Before Jumping into Planning Your 2022 Goals You Might Want to Read This — Pages & Platforms
It can be hard to make time for reflection, especially at the end of the year, when we’re hustling to buy presents, make travel plans, et cetera.
But you’ve clicked on this article and made a bit of time to read it, so I invite you to spend just ten minutes in reflection before you jump into planning your writing and marketing goals for 2022.
We need to process what’s happened in our career so far and in the year that’s ending before we look ahead. And I want to propose you try doing it in a very particular way.
Let’s start with the really big picture.
Get a piece of paper and a pen or type on your computer or phone, whatever works for you. Now, write down some things that you used to think you couldn’t ever do, but eventually you did, and now it’s just totally normal for you.
Feel free to look way, way back.
My list looks like this…
Things I used to think I couldn’t possibly do, but did:
* Quit smoking. When I was 19 years old, I was an idiot and a smoker. Once I got addicted, I was worried I wouldn’t ever be able to quit. Then, when I was 21, I quit (while I was working in a smokey bar, I might add).
* Move away from my hometown. As a kid, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to move away because I didn’t know how anything worked. Moving away seemed far too daunting. But, when I was twenty-four, I moved 1600+ miles away from where I grew up and it was the best leap I ever took.
* Write fiction. I always wanted to be a writer, but assumed I’d be an essayist, not a novelist. But in 2014 I got inspired to try fiction. I published my first novel in 2019 and I’m almost done with my second.
* Be my own boss. In my twenties, I didn’t think I’d ever want to be my own boss. I just wanted to show up and do what someone else needed me to do and feel that I’d done it well. Today, I can honestly tell you I never want to work for anyone else ever again. I love running a business and being my own boss.
Your turn. Take a few minutes to jot down a list from your own past.
I want you to remember this list when you consider doing something you’ve never done before.
Our culture is very evidence based (or at least we pretend to be). When we have big dreams, everybody’s like, “Well, what have you done in the past that makes you think you can do this thing now, Captain Fancypants?”
Heaven forbid you’ve tried in the past and didn’t quite get there. Maybe you’ve fallen off the wagon when you tried to exercise or finish a book or get a speaking gig. Our culture is great at smacking you down and acting like your history demonstrates that you will never be able to do something because you’ve never done it before.
THIS IS NOT TRUE.
Your past does not dictate what is possible for you in the future.
The exercise you just did shows you that you have the ability to accomplish things even if at some point you thought you couldn’t.
You’ve already done it.
None of us would even learn to walk if it was really some kind of universal law that your past determines what’s possible for your future. It’s obviously preposterous when you apply it to a learning curve of child development.
The good news is, we’re all developing skills through our entire lives. And just because we’ve never managed to do something successfully before doesn’t mean we can’t now.
Okay. One more reflection. Think about a mindset shift that you’ve made over this past year.
You may want to make this one writing and marketing related, or it can be broader.
Have you made any mindset shifts this year? Even little ones? What were those shifts and what tangible effects and intangible effects did they have?
One client shared that she released three books this year and finally got over the fear of people actually reading them. This has freed her up to enjoy her marketing.
Another said she decided she could write her second book in five months instead of the nine years it took to write the first one-and she did it.
Another said her mindset shift for this year was that she could get paid for value, not time. Now she’s making more money with less angst in less time while doing stuff she cares more about.
There’s been a theme running through this year with a lot of my clients and friends. So many of us have this looming desire to do a certain something. Maybe we’ve wanted to for years. But the fear of tackling it is very, very strong.
We think we can stay comfortable by not doing it.
If you picture that goal or that change you want to make as just on the other side of a wall, I want you to know that the fear on this side of the wall is so much stronger, more persistent, and chronically detrimental than the discomfort, or even the mild pain, you might feel by actually doing the thing.
You are prolonging that fear and that anxiety by not moving forward with the actual thing.
It is way less painful on the other side of the wall.
So, as you go into your 2022 goal setting, I wanted you to have fresh thoughts in your head about what you have already managed to do that you never thought you could. I want you to be freed up to dream a little bigger and to take bold action.
My wish for you in 2022 is that you get to the other side of that wall.
Originally published at https://www.pagesandplatforms.com/subscribe on December 21, 2021.