Jan 7, 2019

Posted by in Journal | 0 Comments

Failing Up – a 2018 Story

As people are wont to do this time of year, I am looking back before moving forward and on the whole, it was a weird year. For the most part, I felt like a failure the entire year. And yet, objectively, I did alright.

What I did

I didn’t finish the 12 sweaters that I had planned to finish, but I did finish 8 sweaters and they’re all lovely and squishy and I wear them all the time. I am objectively better off having finished these 8 sweaters and I have three more well on their way to being completed, all equally squishy and lovely. On top of those three, I also have a blanket that is almost all done. But eight plus three and most of a blanket on the way is not 12 sweaters. So here I am feeling like a failure.

Other things that I’m objectively better off on than I was a year ago:

  • I finished the first draft of a novel and I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written and the book of my heart to boot. (But I didn’t get it query-ready)
  • I got a substantial raise. (But I didn’t have the courage to jump to a more challenging role that would have furthered my career.)
  • I got a hold of my budget and I’m managing to put a lot more into savings/investing and retirement and made an actionable plan for the future. (But I/we didn’t make a substantial extra dent in the mortgage.)
  • I helped resurrect the Blue Heaven workshop that Charlie Finlay started about 15 years ago with some amazing people. I also managed to give feedback that people found useful. (No buts. This thing was an unqualified success.)

What next?

The thing is, having shoot-for-the-moon objectives works for me, but occasionally it’s also debilitating. It feels like I’m getting nothing done since there’s still so much to do. But because there’s so much to do I also keep steadily working at it. It also got me close to burnout after I realized the draft I’d written 40 000 words on wasn’t going to work. So, going forward, I’m going to put more emphasis on the stuff I’ve gotten done during the month in my monthly reviews. I’m also trying to not get caught up in the day to day stuff and work more on working larger goals. Because I also have a tendency of taking on more stuff like classes etc if I find that I’ve done “everything”.

So this year, I’m going focus on making my process better and instilling some good habits. I still have my yearly, shoot-for-the-moon goals and I’m trying to break those down into monthly and weekly goals. I’m only adding items to my daily to-do list that I can get done that day. And if I can get more done that day, I’m going to check my weekly todo and then my monthly todo before I start a new project, whether it’s a creative project or learning project. Really, this is the thing about this year’s goals that scares me the most. Because not making myself crazy by adding too much stuff on my already full plate is a good thing. I think.

The road goes ever on and on.

So, allons-y, 2019! It’s going to be a good year!

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