Dawn to Dusk Enterprises

Dawn Marie Carlson – Business, Marketing, & P.R. Consultant for Entrepreneurs and Authors and more!

Category: Motivation (Page 2 of 7)

Progress and Possibilities

Progress and possibilities

Planning tools.


I want to rename the first month on my calendar “Progress,” “Possibilities,” or perhaps “Promise.” January brings the hope for new achievements–a gleaming start for the new year, all bright and shiny.

January is an excuse to reinvent ourselves, our business, our home, our lives. Each new year, I become excited at the possibilities for renewal. 

Progress and Possibilities

My morning view.

I begin by dreaming about my goals and projects, both short and long-term. I write them down, making them real. I then sort these goals with categories.

I make my list like a scroll, too long most often. As I draft my list with objectives and steps to achieve them, I begin to parse the list into actual possibilities and move some to my wish list. 

Each day, I write a list as though I finished it already. Later, I check off my completed tasks. Instant satisfaction!

Progress and possibilities

Gathering pine straw for the azalea and gardenia plants.

Some days, things happen and I need to change my schedule to handle them. I know, this is frustrating after I already made a great game plan. I then add those items to the next day and prioritize my list, I need flexibility.

I try to make small moments count. Sometimes, I take a few minutes out to complete a short task such as filing five files, write a card to someone, send a quick email, draft notes for a project, read something helpful, or read one or two emails, respond, and then file them. While I am on hold during a call, I will stay busy with something.

Progress and possibilities

Romeo exploring at the park.

I take small breaks outdoors where I find performing some quick tasks for a change of scenery and for some exercise. Sometimes, I walk Romeo up and down the street to refresh my brain, my soul, and to spend some time with him.

Even my small tasks add up towards positive progression. Sometimes, I merely breathe, enjoy the view, or daydream for a mental and physical break. Remember, these are all good things.

When you make an incremental effort on your project, you 
are making some movement. You are building momentum and perhaps you are not recognizing the impact yet. 

Progress and possibilities

Gather your tools that you need for your project.

You will eventually notice the changes you are making and suddenly you will sense a level of achievement. Don’t stop, keep going. Feel the inspiration. Use this as a spur to incite motion.

Your effort will begin to evolve more towards progress. Eventually, you will feel the glow of success from your completed project.

Ahhh, January, you bring a fresh new year filled with progress, possibilities, and promise.

“Well done is better than well said.”–Benjamin Franklin.

A Garden and a Library

cyclamen, stock and pansies

cyclamen, stock and pansies

A Garden and a Library

“If  you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”

–Both quotations by Marcus  Tullius Cicero, Roman philosopher (107BC -47BC).

Jack London State Park, Glen Ellen023


I am a book lover, an author, a writer, a reader, and a gardener. On my website, I have a book store to share my favorite titles with you and I always share my garden photos with my Dawn to Dusk Blog posts.

I am the result of a genetic line of readers including my Mom, Gramma Hattie, Aunt Judy, and Aunt Pat. We consume books and we have different genres we prefer.

Fuzzy and Romeo Adventures - The Mysterious IntruderI write the type of children’s books I enjoyed as a young reader–filled with adventure, mystery, and nature.

When I was young, my Mom took us on library adventures where we would all browse the shelves and choose our books for the week. I don’t know how Mom managed five children in tow and all of our books–she was organized.

Marin Co. Employee Art Show 2006 014Mom or Dad read to us regularly throughout the day and at bedtime with old favorite stories and new ones. We had to see the pictures before they turned the pages as we asked endless questions until we slept.

At school, we had ‘real librarians’ who taught us how to care for books (Mom did too) and they explained the library genre sections. They helped us locate the books we needed for school reports and books for entertainment. The ‘real librarians’ often read to the students to inspire reading; it worked!

Now, I enjoy books on gardening, photography, nature, prose, writing, fiction, biographies, memoirs, adventures, poetry, marketing, business, management, leadership, inspiration, and reference books. Well…there’s more.

