Have you ever noticed how crowded it is at the gym in January? Or, how the produce section of any grocery store seems less stocked at the beginning of the year than at any other time? Yep, me too, which is why I wasn’t surprised to read that exercising more and eating healthy topped America’s 2023 list of New Year’s Resolutions. Others like, saving money or spending less time on social media also made the list, as well as my personal favorite, reducing stress at work.
I’ve resolved to do more than one of these activities over the years. Some have stuck, some haven’t. Sometimes I started strong, only to find my commitment fading over time in the wake of new responsibilities or life changes. It happens. The one constant in life is its inconstancy.
Even so, I still believe in the power of reflection, in using what I’ve learned from the past to create better intentions for the year ahead. It seems like a simple concept, right? How can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been? But it takes real courage to wade through the should have done’s and the what if’s and come out on the other side with a set of purposeful goals you can feel good about.
This year I’m redefining G.O.A.L.S. (literally), as I embark on a new year in my creative journey. Some are tangible and others are ideas I know I’ll return to when I come to those inevitable crossroads. Even better, these creative goals also align with what I want to achieve personally and professionally which just puts me in a beautiful state of organizational bliss.
Go for it
Even if it scares me. Especially, if it scares me. Earlier this year, I blogged about what it was like to change careers after working for so many years in corporate marketing. I can say now that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, but at the time I was terrified of venturing outside of my comfort zone. In hindsight, that should have been my first clue that I was making the right move. Sometimes, growing means taking risks. If I’d never taken that one, I wouldn’t have learned what I know today about consulting. I also likely wouldn’t have been able to create as much time and space in my schedule to write. My new mantra for 2023? When in doubt, do it.
Find them, create them, recognize them when they fall in my lap, and always, always say yes. Pre-COVID, I was a consultant who traveled so, connecting with clients or other consultants was easy. Now that I work remotely, that part of my job is more challenging, as is connecting with other writers. To make this goal more measurable, I’m going to try to take at least 4 new courses or seminars this year to help improve my writing, or just to learn something new about the publishing industry. I’m also going to make more time to knowledge share with other creatives. Coffee dates for the win!
Accept that where I am right now is where I’m supposed to be
This is a big one. Patience is not, unfortunately, a virtue I was born with. Where I think I should be is always leaps and bounds from where I actually am. It’s easy in moments like these to get sucked into the “I’m not good enough,” vortex and make comparisons to others who do not, and will never, follow my path. The Rolling Stones had the right idea:
“You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well, you just might find
You get what you need.”
List my accomplishments
There’s definitely some truth to the fact that some marketers are notoriously awful at marketing themselves. I consistently don’t do this, even though I know the reminders will give me a boost on the days when the words just won’t come. As an accompaniment to this post, I started a list of milestones I hit this year in my creative life and was shocked at the result. It really does do something to the psyche to read a list of your own achievements. Large or small, there’s value in documenting successes just as much as goals.
Stop making excuses
Finding new and inventive ways to self-motivate is important to me. Procrastination is the anti-hero of productivity. Sometimes it’s helpful, or even prudent, to play the waiting game but most of the time, it’s not. There’s always going to be something else to do, another roadblock to overcome, or another reason not to do the work. If I can’t do the work, the least I can do is be honest with myself about why.
Every morning, I practice yoga for 30 minutes before I start my day. I repeat my positive affirmations and remind myself that I’m capable. If you don’t have a daily ritual like this, I highly recommend starting one that feels right. If nothing does, you can always do what I do. Eat some chocolate and get back to work!
You might be wondering why, “finish my novel and publish,” isn’t on this list, especially now that I’m not far from completing my first draft. While this is always the ultimate, pie-in-the-sky goal, I’ve learned that the “P” word doesn’t define me as a creative. I’m a writer with or without the byline and this year, for me, that’s something to celebrate.
What are your goals for 2023? Still thinking? Here are some fun, unique ideas I found online. I might even steal a few of these myself…
Cheers and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year. May 2023 be your most creative year, yet!
3 thoughts on “2023 G.O.A.L.S.”
I love the fact that you have a 30-minute yoga routine every morning. I try to do the same with exercise, but no matter what I choose, it’s hard to get into it when my body’s still cold and mind’s still groggy. Anyhoo, wishing you all the best for 2023!
I totally get it. Mornings can be rough until after that first cup of coffee. It can take some time (and a lot of motivation) to get started with a new routine, but it’s worth it! Cheers, Stuart!