One of my ‘words’ for this year is Action. Rather than going the route of ‘resolutions’, I’ve decided that goals, deadlines, and two ‘words of the year’ will help me to live well. The second word is Abundance, which I define as living in a mindset of gratitude, knowing that I have and am enough, balance between giving and taking, and general balance in life, as opposed to the fearful mindset of scarcity (not being or having enough) and single-minded focus on one thing.
Action, for me, is about ‘doing’. Last year was defined in many ways by a lack of doing – I didn’t do enough of the things that I knew would make me feel better, emotionally, physically, and mentally. I tried to find the things I was grateful for, and these carried me through, but I would like this year to be the year that I start to live as fully as possible, to realise my own potential as a writer, and to be a better friend and family member. Of course, this isn’t about burning myself out and trying to make everyone happy. At the core of it all is a focus on the things that I’ve been neglecting – namely my own writing and career goals and my own development.
I’ve chosen these two words carefully because they inform each other. Abundance comes from a place of recognising that though I may have lofty goals and lots of things on my to-do list, I also have to learn to find balance between doing and not doing. I don’t think it’s healthy to constantly be ‘busy’ or to use ‘busy-ness’ as an excuse to neglect the important relationships in your life. I know it will be difficult to find that balance but there is no growth without some discomfort. If anything, it will take me a long time to understand what balance looks like to me – the key is to try.
There are some major goals and deadlines I’ve set for myself so far, across the board. I decided to sit down and work out all the things that I want to do, the things I need to do, and the things that will be fun to do. Breaking them down into categories, I feel as though they are achievable if I take small steps each day and week towards the larger goals. It’s always about breaking large goals into smaller goals – yearly, monthly, weekly and daily actions and goals. This means that you get to see how the small things you do will add up over time, and keep you focused.
Why is this year different? What makes me think that I’ll be able to stick to my goals and plans? I’ve often started each year with many goals and plans, but these goals and plans are seeded in something different this year. I’ve had around three years of struggling mentally and emotionally, and a part of me changed through everything we went through last year. I built myself up again and understood myself better. I’ve still got a lot to learn about myself and the world around me, but I feel stronger and better able to deal with change and unforeseen events.
Two major goals for this year are writing and publishing a non-fiction book of essays and my first novel (with the working title of Ashes and Dust). My non-fiction book will come out first, dependent on how I get the hang of using publishing software and platforms, and the novel release date will be dependent on a number of factors, including hiring an independent editor and cover artist. It will be a learning curve, but the first tentative date for the release of my non-fiction essays book is 31st May. My novel release date is much more tentative, considering I don’t know how many drafts yet it will take to get it right, but my provisional release months may be October or November. It may even happen before that, but I’m giving myself plenty of time.
It might be obvious, but I’ve decided to go the author-publisher route. Not because I don’t believe my work wouldn’t be published traditionally, but because I will have more control over the final product, layout, and release dates of my work. There are so many more options open to writers and authors these days, and I feel a sense of hope and optimism when I consider the possibilities that they offer. In the end, I think it’s about what you feel works best for you. There are pros and cons of both ways of publishing – but in some respects they diverge (traditionally published authors often have to do their own promotion and publicity now).
I am also going to develop my blog further this year, and intend to publish a blog post twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I may post more than that on any given week, but I feel that two times a week is do-able and means that hopefully, I’ll be more reliable! I’ve rediscovered my blogging mojo so long may that continue. There may also be a number of different projects related to blogging and online media this year, so watch this space. My hope is that this blog becomes a source of inspiration for both readers and myself in the coming year.
I wish you all a very happy new year, and that your own goals and plans come to fruition.
‘Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature.’ – Steve Maraboli.