My Battle Plan for 2015: Breathe

Sheldon Breathing Into Paperbag

2015 is gearing up to fight me. My To Do list has never been this long, or this intense. Forget losing weight or giving up sugar—my usual New Year’s resolutions—this year I need a battle plan and it can be summed up in one word:


Back in September, I talked about how I had an abundance of blessings last year and I’d realized that with a new big science grant and a new three-book publishing contract, I would have to learn how to lose control. And, how that is super hard for a type A overachieving control freak like me.

A few months has passed and I don’t think I’ve exactly learned my lesson as much as I have accepted that, for this year at least, trying to plan and micromanage the way I usually do will be futile. There are so many variables involved in this experiment, I can’t even begin to predict the outcome. Insisting on rigid targets and deadlines will be like tossing crumpled up tissue against a 60 mph wind and wonder why the little paper balls keep hitting me in the face.

And although the idea of a super chaotic 2015 at first sent me to breathe into a paper bag, I now embrace it. Being scared is…well, scary, but it can also be liberating and exciting. I’m going to have to push myself out of my comfort zone. I have to take risks, or this year will slay me.

Although this sounds like an in-your-face and take charge attitude, concentrating on breathing deeply enough (and often enough) to survive my insane schedule has made me much nicer to myself. Instead of obsessing about my diet because I’m more than a few pounds overweight, I think about what I can feed my body to sustain it better and thereby stay awake long enough to write another chapter. Instead of berating myself for never making it to the gym, I treat myself to a long walk with the dog to recharge my reservoir and thereby have enough energy to show my students how exciting science can be.

That of course doesn’t always work. Sometimes I reach for the Cheetos and chomp down on them so hard my jaw almost breaks.  Sometimes I have to bang my head against the wall to get the inner crazy voices stop shouting, “It will never work. We are doomed.” I am after all a prime example of the imposter syndrome and any day now, my agent, my editor, and those nice people over at the National Science Foundation will discover what a fraud I am and realize they’ve all made a terrible mistake.

I’m doomed! I’m doomed, I tell you!



Hold one moment, please…okay, all better now.

In my stomach I feel flutters of anticipation among the icy chill of fear. It’s like I’m about to go on a trip, a scary one with unknown monsters lurking around the bend of the road, but the trip may also turn out to be a big adventure that leads to amazing  experiences. To find out, my only choice is to inhale deeply and take the first step.

I’m coming for you 2015!




About Asa Maria Bradley

2016 Double RITA finalist, romance author, news junkie, physics instructor, and diver. Loves Norse mythology, ranch dressing, and cop shows. Lives with husband and rescue dog of indeterminate breed in Pacific Northwest. Represented by Sarah E. Younger of the Nancy Yost Literary Agency. Writers about sexy modern-day Vikings. More at and @AsaMariaBradley.

Posted on January 19, 2015, in Auth: Asa Maria Bradley, Empowerment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Right there with you, Asa. I think we have to learn to trust our own process. It’ll all work out–and not because we chant those 4 words, but because we get things done. That’s who we are. So the more anxiety we remove, and the more we trust in our bad-ass selves, the more productive we’ll be–and, you know, we might enjoy it more!


  2. I can totally relate, Asa! I’ve decided 2015 will be my Year of Living Dangerously. I’m going to embrace the chaos, meditate to keep my sanity, and have faith things will work out well.


    • Hey Sarah, that last part is why I think people who dare do well. When my husband and I go hiking, I’m super careful (and slow) when we navigate a steep hill on a narrow trail, especially if it’s rocky.

      My husband seems to just throw himself down the mountain, without paying attention where he’s going and just believes that his feet will find traction and it will all be alright.

      9 times out of 10, he’s okay.

      Let’s not mind our foot placement this year and just throw ourselves down the trail! I have faith we’ll be okay. 🙂


      • Hmmmm, fear is a good thing… for survival of our species (though I admire your husband’s approach to hiking). Maybe carefulness has more to do with our personal evolution — after years of living recklessly I’m more cautious now.


  3. That’s why you need those martini dates!


  4. While reading your post, I was nodding my head and saying, “Yes, that’s exactly how I feel!” But, you know what, you can do it, Asa!! We can cheer each other on. Um….but, I may need to borrow that bag to breathe in occasionally :).


  5. Well, with Sherlock telling you to breathe, I’m sure you’ll listen 😉

    You can do eeeeeet! After all, it’s not like you have a choice. (No pressure or anything.)


  6. I’m hearing….. Be careful what you wish for 😄 honestly I have full faith that you can do it all!


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