • Buy the lot next door
  • Maintain a clean living environment (not as easy as it sounds).

Creature Comforts

  • Buy new pajamas and fluffy slipper socks sets (for continued quarantine)
  • Read 12 books I love
  • Take the time for foot treatments for cracked heels


  • Express daily gratitude
  • Take time to enjoy the moments in nature
  • Garden


  • Help my son work towards adulthood by getting passport/bank accounts
  • Give love and attention to the animals daily
  • Maintain the good health of all family members


  • Finish writing 3 books
  • Complete 2 Udemy courses
  • Work towards creating a new blog for ESL teachers

Financial Security

  • One full-year online writing job
  • One part-year online job 
  • One full-year online teaching job


  • Use the stationary bike every day
  • Take a minimum of 3 dog walks every day
  • Maintain vitamin/medication regime

I’m hoping that in 2021, the old adage we used to say about March in Pennsylvania holds true “in like a lion and out like a lamb” when it comes to COVID. Even so, I tried to make goals that can be done while socially distancing. There’ll be time enough for travel and other activities after, I hope.

What do you have planned for 2021?


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2020 Improvement Results

Well, we’ve made it to the end of 2020 and what a year it’s been! While it didn’t turn out quite how anyone was expecting, I did manage to meet some of my beginning of the year goals. This year I picked a sort of lame word for my focus “Improvement.” I’m calling it lame because I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d accomplish but as long as I “improved” I’d hit the target. I thought I’d work on 5 sections of improving my life. 

  • Work: career and finance
  • Health: physical and mental health
  • Learning: personal development
  • Social: relationships with others
  • Home Environment: living conditions


  • 2020 #1: Find two new sources of short term income.
    • Ultimate Bundles Herb Book
    • OE curriculum writing
  • 2020 #2: Find one long-term income source.
    • 2-3 articles per week for a website that focuses on the elderly 


  • 2020 goal #1: Lose 20 pounds by December 2020. 
  • 2020 goal #2: Engage in 30 minutes of physical activity daily. 
    • Mostly met.
    • I did get a stationary bike for more indoor movement and yet another dog for more outside movement. 



  • 2020 goal #1: Make one trip to the U.S.
    • Pandemic meant no travel
  • 2020 goal #2: Make one trip in Mexico. 
    • Duh, Pandemic again!

Home Environment

  • 2020 goal #1: Finish the back porch.
    • About ½ finished
  • 2020 goal #2: Finish the front of the house.
    • Progress but not finished

So, as you can see, some aspects improved more than others. I managed to crank out 5 new books and 3 paperback versions for previously published ones, which was way more than I expected. Therefore, I’m not going to fret about what didn’t get done. It was a stressful year, wouldn’t you agree? How did your goals go?

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