Welcome to the “Prepping for Success in 2018” blog series where one author shares her approach on setting goals and getting her head on straight to make her writing career go where she wants it to in 2018.
2017 has been one of those brutal years. You know the type—you bust your ass to get things done, then stumble, fall, and pull yourself back up by the bootstraps just so you can take two steps forward, get yanked back three, then shoved forward five which causes you to stumble, fall, then drop to your knees… only to realize that you haven’t really gone anywhere because you’re pretty much exactly where you started.
In that place where your initial goal isn’t met, achieved, or even in sight.
But you’re wiser. (or so you tell yourself)
So yeah, that’s exactly where I found myself near the end of 2017. It sucked and felt like crap. Made me face the facts and own up to some hard truths (like I spent more time helping others than I did myself in 2017), then forced me to sit down and acknowledge what needed to get done.
It wasn’t a super simple process. Would have been easier if I’d had a simple roadmap with the types of things I needed to do, but since I didn’t have a super simple road map… I had to make one up for myself based on what I knew I did and didn’t want.
For starers, I knew I (most definitely) did NOT want 2018 to follow the same rinse & repeat pattern that’d happened for 2017 (and the years before that). That was the easiest to identify.
But what did I want 2018 to look like? Where did I want my writing career to be by December 31, 2018? What was it supposed to look like? What did I expect it to look like?
Answering that took some real thought and time to answer.
Because at first, all I had was a vague idea. A sound bite.
Something specific enough to make sense to myself and others,
but just elusive enough to never fully grasp.
I couldn’t grasp it to achieve it, because it wasn’t tangible. It wasn’t well defined and specific.
Once I accepted that (really, really hard) truth, I made the decision to step back, really look at the situation, then do whatever it took to make a new plan.
Again, that sounds super easy, but it was surprisingly challenging given that I’m human and have the ability to assume that what I say I want is exactly what I believe (or know) I want.
That’s probably the first lesson in this blog series that needs to get shared.
Alignment within one’s own self is key if you intend to succeed at whatever you do.
Second lesson is about recognizing that if you didn’t achieve your goals in previous years then it probably wasn’t 100% due to laziness, procrastination, or distractions. Instead, it was most likely due to not being fully aligned with your mission-goal statement(s). (Or as Tony Robbins refers to it, when your Life Condition doesn’t match your Life Blue Print, then unhappiness, depression, and misery set in.)
After embracing those extremely freeing thoughts, I then moved on to what needed to happen next…
Figuring out how to get my 2018 mission-goal statement to be tangible and specific enough to achieve.
More specifically, turning an idea to “get my writing career back on track and headed where I’ve wanted for way too long” into an action plan I could actually achieve.
Again, you’d think from the description that what I was trying to do would be another simple exercise. An almost no brainer. But it wasn’t. Because my initial mission-goal statement wasn’t well defined.
Instead, it was an idea, a feeling, a “thing” that I understood (knew what it meant) but couldn’t put into words or sum up into a single or series of succinct little phrases that described it. There was that and also that each time I thought about it, I got more questions than I did answers that looked a lot like this…
- How do I get back to writing?
- How do I relaunch my career after being away from the industry for so long?
- How do I build a viable business model that I can… not only support (logically) but commit to physically, emotionally, and all points in between?
- How do I find, set, and achieve the goals needed to get me to where I want to be? To where I need to be?
Answering each of those questions individually was one thing, but answering them all together and coming up with a single plan of action or a single set of goals to achieve a single specific outcome?
Not so easy.
Getting those answers required stepping back and looking at my original idea from a fresh perspective to dig deep for the truth—my truth and the real truth of the situation(s)— to find out what felt like the right thing to do and then starting from scratch to build a plan, a model, that would felt like it’d get me to where I want to go.
And that’s where my adventure started.
(And where the idea for this blog series was born.)
Because Prepping for Success in 2018 was not a super simple process. It didn’t take minutes. It took hours, days, and more caffeine than I should probably ever admit to consuming. But it was worth it in the end.
At least that’s my opinion. Because right now, right here, at the end of 2017, I feel better about my writing career. Feel better about myself as a writer. Things feel more doable. Organized. On track. And in alignment with what I really want and need.
That feeling of being in alignment… it’s wonderful. Something I wish I’d felt long before now. And I have, but not with my writing and indie publishing career. And that’s a shame.
It’s also something that I want to share with the world. The how I did it. The why I want to share it is all about the slim possibility that I might be able to inspire one other person to get their writing career back on track and headed in the right direction.
Truth be told, I’ve already used this info to help one other writer. So I’ve already achieved that goal and now feel free to share it with the rest of the world.
So take it for what it’s worth. Use the info I’ll be providing however you need to use them.
Because this blog series isn’t about my success.
It’s about you learning and going through your own process to find yours.
And yes–I know you’ve all probably read similar types of posts at the beginning of every new year about setting goals and prepping for success in the new year. Lord knows, I have. Very few were helpful to my situation—even though they were inspirational and motivating… they still didn’t give me the oomph I needed to get over my biggest hurdle:
Achieving goals and finding the happiness that comes from achieving those goals.
At least, that’s how it was for me. Which made sense why it turned out that way—in hindsight—because as I read through those blogs and inspirational info dumps I was trying to take another person’s system for how to find my success(happiness) model and then implement it.
It totally would have worked if I’d been the author of that blog post or blog series—but since I wasn’t then it didn’t do squat for me. Other than frustrate the living daylights out of me and increase my beat up on myself routine.
Which is why I decided to document my process, my journey, and the share how I walked through setting myself and my business up for success in 2018.
Like I mentioned up above, it wasn’t easy. It took time. But the bulk of that time was more about figuring out what the heck I needed to do to get the answers rather than finding the answers.
In this series, I’ll tell you how I did it. What I was trying to do. How I approached things and what I came up with. Then you are free to use that info to answer your own questions. To develop your own strategies.
And it has to be your own strategy. Your own answers. They can’t be mine.
Because each of us is unique–yet similar.
So I accept and acknowledge that what worked for me may only work for some of you. And I support you in finding your own path to your happiness.
Because we all want to be happy.
But happiness may mean different things to different people.
So while the physical process to gaining happiness may vary person to person, the process by which the brain approaches getting that happiness… is actually fairly similar in humans. Because we have brains that have similar structure and instinctual behaviors.
Which is exactly where I’ll start this journey tomorrow when I’m back to discuss how I approached setting myself up for the biggest hurdle on my to-do list:
Getting My Head On Straight To Re-Launch My Writing Career
Until next time–when I hope you join me–Have a Safe and Happy New Year!