Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

by Kendra Levin

The first half of January can be a time of big dreams, powerful goals, and strong motivation. We crack the spine on a brand-new journal, draw up a list of resolutions and stick it on the fridge, throw away the old calendar and tear the shrink-wrap off an untouched one that’s still full of possibilities. We are ready to make changes and take action.

For many of us, though, that ambition melts and muddies as quickly as pristine snow. By mid-month, those big dreams have turned into a puddle of backsliding, rationalizing, guilt, frustration, and ultimately resignation. By the time February rolls around, we’ve given up entirely. We live the rest of the year as if that brief, brilliant period of inner drive had never happened.

It’s not that we don’t accomplish anything. But often, we don’t accomplish what we’re truly capable of—what we see is possible for ourselves during that magical window when the year is fresh and new.

make-your-new-years-resolutions-stick

What would it be like to continue to see that possibility for ourselves? To believe, beyond January, that we’re capable of true change? To set in motion a series of actions that carry us through a year of living closer to our greatest potential?

We are all capable of doing this. Here’s how (with thanks to author Leila Sales for inspiring this list):

Be focused. Don’t try to change every part of your life at once; instead, pick one or two goals that are the most important to you. Go for quality, not quantity.

Be ambitious but realistic. Challenge yourself with goals at the upper limit of your capabilities, so you can prove to yourself what you are able to do, but don’t set a goal so daunting you lose steam quickly.

Be a planner. Don’t make a broad goal and then expect yourself to just figure out how to accomplish it along the way. Instead, operationalize it: break it down into its component steps and plot out how you’ll do each one. Making a big goal into a bunch of small goals makes it much more manageable.

Be resilient. What will happen if you don’t do everything you set out to do this month? Probably nothing! If you don’t do every single thing on your list, it’s okay—don’t lose hope and give up on the whole thing. Every morning you get a new day and a chance to make new choices. Keep trying!

Be a Hero. If a resolution is important to you, treat it that way. Being a Hero means protecting, serving, and making sacrifices for what you care about. How will you protect this goal from whatever threatens it? How will you serve the cause that’s important to you—whether that cause is your writing or art, your health, your time, or whatever it is you are valuing with this resolution? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to keep this resolution? (Hint: it might be something you think you need but actually don’t.) Don’t forget how you feel today about this resolution; don’t talk yourself into not caring about it a couple weeks or a month from now.

Ask yourself: What will I do this year? How am I going to do it? What tools do I need to help me accomplish my goals? Thoughtful, specific answers to these questions can set you on the path to where you want to get to. And I firmly believe you’ll find your way there.


Kendra Levin is a certified life coach for writers, as well as a children’s book editor, teacher, and writer. Since 2008, she has helped writers and other creative artists all over the world meet their goals and connect more deeply with their work and themselves. She has been on the editorial staff at Penguin since 2005, editing all ages from picture books to young adult, and her books have received starred reviews and national awards. Kendra has taught classes for a range of populations from media professionals to prison inmates and has spoken at writers’ conferences and retreats in over twenty states. Her theatrical works have been produced Off- and Off-Off Broadway and regionally, and her eclectic professional writing credits include celebrity speeches, a bar guide, and Mad Libs. Her home base is New York City. Follow her @kendralevin or visit her at www.kendracoaching.com.

9781573246880

Today Is Dark, but Spring Is Just Around the Corner

by Kendra Levin

It can be tough to be a creative artist during the holidays.

Whether you’re a writer or a painter, a composer or a choreographer, making your art requires time, focus, and a certain amount of mental quiet. None of these are in abundance during holiday time.

And 2016’s has been a particularly frazzling season for those who expected election day to bring relief instead of more stress. How can we possibly find the space to be creative between shopping and filing paperwork, between calling our reps and signing petitions, between going to holiday parties and falling down the social media rabbit hole?

But there’s more to making art than the moment of creation.

Today is the winter solstice—the shortest, darkest day of the year. Without the solstice and the ancient rites celebrating it, we wouldn’t have many of the best-loved traditions of the holiday season, including decorative wreaths and Christmas trees. In many ancient cultures, the winter solstice signified the birth of the year and a rebirth for celebrants.

Celebrating on this coldest, darkest day is a reminder to us all that winter and hibernation are an essential part of the cycle of creation. Without the chance to sleep in the soil, deep below the crust of frost, seeds would never be able to germinate, put forth tendrils, and ultimately turn into flowers, trees, crops. Celebrating the cold, the dark, the long night is a way of honoring the entire cycle of creation.

