For Christmas, I received a copy of Michelle Obama’s Becoming and I am so enjoying this memoir. In one of her early chapters, she writes about her very first piano lesson and the importance of always finding Middle C on the keyboard before you begin playing. As I sat down to write this morning, the pressure of writing something on the last day of the year somehow feels overwhelming. What is the Middle C key equivalent for a writer? Where do we find our home base? How do we strike the first key when we feel like the words aren’t flowing? So, as I was looking for inspiration, I went back to see what I wrote last New Year’s. Did I meet my New Year’s goals from last year? Have I learned anything? Have I improved in anything?
Here is my list of last year’s goals and my results:
Be less attached to the outcome - I almost completely missed the boat on this one. Up until a few weeks ago, my only focus was on outcome. When I was not getting the results I wanted, I found myself irritable and frustrated. But then I realized that I was looking at it all wrong. This was not failure. This was opportunity. It was an opportunity to refocus on letting go of things I cannot control. An opportunity to re-examine what brings me joy and what doesn’t. Sometimes getting a different outcome can be a blessing. Sometimes it is all about changing your perspective.
Grow my readership - Glennon Doyle (author of Love Warrior) says that whether you have an audience of 14 or 14,000, it doesn’t matter. If someone loves your writing, then write for them. Or just write for yourself. I grew my readership this year, but I also let go of being attached to the number. Every time I thought I didn’t have a big enough audience, and I should stop writing, someone would write me a note and say, “Don’t stop writing. It’s my favorite thing about Mondays.” It was those comments that kept me writing… and I thank you for those who took the time to write them.
Continue to make a living as writer and/or a producer - It was a tough year and my attachment to the outcome took all the joy out of it. I struggled with all of it. I was not enjoying the process because of that attachment. Lesson learned.
Love what I do - I do, but it isn’t just about work anymore. It’s about looking at my life as a whole.
Stay balanced - I did, and I am probably most proud of this. I stayed committed to my yoga and meditation practice and focused a lot more on Choosing Fun.
Stay healthy - With the exception of getting two head colds last January and March, I managed to stay pretty healthy and I am very grateful for this.
Be Patient - Getting better. Amazing how all of these are tied to that first one on this list.
Keep writing - I did. I am. Even when it is hard.
Be prolific - Hmmm. By some standards, maybe. By my standards, maybe not enough. Back to that first goal… again.
Be Inspired - I was. Particularly through all the books I read this year. It was a great luxury to have time to read and learn so much from other writers. I was also inspired by my friends and family who continue to impress me with their passions and their personal growth. My eldest daughter who traveled to 17 countries and truly knows the meaning of enjoying the journey. My middle daughter who will be graduating college this year and has become a wonderful young adult. My youngest daughter who has made the transition to high school seamlessly and really loves all of her sports and extracurricular school events.
Inspire others - I am grateful to those who reached out and said that the blog did that for them. That is probably the greatest reward of all.
As I started thinking about my goals for the new year, I would say that they are very similar to last year’s goals. Not because I didn't achieve them, but because they are lifelong practices. They are not end results. This has probably been the biggest epiphany I had this year. There is no end game. There is only the journey.
So as you start to make your New Year’s goals or resolutions, may you be blessed with good health, prosperity and whatever makes you happiest. Happy New Year!