Kicking My Year into High Gear

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As 2020 thankfully has finally descended into the abyss of our calendars, we’re all ready for a change. I myself have been itching to get my life started again. It might be a good handful of months until in-person events like concerts and book signings again. But regardless, I’m still really excited for what this year will bring. As situations improve, I’m determined to make the most of the time that I have to hustle. 

That being said, self-care is also such a critical part of life. Whether or not you’re a writer, mindfulness has to be in everything you do. If it’s not, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice. That’s largely the reason why I hesitate to set overly specific, lofty goals for myself every year. Instead, I find myself wanting to keep things vague, and avoid specific timelines. My life plays out better with a well-developed idea rather than a detailed outline. Flexibility is key – trust the process, and let your year unfold the way it needs to. 

Below, I’m going to share some of my own personal goals for this year. Some are, admittedly, more concrete and specific, but the vague ones still offer so much. For best results, motivate yourself with a mix of both.

Concrete Goals: 

Publish the sequel to my time-travel coming-of-age novel (Forgetting What I Couldn’t Remember: Book 1 of the Rewind Duology) this spring.

This has a clear finish line, and a range of time in which I want to accomplish it. But I’m not going to be hard on myself about it either. I’m currently over 60k words into my draft and I want to get it to at least 100k. By the time it gets through my editing, it might be the middle of March. But that’s pretty great, because that’s still a year since I published the first installment. This story in particular, is so important to me because it’s a more volition-positive retelling of bullying. However, it’s told from the perspective of a girl much braver then me. When her eccentric uncle jumps onto the scene after being away for a while, she travels back in time to help her younger self enact justice. There’s also a good dose of romance in it too!

Start freelancing full-time hours this year.

Since I’ve recently decided to pursue freelancing as a full-time hustle, I’m determined to fill my working hours. This means doing what it takes to get work more consistently, so I can proudly know that I’m working full-time hours and bringing in the revenue I need. This takes a lot of marketing, clout, and word of mouth. It’ll take time to build that clientele, but awesome gigs like writing here for Inkitt, really help a lot toward that goal.

Resume in-person events as soon as possible.

I know this one is largely based on decisions that are largely out of my control, but I’m adding it to the list anyway. When new opportunities arise to do something productive and fun (like reviewing a concert or doing a book signing) come around, I’ll be all in. Since I’ve been home 80% of 2020, it can be hard to feel motivated to get out of the house. But I’m deciding now that I won’t let my newly-formed lazy habits stop me from living life to the fullest as soon as I can.

Vague Goals:

Don’t push myself so hard.

I need to take care of myself if I want to succeed. So in that way, my concrete goals are a bit reliant on this one. And my tendency is to be such a workaholic, so as odd as it sounds, it can be hard to break that pattern. My friend always reminds me to take a lazy day routinely (which, I am, admittedly, terrible about) but the truth in that rings true. Ideally, taking a full day to decompress yields the best results. But even an afternoon spent watching a movie or reading a book can work wonders for your mental health. 

Stop my mind from spiraling all year. 

Overthinking is a big part of any solitary activity, especially if you’re working for yourself as a freelancer. When you don’t have coworkers to bounce ideas off of, it can be overwhelming, and you might even lose motivation. Then, when you lose motivation, you feel lame for not accomplishing as much as you wanted. You see what I mean? So, I’ve been working on those habits, being as mindful as I can. One of my mentors told me something I find extremely helpful. He said to “avoid unconscious reaction, and to run toward conscious action”. The rest of that idea has to do with the glaringly obvious fact that we ourselves, are responsible for the mindsets that we allow ourselves to fall into. The choice is yours, and I’ve made mine for 2021 and beyond. 

Love myself the way I am.

This year, and beyond, I’m embracing all my flaws, professionally and otherwise. Perfection is overrated, and impossible to attain anyway. I’ve also noticed that when I step back and notice what I’ve accomplished at a relatively young age, things suddenly don’t seem so dire. I don’t know many other people who published four books during their college years, and another shortly after. Or simultaneously ran a handmade crochet business during that time. Or studied music and guitar for over twelve years with hopes to teach in the future. Actually, I’m kind of a badass – in more ways than one.

Without sounding like a prideful, pompous jerk, I hope this showed you some of the healthier mindset habits I’ve chosen for myself. I would definitely recommend stepping back and celebrating your successes as well. Maybe there’s room for improvement within those goals, but you have a lifetime to better yourself and get where you want to go. The hardest part, is often just taking that first step. For more tips on how to start your concept on the right foot, read my recent article on world building HERE.

So take 2021 head-on, and make your dreams come true. No one else will do it for you. 

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