Share Your Talent

Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus.

My library isn’t confined to one location, instead, it sprawls out into every room where I live and you will spot a pod of books there to entertain me as needed. For me, it’s like having a favorite blanket in every room; it warms my soul and my mind.

My brother, Dean says I have too many books. Because he isn’t a reader, he doesn’t understand why books are so important and why I need a library. Hey, Mom has one too although she has given away most of it over the years. Most of my books in my library are newer so I am still using them regularly.

A Library and a Garden


Being an avid gardener, I fill my soul with garden dreams of plants, flowers, trees, annuals, perennials, fruits, and vegetables. Where will I plant these, when, and how will the design unfold? I merely browse my gorgeous gardening library for inspiration, great ideas, and plant advice.

Photos and garden by Dawn Marie Carlson. The schoolhouse above is an oil painting on glass, which I painted for Gramma Hattie because she taught school when she was younger in a schoolhouse similar to this.

A Garden and a Library

Sage (Salvia) surrounds the fountain.

My garden is the fabric of my soul, similar to my library. I am complete having both a library and garden and I feel rich and blessed.

If One Advances Confidently in the Direction of His Dreams

If One Advances Confidently in the
Direction of His Dreams

If One Advances Confidently in the Direction of His Dreams

Stafford Lake

“I have learned that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he has imagines, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

–Henry David Thoreau.
(1817-1862. Author of “Walden” and “Walking.”  Thoreau’s books, articles, essays, journals, and poetry total over 20 volumes. Among his lasting contributions are his writings on natural history and philosophy, where he anticipated the methods and findings of ecology and environmental history, two sources of modern-day environmentalism. -Wikipedia.)

If One Advances in the Direction of His Dreams

Sean at Stafford Lake

“Walden” is one of my most favorite books; I love his poetic prose of his life in the woods and his philosophic wisdom. He was a naturalist and environmentalist before it was fashionable.

Photo at Stafford Lake on a summer afternoon when I took my nephew, Sean fishing. We caught a beautiful sunny day with great views! No fish. A perfect fishing day for me. Photo by Dawn Marie Carlson.

Try To Be Better

002Try To Be Better

“Try to be better. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”–William Faulkner.

Read an excellent article about a successful game plan by Jack Canfield, the author of The Success Principles and Chicken Soup for the Soul. Getting Things Done article from March 27, 2013. http://jackcanfield.com/getting-things-done/

Photo by Dawn Marie Carlson. These majestic redwoods inspire me with their beauty, fragrance and strength.

A Chance to Work Hard

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Redwood Forest, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

A Chance to
Work Hard

“Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

–Theodore Roosevelt

From Wikipedia: “Theodore Roosevelt. (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), often referred to as Teddy or TR, was an American statesman, author, explorer, soldier, naturalist, and reformer who served as the 26th President of the United States, from 1901 to 1909.

Redwood Tree, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Redwood Tree, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

He integrated his exuberant personality, vast range of interests, and world-famous achievements into a “cowboy” persona. Home-schooled, he became a lifelong naturalist before attending Harvard College. His first of many books, The Naval War of 1812 (1882), established his reputation as both a learned historian and a popular writer.

Paper Mill Creek, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Paper Mill Creek, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Making conservation a top priority [during his Presidency], he established myriad new national parks, forests, and monuments in order to preserve the nation’s natural resources.

Roosevelt established the United States Forest Service, signed into law the creation of five National Parks, and signed the 1906 Antiquities Act, under which he proclaimed 18 new U.S. National Monuments. He also established the first 51 Bird Reserves, four Game Preserves, and 150 National Forests, including Shoshone National Forest, the nation’s first. The area of the United States that he placed under public protection totals approximately 230,000,000 acres.”