Artists need their creative winter to let ideas germinate and prepare for fruition as much as they need periods of expression. We need to give our art time to live its secret life under the surface before it comes out into the world.

So as you’re hustling around putting up decorations, buying gifts, preparing food, entertaining guests, or simply getting all your end-of-year paperwork in order, remember that you’re already storing up the seeds of ideas that will bear fruit in the new year. Perhaps they’ll emerge as a novel or a play, as poetry or a symphony, a sculpture or a painting. Or maybe your ideas will serve a cause, guide a movement for change, spark a revolution. Do not doubt that the seeds are already within you; give them the time they need to put forth roots.

Today is dark, but spring is just around the corner.


Kendra Levin is a certified life coach for writers, as well as a children’s book editor, teacher, and writer. Since 2008, she has helped writers and other creative artists all over the world meet their goals and connect more deeply with their work and themselves. She has been on the editorial staff at Penguin since 2005, editing all ages from picture books to young adult, and her books have received starred reviews and national awards. Kendra has taught classes for a range of populations from media professionals to prison inmates and has spoken at writers’ conferences and retreats in over twenty states. Her theatrical works have been produced Off- and Off-Off Broadway and regionally, and her eclectic professional writing credits include celebrity speeches, a bar guide, and Mad Libs. Her home base is New York City. Follow her @kendralevin or visit her at www.kendracoaching.com.

9781573246880

Our November Titles Are Here!

Happy Reading!

The Hero Is You

Kendra Levin

“Levin’s myth-inspired strategy should prove inspiring for first-time writers.” – Publishers Weekly

“The title says it all. Every writer faces a journey that wends through a nettlesome labyrinth of challenges and obstacles. It takes a hero to leap into the uncertain terrain of a new creative venture, conquer self-doubt, and persist across the craggy lands found in all creative projects. Kendra Levin’s wise, encouraging words provide guidance every step of the way to help every writer realize their creative goals.” ―Grant Faulkner, Executive Director of National Novel Writing Month and Co-founder of 100 Word Story

“If you want to take your writing to the next level, buy this book…now!” –Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sperry, The Book Doctors and authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published

“Kendra Levin helps writers step to the plate in this much-needed guide to the brave writing life.” –Eric Maisel, Coaching the Artist Within

“The goal of certified life coach Levin’s book is to aid writers in developing a deeper understanding of story structure, a grasp of the archetypes that make up a hero’s journey, and a composition process that will help them feel more in tune with themselves and their voice. Levin guides readers through the labyrinth of the creative endeavor known as the “hero’s journey”―a quest for identity and wholeness. Guidelines require writers to ask questions, explore their vulnerabilities, and seek mentors. Exercises and quizzes move authors toward self-examination. VERDICT This guide would serve as a valuable text for writers’ groups or beginning classes on the craft.” –Deborah Bigelow, Library Journal, July 1, 2016

“Smart, perceptive, and inspirational advice.” —Susan Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Unhooked and Only as Good as Your Word

9781573246880Imagine having your own personal mentor—someone encouraging yet honest, supportive yet empowering, who could help you set and achieve your goals, turn your moments of doubt and fear into sources of strength, and discover what you’re truly capable of when you’re at your best.

Kendra Levin is that mentor. And with this book, she’s here to help you do the best writing of your life—and live your best life while doing it.

Using a fresh new approach to Joseph Campbell’s archetypal Hero’s Journey, Levin reveals how to be a hero in the narrative of your own process. She weaves together wisdom drawn from her years as a life coach for writers and an editor at the world’s biggest publishing house with behind-the-scenes stories from a panoply of best-selling authors and career entertainers. With over thirty exercises designed to help you reinvent your creative process from the inside out, this book will show you how to:

  • Identify your biggest challenges and render them powerless
  • Start a project that you love—and stick with it
  • Design a structure for writing regularly

Whether you’re a first-time writer with a brand-new project or a seasoned pro, you’ll reach the end of this book feeling fulfilled, inspired, and ready to mentor the next writer on their creative journey.

(Conari Press)


The Key of Solomon the King

S. L. MacGregor Mathers, Foreword by Joseph Peterson

9781578636082A magical grimoire of sigils and rituals for summoning and mastering spirits, The Key of Solomon the King is the most famous, or infamous, of all magick books. It has influenced everything from the revival of magick and the Western Mystery Traditions (tarot, alchemy, astrology, etc.) to fictional works such as Lovecraft’s The Necronomicon.

