This Year, Next Year: 2018/2019 Edition
Wow. 2018 was hard, you guys. And it flew by. I can’t believe I’m writing another This Year, Next Year post already.
I continued to struggle with running and completely blew up at a goal race (somewhat inexplicably), and with the losses of Meadow and Lucy Belle, I’ve felt stuck in nostalgia more often than not. And that makes it hard to think about (or care about) the future and difficult to focus on the present.
The highlights of 2018 were probably moving into our new house, traveling, and adding Ruby Skye Beagle to our family, and our trips included the Bahamas, the Outer Banks, Lancaster, Pa. for two weeks, and Orlando, Florida (plus some weekend trips to other coastal towns in North Carolina).
And I can’t believe the year is over already. It went faster than any other year for me. As I read over last year’s This Year, Next Year post I couldn’t believe that was written a year ago. It feels like last month.
Here’s the good news: last year at this time I was still dealing with the UTI nuttery and a piriformis injury that completely sidelined me. Closing out 2018, although I’m having some allergy/cold/sinus/asthma junk going on, there is nothing of the intensity I dealt with last year. I was not in a great place last year at this time as far as health, and I’m glad that has passed.
Looking back at last year’s goals, I didn’t do terribly, but I also think I had way too many and completely lacked focus or a plan. That kind of makes it hard to accomplish things.
As I wrap up my year, I’ve been reading through some old posts on this blog as well as posts on my old blogs (the two I had before I settled in here at Into the Glimmer) and remembering what life was like then. My dogs made frequent appearances on those blogs (I think I need to bring them into this one more often!).
And while all of that nostalgia I’ve been experiencing is nice for remembering important things, it doesn’t help me move forward. And the future is coming.
Looking toward 2019
I did something a little different this year for 2019 planning: I participated in Stratejoy’s Holiday Council. The short description of that is that it’s three weeks (ish) of releasing and renewing (week 1), dreaming and scheming (week 2), and plotting and planning (week 3). What I liked so much about it was that, after the first two weeks (which were incredibly therapeutic and useful), it was actionable. It wasn’t just thinking about what I want to do, but putting an actual plan in place to get there. And it emphasized not doing too much. Yesssss.
Holiday Council helped me get some clarity around the things that have been simmering in my head and heart for a while, and it helped me put together an actual action plan that’s focused on the things I want to do most.
For Holiday Council, I came up with a theme for 2019 along with 5 ways of being. These (along with brainstorming sessions) helped focus my goals. My theme for the year is Cultivate, and my 5 ways of being (in no particular order) are Decluttered, Open, Agile, Purposeful, and Resilient. From there, and in combination with the exercises I did for Holiday Council, I was able to build out my goals.
It took a while to settle on these goals. I knew what I wanted to be doing, but thoughts of what I think I should be doing kept creeping in. Just like every other year. But thanks to Holiday Council, I worked through it and found them.
My Top 3 Goals
Finish the online jewelry design course/certificate program I started last year
Jewelry design has been on my mind for years. It regularly shows up on goals lists, but I never make time for it because there are so many other things going on. Between prioritizing work, freelance life, and fitness, and by being far too scattered in my goals in previous years (mind mapping is fun, but doesn’t give you any kind of focus, prioritization or action plan), I’ve let this one slide every single year. Enough. Time to prioritize it and to take small, actionable steps to get there.
Take classes and learn new art, design and crafting techniques
I want to include some with B in some of these, too, which means reading up on The Artful Parent, probably subscribing to a monthly arts/craft box, and going to some local art studios, like The Art Place. In addition to spending quality time with B, I want to get better at various art, design, and crafting techniques myself, and start posting about it here on the blog.
Nurture and grow my tribe/village/community
Friends and family matter! I want to be more active in tending to those relationships - growing the ones I already have and adding quality new ones. I started creating some action items around this a little bit (among other things) with my 40 Before 40 list, and now that I have my Holiday Council workbook, I can add things to that list into my actual annual plan.
It probably seems odd to not have any major goals up there related to my day job. It’s also odd to not have any major goals related to fitness. That doesn’t mean that either of those have fallen off the wagon. It just means, in my extra time, I’m prioritizing things I’ve let go for too long.
It’s not that work and fitness aren’t important; it’s just that they are in a little bit better shape at the moment from a consistency and progress standpoint, and don’t need as much attention from me. My top goals are focused on the big things I want to do to make changes.
I do have things I want to do (generally) for my user experience/product strategy career, which will be accomplished as I chug along at my day job and freelance work. I didn’t feel like I needed to put those things on my goal list because they’ll be happening regularly anyway.
The nice thing about Holiday Council is that I can look at my year as a whole and plan out when I want to be working on certain goals, when freelance projects will fit in, and when bigger races will fit in.
That said, I do have some fitness and side business goals…
Run 3-4 times a week + 2 Orange Theory classes/week + 1 Pure Barre class/week
Since Orange Theory and Pure Barre opened up right near my house, I’ve been enjoying those workouts. It’s so nice to be back in barre classes and I’m absolutely loving Orange Theory. Keeping these in rotation regularly will keep my overall running game strong.
And after taking full stock of the 2019 lay of the land as well as squaring with my current mental state and other goals, I decided that marathon training right now is not the right thing. If I do run a marathon this year, it will be in the fall.
Continue growing my UX career coaching/mentoring/consulting business
I have some specific things I want to accomplish here longer term, but this will mostly chug along as it currently is until the last quarter of 2019 when my time will hopefully free up (based on the rest of my top goals). This will likely bump into a top spot for 2020, but I’m laying a bit of groundwork this year.
I feel like I’ve given myself some grace here in December to fully wallow in the nostalgia I’ve been feeling for a lot of this year. And it really ramped up when Lucy passed on December 10. Reading through my old blogs was so, so, so therapeutic (and I’m so glad I have them!). Just another reason to keep on blogging, right?
Incidentally, as I was looking through those old blogs, I stumbled upon a blog I used to read. She’s grown her blog and business substantially over the past several years, and she’s teaching an illustration immersion course starting in March. And I’m thinking I might be in on that. I already penciled it into my Holiday Council workbook monthly plan.
I also gave myself a running break, not running as much, not posting weekly recaps on the blog (I’ll likely get back to those at some point), and getting myself to Orange Theory and Barre, and working through the initial DOMS for the first class or two without the pressure of having to run on top of it.
And now it’s time to release the wallowing. I’m taking those memories with me into 2019 and beyond, but I can’t focus on the future (or present) by continuing to wallow in the past.