The fragrant forest, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

The fragrant forest, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

A fragrant redwood forest, Samuel P. Taylor State Park is a popular destination for camping, hiking, horseback riding, bicycling, and picnicking. The old railroad track is a walking path today parallel to Paper Mill Creek on this site of a former paper mill where they harvested and processed redwood trees.

Picnic area, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Picnic area, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

I know Theodore Roosevelt would have enjoyed hiking up the ridges or riding a horse through the forest as many people enjoy doing today.

I took my grandmother here several times for picnics and she and I were both in awe of the mighty redwood trees (‘Gramma Hattie’ Mary Klimesh Hogan, 1900-1995). I have a favorite photo of her sitting in a chair admiring the redwood forest surrounding her. While she was a young girl, Theodore Roosevelt was President.

Railroad track path, Samuel P. Taylor State Park SV400038

Railroad track path, Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Photo by Dawn Marie Carlson taken during a nature walk with my Mom, cousins Jackie, and her son Nicholas. Post updated and revised November 13, 2015. Originally published November 11, 2013.


Sonoma 9-21-2007 Mom & Sandy Karlovic 035Prevailing

“By prevailing over all obstacles and distractions, one may unfailingly arrive at his chosen goal or destination.”

–Christopher Columbus

(Photo: Neptune fountain at Jacuzzi Winery in Sonoma Valley, CA by Dawn Marie Carlson. Original post October 14, 2013. Revised and updated November 9, 2015.)

Climb the Mountains

Climb the Mountains

Climb the Mountains

California Bay Laurel woodland.

“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

— John Muir, Environmentalist, Author (1838-1914)

Photo: Indian Valley, CA – California Bay Laurel and Oak woodlands by Dawn Marie Carlson. 

Everything To-do List – You’ve Done It!

Everything to-do list, you've done it!

Romeo lounging on the deck, dreaming about his to-do list.

Everything To-Do List–
You’ve Done It!

Everything to-do list–you’ve done it! Sounds good, doesn’t it?

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s when you’ve had everything to do, and you’ve done it.” –Margaret Thatcher.


Yesterday, I made a two-page list of home tasks and projects that I want to complete and say–yes, I did it! Some of these tasks and projects are “nits” as Jack Canfield (Author of “The Success Principles”) calls them, those irritating things that are not yet completed. I completed all of my tasks and projects! Hey, where’s the parade, the band, and the fireworks?

Everything to-do list, you've done it!

Making lists, creating a vision for future completed tasks and projects!

“Put first things first,” Stephen R. Covey explains in Habit 3 of his book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.”

“With Habit 1, Be Proactive,” and “Habit 2, Begin with the End in Mind,” you start to build the foundation for Covey’s “7 Habits.”


Habit 1 states that you are the visionary choosing to make progress. Habit 2 defines your mental vision from the beginning to the end–your mental blueprint.

As part of your vision creation, selecting the most important tasks and projects, that are not urgent, is Quadrant II of Covey’s four-part matrix. This quadrant prepares you to focus with a laser beam on your greatest result for your time investment.

Everything to-do list, you've done it!

Sean fishing for a pleasant view.

Using the Pareto Principle, you realize 80% of your results with 20% of your effort with a laser-like focus on your most effective tasks or projects. I call it, “Fishing for whales, not minnows.”

In Habit 3 you are building the foundation for your vision, you begin to implement your vision, tasks, and projects.

Progress evolves. You are making things happen. Momentum builds and you are completing additional tasks and projects with greater skill and speed.

Everything to-do list, you've done it!

Raking pine straw and cleaning up the garden.

After I created my vision list and analyzed my most important, not urgent tasks and projects, I “chunked down” my tasks into manageable pieces and moved mountains, or foothills first, and mountains later. (“Chunking down” is a concept from Jack Canfield.)

I completed the project and it matched my vision for it. I began other projects and completed those and yes, momentum is building and I am not done yet. There are more check marks on my long list and my results are pleasing.

