Saturday, December 19, 2015

Three Life Changing Lessons from 2015

It's the end of another incredible year. I just took a peek at my New Years post, looking back at how difficult 2014 was and how promising 2015 seemed. Well, the promise was fulfilled. 2015, for me, was one of the best years. Why? Because I actually started to enjoy my life. 

As I mentioned in my New Years post, I resolved to have a balanced life. Turns out that it's not about balance, it's about balancing- its a verb, an act, a process that needs regular attention and recognition. 

When I sent out the Get Sorted questionnaire, it seemed that many of you are seeking balance. That's why I wanted to share the top three lessons that not only helped me with balance, but changed my life. Hopefully, you pick out some nuggets of wisdom from my experience. 

One- Masterpiece Days

This is a little bit of wisdom I picked up from Brian Johnson. I absolutely love this man and his Philosopher's Notes. Please check out his site at He's got a ton of free videos and podcasts and an inexpensive membership for more. 

If you want to change your life you have to change your daily habits and actions. All those small, seemingly insignificant acts add up to huge, significant changes. Brian shares the idea, which is from The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, to bookend your days. 

You have the most control over your morning and evening, and you need to make them count. I began changing my evening routine by shutting off the TV and other electronics two hours before bed, no caffeine after 3pm, so I could get to bed early and have a Miracle Morning, another great book by Hal Elrod. Now I have a morning routine that sets me up for success throughout the whole day! (You can read about it here.

Having a masterpiece day also means making time to do the most important thing that you need to do that day, usually getting it done first before the day gets crazy. This alone has made a huge impact on the quality of my life and overall sense of fulfillment. Incredible! I can tell the difference between having a masterpiece day and not. Now, I strive to have more masterpiece days

Two- Give Yourself Time

Time. I don't know about you, but I have a love/hate relationship with time. I love when I have it, hate it when I don't. 

The year started great. I released The Commitment Test and I was fast at work on a new novel that I felt was sure to be a great success. Then, around May I found myself in a panic. I was rushing to put out my next book. After all, I set a goal to release at least two if not three books this year. I was running out of TIME

During this same time, I was beginning to believe that the reason I wasn't achieving the kind of success I thought I should have at that point was because I was somehow hindering it. Or dare I say, self-sabotaging it. I decided to use my practice of chanting nam-myoho-renge-kyo to have a breakthrough in my life and began chanting for an hour a day for 100 days. 

It was about ten days before my 100 days campaign was up when it happened. My dear friend and fellow author, I'll call her Shoten Zenjin (Protective Function), read my soon-to-be released novel and said, "This is great, but it's not ready." 

I was crushed.

But then, she opened my eyes to see that by rushing I had sacrificed the quality of my work, and she encouraged me to think about the kind of writer I wanted to be. It was this same conversation that I realized why I was in such a hurry to make things happen. 

I was on a self-imposed deadline. (BTW, I'm omitting that word this year and replacing it with Timeline or Lifeline) 

I believed that if I didn't have a certain amount of success by early 2016, I would have to go back to a regular full-time job and scale WAY BACK on my writing businesses. Because of this, I was acting out of fear . . . and it was ugly. 

She kept telling me to Give Myself The Time I Needed. "Give yourself time." And so I did. I took a step back, horrified over how I had been thinking and operating, and took some time. I gave myself permission to release a book a year, because there's nothing wrong with that. Because that is me being authentic, true to myself (lesson of 2014). 

Please don't misunderstand this as a reason to hold off on your achievements or aspirations, but to allow yourself the proper amount of time to produce the quality of results that you want to share with the world. Give yourself time.

Three- This & That

So while I'm taking time, and setting up my week to have masterpiece days, I still found myself yearning for what I consider a successful career, wondering when I was going to make that six-figure income. When!? 

Then I thought to myself, okay let's say I achieved that, what would I do? How would I want to spend my time? My money? So I made a list that I dubbed This & That. If I get This (six-figure income) it means I can have more of That (fill in the blank). Here's some things on my list:

  • Have time to cultivate lasting relationships (friends & family, etc) that encourage & fulfill others- having conversations (phone, over meals, coffee houses, walks, get togethers)

  • Getting plenty of sleep
  • Spending time in nature
  • Reading

90% of my list costs nothing, or is extremely affordable. Nothing that would require me to have a six-figure a year income. So I thought instead of waiting to do all these great things when I have the great career, why not make TIME for them now and see what happens. 

You guys, this list is a game changer. 

And since I began acting as if I have the time for these things, in other words adjusting my priorities and making time for them, I feel like I'm not only balancing my life but enjoying my life, dare I say, being successful at life. And after all, isn't that what we really desire? To be happy in our entire life?

I'm not talking about rainbows and unicorns happy all the time, but having a profound sense of yourself and what you want, how you want to feel, knowing and acting on your fundamentals daily.

This & That was so eye opening for me, that I created a free worksheet for you as part of my Get Sorted Series. (Click Here to Download) I'd love to hear what you think.

So what were the life changing lessons you learned this year? Please share them by leaving a comment below.

I wish you and your families a very joyful holiday season. See you in 2016!


For fun, freebies, and updates on all my books be sure to sign up for my Reading is for Lovers newsletter!

Reading is for Lovers

* indicates required
Email Format


  1. Very inspirational Amanda, thank you for your words of wisdom!! Have a Happy New Year!!!

  2. In 2015, I finally learned how to manage time. I was never stressed by last minute deadlines (lifeline/timelines) since I started early on every project, worked steadily on it on a planned schedule, and so forth. I learned that a goal-orientend tortoise surely beats the rabbit and doesn't get stressed.

    Robby H.

    1. OMG, Robby! I'm always saying, "slow and steady wins the race!" Seriously, it's like my tagline. Glad you're handling your time wisely.

  3. In 2015, I finally learned how to manage time. I was never stressed by last minute deadlines (lifeline/timelines) since I started early on every project, worked steadily on it on a planned schedule, and so forth. I learned that a goal-orientend tortoise surely beats the rabbit and doesn't get stressed.

    Robby H.