"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Saturday, November 9, 2019

9 Tips to End 2019 on a High Note! Reclaim Your Joy

Welcome back, readers!
With the end of the year being at our proverbial doorstep, today's post is about wrapping things up on a high note and making way for a positive, peaceful, prosperous 2020.


How many times has your sanity taken a temporary “sabbatical” due to a stressful gig, drama with your mate, feuding relatives, demanding clients, or the day-to-day demands of trying to be all things to all people?
Or perhaps you’ve been “imprisoned” by feelings of guilt or unworthiness, due to subliminal media messages, or callous comments of others, targeted to convince you that you don‘t quite measure up.

Whatever the source, it’s time to get on course.
It’s time for your emancipation!

Why? Because all around us, more and more, there are everyday signs that tomorrow is not promised, and each day should be lived to the fullest: the untimely death of big celebrities (young and old); the dismantling and disappearance of big businesses and industry giants; the massive, senseless shootings everywhere across the country.
All the more reason why you should stop waiting for permission to be happy, or the ideal circumstances. Or even the “right mate” to complete you.

Let's face it. So many times we put “qualifiers” on our happiness. Qualifiers, that more often than not, put other folks in control of our peace and well-being.
Time for a reality check here. Happiness is a choice. It’s all about perspective and good decisions. Even the Bible states, “I have learned to be content in whatever state I am in.” Phillipians 4:11.

In keeping, here are nine awesome ways to reclaim your joy and live with passion and purpose to end 2019 on a high note.

1). Learn to say “NO”.

It’s a small word with big impact. Stop being overextended and underappreciated. There’s no honor in it. Set boundaries. It’s nice to be kind, but just don’t be a doormat. There’s great truth to Dr. Phil’s motto, “We teach people how to treat us by the things we accept.”

2). Learn to let go.
Say goodbye to relationships that deplete your peace, are toxic in nature, or dishonor who you are and your core values. Remember that some folks are meant for a reason, and some for a season. Even your creative clients.

I have learned to abandon the guilt I once felt when ending long-term friendships that I have outgrown. Last year, I severed a friendship with a woman I had been friends with for over a decade, because even though we had common interests, our “core values” were unfortunately different. Time brought about wisdom. “Connie” thought nothing of promising to do a favor, or agreeing to a “girl’s night out” and then backing out later if her boyfriend called, or she had a bad day at work. And it seemed that while I enjoyed talking about literature and the arts, she was more prone to gossip and celebrity worship. Ultimately we saw eye to eye on very little. I’m convinced that just because you share history with someone doesn‘t mean you should share a future.

3). Pray.
A strong spiritual foundation can provide “grounding” during uncertain times and dark days. Prayer changes things. A case in point-- Pastor Joel Osteen recently shared, during one of his TV sermons, how when his mom was diagnosed with Cancer and a dim prognosis, the power of prayer from family members and friends, (along with deep, abiding faith), restored her and brought her back to health. She has now been living Cancer free for more than a decade.

4). Manage your stress.
Don’t let others’ issues and irrational behavior contribute to high blood pressure, ulcers, and other ailments brought on by unhealthy interaction and dysfunctional mindsets. Understand that most wouldn’t do it for you.

Consider this: according to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than twice as many American women as men are affected by depression.

5). Learn to say “YES”!
To the things that give your heart delight and renew your spirit. Whether it’s Latin dancing, going back to college, Karaoke night, journaling or simply having that decadent dessert at the holiday dinner. As long as your choices do not cause detriment to yourself or others, there’s no reason for remorse or restriction.

6). Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses (or Kardashians) .
Acquiring things in order to compete with family and friends, or to project an “image” you can’t afford can be exhausting, empty, and expensive. Influence is more important than affluence. Never be held hostage by others’ standards of success. In 2019, I still don’t have Cable.

7). Forgive mistakes of the past.
Are you holding a grudge? Bitter with your ex-boyfriend? Unresolved issues with a sibling? A beef with your boss? Anger puts other people in power over you. The sooner you learn the lesson from the experience and decide to get on with your life, the more empowered you’ll feel.

Remember that emotional baggage can weigh you down and prevent you from connecting with quality people in the future.

8). Don’t just survive, thrive!
Sadly, some people go from day to day on autopilot. Don’t be one of them. No matter what your age or circumstance, each day represents unlimited opportunities for growth, renewal and new discoveries. Stay open to this.
Pursue work that you enjoy. Surround yourself with positive people. Appreciate life’s simple pleasures. Recognize that each day is a blessing and embrace it.

9). Strive for excellence, not perfection.
Though I often try to maintain meticulous standards, sometimes I will revisit a previous post or pitch to an editor that has a minor error; it drives me nuts. But the truth is, nobody is perfect 100% of the time. And we shouldn't demand that of ourselves.


Get your financial house in order!
Doing so will allow you more freedom, flexibility, stability and fun! Here’s a helpful site I found via Inkwell Editorial to put you on the right track:


Follow these sage tips in 2019 and discover the difference they’ll make. Live the life you deserve and desire! Step into your season. The Good life awaits!

Speaking of year end, just a friendly reminder here that Pen & Prosper will have a reduced posting schedule moving forward...

Your turn.
Any of the above tips resonate with you? Anything you'd like to add?

Image credits: Pixabay.com 


  1. Excellent, Jen. Thank you for this wonderful and timely advice. It comes at a season where I must make some decisions about several things. Saying no is essential for a healthy, balanced life. And saying yes to such therapeutic activities is the best medicine for a stressed and tired heart. Thank you for caring enough about us to enable us to thrive. :)

    1. Thank you for recognizing that. And more importantly for being such a blessing...

  2. Good tips, Jennifer.
    Although I agree with you in letting go of people who does not share your core values, it is not that easy.
    I prefer limiting the time with them.
    Again, great post with sound advice as usual.

    1. Limiting time is also a viable solution. Life is short. Choose wisely mi amigo.