There is a great sense of satisfaction and relief when you add a check mark as completed to those items on your list. Celebrate your victories! There, I see the parade, the band, and the fireworks heading our way now.

Congratulations, “You had everything to do, and you’ve done it!”

Nothing Can Dim the Light

Nothing can dim the light from within.

Mom caught cuddling with dessert, a new book.

Nothing Can Dim
the Light

“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
–Maya Angelou.

The reason this is such a special photo of my Mom is that one year later, she had a stroke leaving her with a paralyzed right arm, speech difficulty, and weakness on her right side.

Nothing Can Dim the Light.

Mom reading on her living room perch.

This forever changed her life and yet, she carries on with a cheerful and positive attitude.

While others would crumble and withdraw, she continues. Mom reads her favorite authors on a Kindle now with larger fonts. She is now in a wheelchair and still continues to take part in everything.

Nothing stops her. No matter what happens, she picks herself up and moves forward, ever forward.

Mom set the bar even higher for all of those around her. If you want to reach the stars – watch Mary; she can show you how.

We are forever grateful for her invincible spirit and her love that supports all of us and those nearby.

Her light shines for all of us.

Share Your Talent

Share Your Talent With The World

This goat is prompting you to share your talent with the world.

Share Your Talent

Share your talent with the world. Don’t be timid or selfish. Be bold and daring with your talent–all of it.

Fear is a threshold you must overcome. We need your talent in the world, now. Why are you stalling?

We depreciate ourselves during our creative process; yes, we all go through this sporadically while we are developing our dreams into reality.

Share Your Talent

Dream, Believe, Follow Your Heart, Paris, Live, Laugh, and Love.

Artists, writers, photographers, authors, speakers, farmers, business owners, musicians, scientists, gardeners, dancers, singers, actors, chefs, athletes, filmmakers, comedians, and in every field people are striving to make things better, to find an improvement, to make things unique, to change outcomes, to offer loftier products and services, and to turn the world into a more hopeful place.

Share Your Talent

“On Writing Well” by William Zinsser.

In addition, everyone has a level of doubt about his or her work at times.

Writers, poets, and authors do not stop writing because previous talented authors such as Jack London (journalist and author), William Wordsworth (English poet), and Henry David Thoreau (author), were already discovered.



Share Your Talent With The World

San Francisco Note Books, Stamps, Gel Pens, Pencil, Ball Point Pens, and Fountain Pens – Tools of the Trade.

Artists and photographers do not put away their tools because Frederic Edwin Church (Hudson River School artist), and Ansel Adams (photographer), were already well-known as the pinnacle in their field of expertise.

Athletes train to exceed the current standard of performance and to surpass their own as we noticed with sisters Venus and Serena Williams, both ranked number one during their tennis careers at times.

Share Your Talent

Webster’s New World College Dictionary – Fifth Edition.

Michelangelo did not begin painting the Sistine Chapel on his primary attempt; he had a lifetime of artistic skills developed through commissioned work he produced over his career.

Yes, superstars are intimidating; they set the gold standard in their industry for all of us to challenge ourselves and one another in becoming a sterling example of creativity and proficiency in our field.

On occasion, some people seem to have genes that come with a high level of expertise and skills already built-in, a prodigy or teens with awesome talent. Generally, this is not the course of progress.

Share Your Talent

Oxford American Writer’s Thesaurus.

The reality is once you master one level of skills in your field, you long for a greater level and a more proficient way to perform. Goals are reachable, then we struggle to attain and achieve even more. A level of enthusiasm and momentum grows with each success.

Once we build a foundation, a level of confidence develops through ‘wins’ both minimal and great.

Do not hesitate to create your ideas. The time is now. You will change the world in a positive form that is unique with your creative viewpoint. Share your talent with the world – all of it; we are awaiting your creative ideas to make the world a more hopeful place.

Share Your Tealent

Chickens in all of their splendor sharing the good news with one another.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, then go, and do that. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” –Howard Thurman.


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