This past January, you did something that was audacious, beautiful, and bold.
And no one was there to see it.
You took your life and you gathered the rotting failures, the shattered promises, the crippling insecurities, and the inarticulate moments of loss and you traded them out for new hope.
Back then, the year was a gift. You touched it, as you touched into your deepest needs and desires.
And everything seemed so simple.
You knew that all you had to do was get out of your own damn way. Learn the new skill. Sit down at the desk and stay there. Make the calls.
In a word: commit.
In a word: resolve.
Then, you simply had a problem you wanted to show up for and solve. And like the hero in your favorite novel, time either moved you into that resolution or carried you away from it. But all is not lost. Not even close.
Here’s how to wrap up your 2013 goals with dignity, a renewed sense of purpose, and hey, maybe even some well-earned fulfillment.
Achieve Total Clarity on Your 2013 Goals
If you made steady or even stupendous progress on your goals, reviewing them will tickle your serotonin and bequeath you a zippy, walking giggle that will have everyone asking, what’s up!
If it didn’t go so hot, well . . . you might just strategically lose it in your to-do list.
But without knowing where you are, you won’t know how to move forward. And since this is all about moving forward, let’s begin at the beginning.
Take a breath and recall what your 2013 goals were. Now hold that in your mind.
Was it finishing the first draft? Was it revising and sending work off to publishers? Was it self-publishing, creating a marketing plan, finding an agent, creating a promotional strategy, meeting Oprah, seeing the word “author” on some sassy business cards?
Maybe your goals were a little more humble, like mine. All I wanted to do was break writer’s block and figure something important out: was I a writer or not?
Here’s the thing.
All these things really aren’t your goals. No, they’re simply the action steps that edge you towards a greater and more pristine horizon: the one composed entirely of your dream.
Despite appearances, you actually only have one goal to address here and you share this with everyone else who has goals: you wanted to make a dream come true. Period. And the myriad forms of this dream that appear on your goal list are completely unique to you.
So there’s really only one question you need to ask yourself at this point: Did a dream come true as a result of actions I took this year?
Yes or no?
Once you know this, you’re ready to move on to the next step.
The Ultimate 3-Step Mental Declutter
We were taught to never give up on our dreams, right? And if we’re writers or creators of any kind, this is absolute law. But just like the yearly harvest, we have to know what to keep and what to cut away before we can move on.
Whether you’ve been making slow, steady, crooked, or sideways progress towards your dream, it’s time be ferocious in service to that dream.
Put short: stuff has to go now before the real stuff can get done.
Now that you’ve gotten clarity on whether or not you’re moving towards or away from your dream, it’s time to actually look at your action steps. Specifically, you’re going to look at 3 things:
- what’s already been accomplished
- what has yet to be accomplished
- the obstacles you face between now and the end of the year that could potentially interfere with what has yet to be accomplished
Once you’ve done the above, you’ll mentally declutter so you know what to act on now, what you can save for 2014, and what you can compost.
Here’s a picture of my beginning 2013 goals. Not all of them happened. And . . . not all of them will happen. I made 100 watercolor strips in Hawaii and a jar to declutter and keep track of what I’ve accomplished:
But you don’t need all this. You just need 3 mental baskets.
Now it’s time to declutter.
- Pretend there are three baskets in front of you. One has a sign that says 2013, one has a sign that says 2014, and one has a sign that says COMPOST.
- Everything you save for this year goes in the 2013 basket. Everything you save for next year goes into the 2014 basket. Everything you trash goes into the COMPOST basket.
- Now, put the 2014 and COMPOST baskets aside for later.
The Energizer Bunny Can Do It and So Can You
Are you ready to rock the rest of 2013?
I hope so because you’re well on your way. You’re going to make an energizer bunny list of the things you want to get done between now and January 1, 2014.
Investing a little time in your goal process now can make all the difference in how you feel about making your dreams come true, whether you enter 2014 dispirited or on fire, whether you soar on the wings of your own confidence or whether you let yourself fall to the wayside, like (let’s face it) most other people.
Don’t spend more than 5 or 10 minutes on this. Treat it like the grocery list you don’t have time to make.
It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be.
Use the things in your 2013 basket to create a master list.
Then, take 2 minutes to open your calendar and set aside time to figure out the whens and hows.
Once you’ve got your list, intone the power word: DONE.
And since we’re on the topic, here are a few things on my list (hat-tip to Leonie Dawson for inspiring the energizer bunny!)
Here’s my energizer bunny list (and this is the whole shebang, not just creative goals!)
- Finish 1 major creative project (I’m going to try to finish my novel rough draft)
- Go to writing group 90% of time (I do this in my poetry workshops)
- Create my living will
- Write an e-book and publish (this will be my new FREE giftie for my readers!)
- Giggle, laugh, and have fun (yeah, need more of this!)
- Build a fort
- Take a basic book-binding class
- Entertain more at home
- Build business to create more income
- Handmade gifts and cards for holidays
- Downgrade/organize storage unit
- New site up to better serve other creative folks
Event Awesome: 2013 and Beyond
Today is wild and it is yours.
Let’s go for clarity that centers you in integrity. A simple method that carries no judgement, guilt, or remonstration.
Because every day you had this year was wild & yours.
You claimed it with your whole self, with all the set-backs, disappointments, and victories.
See, this method allows for your life, all that stuff going on in the margins that gets in your way, your flaws, your humanity.
So you really can be that insanely wonderful, quirky, messy human being you are and make your dreams come true at the same time.
All you have to do is find ways to give yourself more options, more space, and more flexibility while never letting go of the original dream.
In yoga, this is called holding the pose.
This guide is one way to hold the pose but it’s useless until you act. So, grab a pen and a piece of paper and use it to bring yourself full circle into 2014: alpha and omega, baby.
Let the dreams of 2013 live on into 2014. Let them announce to yourself, the world, and the Gods above that your dreams are real, worthy, and alive.
That’s the only way your dreams are actually going to happen & they’re counting on you.
Are you down?