A Year In Review
Ah, January! A time for reflection, for plotting the year ahead. A time for rebirth, for starting something new.
Millions of people make resolutions on January 1st, and millions of those resolutions are broken by the end of week one. Personally, I never met a resolution I didn’t break and so I stopped making them, officially.
I firmly believe you cannot look ahead, without first taking stock of where you are and how you got there. What did your life look like at this time last year? What did you want to accomplish? What steps did you take to achieve that goal? What worked? What didn’t?
Last year, in March, my writing friend, Bee, asked me to help her keep track of her goals and hold her accountable. In the process of helping her, I helped myself. I made a short list of goals for the year and broke them down into what seemed a realistic time frame. Then, in an effort to break my inertia, I broke them down further into weekly assignments. Some of those assignments were tiny. Make one phone call. Read one chapter. But those tiny steps added up. And seeing that progress in writing helped spur me on.
Bee and my new writing friend, Lauren, and I are hoping to continue motivating and supporting each other by checking in via Skype once a month. We started last Sunday with a review of our goals. In bringing our goals and our tiny achievements and miniscule failures to the table, we hold ourselves accountable. We are better able to see the passage of time and to adjust what we are doing to bring us closer to the life we want to create.
I found that in preparing for that virtual meeting, I had to take a look at where I started 2014 to fully appreciate where I am starting 2015. Taken as a big picture snapshot, my biggest goal – to publish my book – hasn’t come to pass. If I only focused on that, I would be too depressed to plan the next adventure. But taken in smaller frames, I made tons of progress toward publishing that book. And 2015 is the year of the book!
This year, I resolve to NOT make resolutions. Instead, I will approach my goals for 2015 like I did last year. I will break down my tasks into small attainable steps in the big plan! I know if I don’t see steady progress, I will beat myself up and the dream machine will come to a halt. If I see checkmarks beside even the smallest task, I see progress and I feel like I am making strides.
And I am going to promise myself to include some personal goals in there as well. 2014 turned out to be a super stressful year for me. In trying to find time to work on publishing and certification for my day job, I seem to have misplaced myself – the creative me, the me that needs time to decompress and play. I have gotten away from reading for fun, playing the violin just to make some noise, quilting, crocheting, creating something non-book related. I haven’t taken care of myself in terms of exercise and eating right. I
need want to do better in these areas.
Most importantly, in looking back, I have learned to be more flexible. My timeframe for my monthly and weekly goals had to be completely revamped a few times last year. And I know that realizing this can and will happen is the first step toward not letting it derail me. I have already seen a set back with my original goal of February 2015 for a release date. I have misplaced my cover artist and as a result am at a brief stand still with formatting as I work with someone new on the cover. This set back depressed me all last month, but I am starting to realize that a step backward does not have to mean your dream has come to a grinding halt. It’s all about perspective. 🙂
All great journeys begin (and end) with one small step.
How did you do with your 2014 goals? What will you do differently this year?