It's a new year and as we wash up the champagne glasses, vacuum up the confetti, and resign ourselves to a return to the regular routine, it's time to think about where we want to be when the calendar flips over to 2019.
Even a few years ago, a year felt like a really long time. But now it seems to vanish faster than I can keep track of.
It would be easy to post my professional goals for 2018: my plan to pitch at RWA, continuing to build my readership, increase my weekly word count, etc. Those are all real and valid goals and they will be getting a great deal of my attention over the next 361 days.
But that's not all I want to do.
I want to do something which scares me. Or rather, something that I've wanted to do for awhile and which I keep talking myself out of because I'm afraid of what other people will think.
I want to treat myself the way I treat other people, celebrating talent and understanding mistakes.
I want to try something without being afraid of getting it wrong.
I want to spend time being comfortable in my own skin and home rather than listing off a bunch of "improvements" that I could make.
And last, but not least, I want to feel the thrill of discovery and possibilities without getting caught up in practicalities and logistics.
(Astute readers will notice that I'm not being specific and that is a deliberate choice. Because the specific goals are not as important as the attitude change. But I do have specific ideas for each of these desires, which I think is necessary to separate wishful thinking from achievable results.)
There is a real push for self-improvement right now. All kinds of ads and promotions about how we can become better people. But in the end, all of those goals boil down to the same ideas: be kind to yourself, conquer your fear, and find a way to bring a little more happiness into day to day life.
2017 was difficult and personally painful in a lot of ways. I'm ready to leave it in my rearview mirror. But it's also left me with a lot of uncertainty and guilt over opportunities missed and mistakes made. And I've been inside my head for long enough to know that I need to take conscious steps to overcome those negative influences or they will continue to grow and drag behind me.
I'm ready for 2018 to be better. And I hope that it is full of hope, laughter, and opportunities for all of you as well. Happy New Year.
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