Purported to have been penned by King Solomon himself, the book provides instruction for incantations, rituals, and sigils used to call upon and control spirits and demons. Those practicing magick have used it extensively through the centuries, but its true origins and purpose have been lost in the mists of time.

No library of the contemporary occult student or practicing magician is complete without this tome. It remains a standard of esoteric lore by which others are measured. This edition includes a new foreword by noted esoteric scholar Joseph Peterson.

(Weiser Books)


Tarot for One

Courtney Weber

“Courtney Weber is one of a new generation of Tarot authors who are making the cards fresh and relevant to today’s world. Filled with real life examples, this book is almost like being in class with Courtney or like joining her in a fun and insightful conversation. She answers questions about the reading process as soon as (or just before) they arise in my mind. It’s an updated Tarot for yourself packed with exciting new ideas and perspectives that I’ll certainly be using.” —Mary K. Greer, author of Tarot for Your Self and Understanding the Tarot Court

“Most tarot readers agree: reading tarot cards for others is a snap compared to reading for yourself. Remaining objective is hard, especially when you are emotionally invested in the outcome. Thanks to Courtney Weber’s Tarot for One: The Art of Reading for Yourself, you’re not going to struggle any longer! With smart exercises, clever spreads, easy-to-understand interpretations and tons of examples, Weber provides the perfect framework for getting out of your own way and uncovering clear, unbiased answers. If you love tarot and have always wanted to be able to read your own cards, this invaluable guide belongs on your shelf.” —Theresa Reed, author of The Tarot Coloring Book

9781578635955Courtney Weber has been teaching Tarot and speaking at Tarot symposia around the country for a decade. In response to the numerous requests she has received over the years, Weber created Tarot for One, a personal workbook and resource guide designed to help form interpretations directly applicable to self-readings.

In Weber’s clean, clear style, this book explores the Fool, the Major Arcana, the Court Cards, Cups, Wands, Swords, and Pentacles, as well as what she calls the tough cards, reversals, practice spreads, and next steps. She includes common associations as well as extensive exercises to unlock readers’ own interpretations for connecting personal journeys with the archetypical Tarot. Readers will learn to let the voice of the Tarot come through without overlaying too much of their own “stuff” during a reading.

Tarot for One includes dozens of original Tarot spreads and layouts, which have been repeatedly proven both fun and effective in Weber’s classes and workshops. It also contains tips on finding a deck, honing a Tarot practice, and avoiding common self-reading pitfalls. This is the essential guide for your personal journey with the Tarot.

(Weiser Books)


Crystals, Plain & Simple

Cass and Janie Jackson

9781571747570From time immemorial, crystals have been used for healing, and legend has it that long ago, people knew how to store information inside these precious stones. How does their incredible magic work? Through this clear, practical guide, discover the many ways crystals can cure physical, emotional, and spiritual problems, divine the future, and enhance psychic powers. See which ones work best to aid meditation and visualization, clear a room of negative energy, promote creativity, or foresee the future. There’s advice on buying, purifying, and charging the stones, crystal folklore, and a breathtaking gallery rich in information.

Other topics covered include:

  • Crystal legends and folklore
  • Healing with crystals
  • Crystals, colors, and chakras
  • Birthstones
  • Growing your own crystals
  • Crystals through the zodiac
  • Crystals for anniversaries

A splendid book for the curious and for beginners on the crystal path, Crystals, Plain and Simple is a book that entertains, enlightens, and informs.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)


Reincarnation, Plain & Simple

Krys and Jass Godly

9781571747600From ancient roots in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Greek philosophy to more modern conceptions of rebirth found in popular culture, the notion that the soul can be reborn is a prevalent belief that continues to fascinate. That fascination inevitably results in a number of questions, including:

  • How does our day-to-day life impact our future existences?
  • Who were we before we were born?
  • How do we find out about our previous incarnations?

This practical guide attempts to answer these questions and much more. The Godlys provide step-by-step instructions for accessing information about our previous lives and explore the four main methods of learning about past lives:

  1. Recession
  2. Psychic readings
  3. Regression
  4. Spontaneous recall

They also explore how reincarnation can clue us in to reoccurrences of relationships, lingering memories, and even health problems.

This is a refreshing and simple introduction to a topic that has intrigued seers, sages, and mystics for centuries. It entertains, enlightens, and informs.

(Hampton Roads Publishing)