Yes, it's that time of year again when we all look back and wonder if we've done enough to justify our presence on Planet Earth and start to make plans for the next year that will hopefully make up for everything we didn't get done the year before. It's New Year's Resolution time!
And yes, I used to be just as cynical about it as I sounded in that first paragraph. But somewhere along the line - I forget exactly when it was - I made the most amazing discovery. We really do have power to change our lives. We don't have to wait for life to happen to us - we can go out there and create it. This doesn't mean that I can make someone else do something I'd like them to do - I can't set a goal that someone else will do something. That's up to them. But I can decide what I'm going to do, and I'm the only one who controls whether or not I succeed.
It's true that there are some things I want in my life that I don't currently have. Those aren't short-term goals anyway - they take time and planning, and so I'm planning and preparing. I have no doubt that those things will happen eventually as I plug away at them. They might not happen exactly the way I anticipate, but they will happen. The trick is to keep plugging away and not give up.
Another trick is to honor what progress I have made instead of berating myself for what I didn't accomplish. 2012 was an awesome year for me, writing wise. I published seven books of varying lengths and topics, and I did a lot of work for my freelance editing clients. Did I accomplish my other goals in the areas of getting my house totally clean and organized, losing the rest of my weight, etc? Nope. But here's the thing - I wasn't expecting to get hit by a semi in December of 2011 and to spend a long time recovering. That recovery time was perfect for writing and not so perfect for the other stuff. I can't beat myself up for what I didn't get done - I need to focus on what I did accomplish, which was quite a lot.
(And I hope you realize that although I'm talking about me, I want you to apply this to yourself as well and not feel guilty for things you couldn't cross off your list.)
In 2013, I was more physically active, so I was able to get more done along those lines. I also did some publishing of my own books, although not as many as in 2012, and I started a publishing company and produced two books for Jenni James, an author friend. Did I accomplish everything on my list? No, but I got a whole heapin' ton of stuff done, and I feel pretty fantastic about it.
Now this brings me up to 2014. I've spent the last month on a journey of self-discovery, really thinking about who I am and why I do the things I do. A lot of the goals I've set for 2014 revolve around that journey.
And I'd like to invite you to follow me on that journey and to take one of your own. I'm blocking out my year month by month, deciding what I'd like to accomplish most within those months. However, I'm taking the last day of each month to re-evaluate and decide if my goals really are what's right for the next thirty days, or if I need to make some changes. Part of success is knowing you're working toward the right goals.
I'll be charting out this journey over on my Tristi's Challenges blog. Check it out tomorrow morning for my January goal list. If you'd like to set some goals and follow along with me, I'd love to have you - share your goals in the comment thread, and let's take some serious action to make 2014 amazing for all of us.