So, the reason for this post came from a post by Chris Brogan and the thought process in finding three words to help focus my vision and goals for the new year.
None of the past few years have been easy and I don’t expect 2013 to be any different. I do expect the years to be more enjoyable as I become more comfortable in my own skin and as I work to create a life in harmony with my dreams and goals.
I’ve learned that I need tasks to accomplish goals and goals to make dreams come true. I’m working to envision the future I want so I can set those goals and create those tasks. Because I’ve learned that without that vision I’m just running in place.
The first thing that comes to mind is financial security or stability but that is a pretty murky goal. Would I like to eventually be self employed? Sure. Is that a realistic goal now or in the near future? Not a chance. So when? And, more importantly, doing what??
This question may actually be one of my biggest stumbling blocks. I love that my ADD brain is constantly finding new things to be excited about; but it has a serious downside. I have either too many things I enjoy doing and/or I lack focus and discipline to do any of them well enough to make a living at them.
Part of the problem is the hyper-focus/boredom cycle I keep going through with everything I care about. The words that come to mind when I think about these issues are balance, perseverance, discipline, planning, goals, and follow through.
I have had the most financial success as an indie yarn dyer and an editor. The other areas I’m interested in doing more of are designing knitting patterns, doing voice work, writing more, and self publishing my words.
The knitting pattern stuff straddles the line between the fiber and word worlds but is the area where I have the least experience so I think that needs to wait a bit; evolve more naturally before I focus a lot of energy in that direction. The editing is and will continue to improve my own writing, and both are areas on which I plan to focus. The yarn dyeing is something I plan to get back to in the near future but because of physical issues like space and water quality where I am living now I will not be able to indulge this love very often. I’m definitely planning on doing the Balticon Colorways again this year but beyond that, I don’t know. And, the last area is voice work. I still struggle with creating voices in front of the mic. I’ve always used multiple voices when reading to the kids; but my shyness is apparently still a factor. I’m working on that. I plan to investigate paid work in this area knowing I will have to improve my editing skills as well. I also plan to submit more auditions.
My first priorities are my kids, my home, and my full time job. Then, all that stuff I just wrote. In mulling all of this over I realized that my three words are Balance, Schedule, and Breathe.
The first word is BALANCE. I need to actively schedule all the things that are important to me including the kids and their activities/desires, health (gaining physical and emotional strength through exercise, meditation, and yoga), taking care of home and hearth (this will forever be something I have to actively work on and I will need to move again this year to something that hopefully costs less and has a little more space), and finding (making) time for all of the above mentioned pursuits involving words, images, and fiber.
The second word is SCHEDULE. See the above paragraph. If I don’t learn to schedule time for all of these things, there isn’t a chance in hell that I’m going to be able to successfully balance anything.
The third word is BREATHE. Any time I get stressed, depressed, frustrated…the list goes on…all I need to do to improve things is breathe. Consciously. Purposefully. Thoughtfully. Then, I can get back on track.
I see these words ( Balance, Schedule, Breathe) as a cycle of thoughts, a mantra of sorts. This was a great exercise to get focused and start the year off with a sense not just of purpose, but of having a plan to get from here to a specific place in my future. They are interconnected to me…scheduling and balance working together and remembering to breathe as I do everything with more focus.
I’ve also set individual goals for some of these things:
- Write something every day
- Record and edit something every other weekend
- Publish a short story every month
- Read at least 24 books for pleasure (if I’m editing it, it doesn’t count)
- Hound people daily for ChocolateScotch submissions (we’re all busy and if I don’t ask, they aren’t gonna happen)
- Go on a photo shoot (preferably an outdoor excursion that includes some exercise) at least once a month (and include the kids on this)
- Invest the money on new dyeing equipment and supplies gradually to get back up and running in time for Balticon. (Anybody got an old swift or two they’d like to sell cheap? Or know reasonably priced yarn wholesalers?)
Wow, great exercise. I feel like I’m starting 2013 with the beginning of a plan. This is a first for me….