Amongst the hustle and bustle of parties, wrapping and then unwrapping presents and bites of sprinkle covered cookies, this season is also a good time for reflection. It seems that two blinks ago we were welcoming in 2017, and now the start of a new year is almost here.
What did you achieve and not achieve last year that you wanted to? What stood in your way? What goals did you have that you were afraid to go after?
I had many great things happen in 2017. I finally put myself out there to achieve a goal of writing a book. I got back on skis despite a crippling fear of hurting myself. I even got my first article into the washingtonpost.com.
AJ left the industry he has known for over 15 years to start a career as a real estate agent. He was comfortable but felt that there wasn’t many places for him to go. He craved a new way to challenge himself while also making a better life for his family.
I have named 2018 the year of the book as far as my life goes. But, there are other things I want to achieve besides just finishing my book by my mid-October deadline.
I’ve decided to finally treat my writing as a business in 2018. Much to my detriment, I’ve never really looked at my writing as a business. I haven’t kept good track of my income. I haven’t put money aside for taxes. I haven’t done much in the way of deductions for my business. I’ve never created a real set of goals through a business plan. With my book coming out, I figured 2018 would be the year I finally need to buckle down and do so. I spent an hour at night this past week building a business plan. I have gaps to fill in, but it will come with time.
There are other things I want to achieve including revamping my website (currently in process) getting a better grasp on our household budget, putting back into some investments and being better about knowing where our money goes to. Sitting down and writing what matters most to me in the New Year will is also going to be helpful in making sure the money spent goes towards things that are important to me. I spent a few morning hours this past week putting in our bills etc. into a app for better financial tracking.
There are great systems out there for everything- goal tracking, business planning, finances, everyday life planning. I’ve been reading a A Simplified Life by Emily Ley. I have been a fan of her everyday planners for years. The book is simple (happy for that), but what she says makes total sense. It’s refreshing to read that someone as successful as her still has the same daily struggles.
As far as systems go, you can go as simple as you want or as fancy as you want. With technology today, you can even create something that will work best for you on your own. So far, I am using Google Sheets for my business plan, an Emily Ley planner, Power Sheets for goal setting and tracking and mint.com for finances.
These systems may or may not work for you. It’s all about finding out what will work best for you and sticking with it. I hope your 2018 is full of what your heart desires and that you achieve what is most important to you.
My stories and photos from the National Parks (and more)