December Is the New January


javacia-2018-one

Resolve Yourself

By Javacia Harris

5, 4, 3, 2, 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR!

For as long as I can remember New Year’s Eve has been my favorite holiday. Not Christmas, not Valentine’s Day, not even my birthday can compare. Even as a kid, years before I was old enough to celebrate the start of a new year with a champagne toast, I loved December 31. I’d stay up late with my parents and baby brother eating our favorite foods and watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. We’d watch the ball drop and count down the seconds to midnight and gleefully cheer the start of a new year. Nowadays, I still call my parents at midnight to tell them “Happy New Year” even if I’m at a noisy nightclub.

As an adult New Year’s Eve has taken on a more serious meaning, yet it still fills me with childlike joy. It is on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day that I believe in magic. There’s something about hanging a new calendar that convinces me I have the power to make all my dreams come true. New Year’s Eve is my night of possibilities. New Year’s Day is my day of hope.

But last year I adopted a new mantra—December is the new January.

I first saw this on the Instagram account of a fitness center. The goal of the post was to encourage people to start exercising immediately instead of putting it off until January 1. But I started thinking about how I could apply this to my pursuit of my writing and blogging goals, too.

So last year I spent December setting goals for 2017 and drafting plans for how I would accomplish each goal. I helped the women of See Jane Write, the organization for women writers and bloggers that I run, do the same. But this year I want to do more.

I want the women of See Jane Write to think about creating a platform that’s both purposeful and profitable. If you’re a content creator, whether you’re a writer, blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or speaker, you should be thinking about the same thing. Here are seven things to do in December to make 2018 your best year yet.

1. Write the vision; make it plain. Where do you want to be five years from now? Take some time to write a vision for your life, every facet of your life, and describe your ideal day.

2 Adopt helpful habits. Identify your values, then examine how you’re spending your time to be sure you’re actually living out those values. If you’re not, figure out what you should be doing, daily, weekly, and monthly to live a life that aligns with your values.

3. Be a goal digger. Set your goals for 2018. Break down each goal into smaller tasks. Start working on those tasks immediately, not on January 1.

4. Find your why. Why are you doing all of this in the first place? Why are you writing, blogging, speaking, and creating content? Write a personal mission statement.

5. Find your people. As you’re writing a mission statement about why you do what you do be sure to keep in mind who you’re doing it for. Whom do you serve and where can you find them? Where do they hang out online and what networking events do they attend?

6. Make money moves. I believe content creators should make a difference, but we also need to make money! Set money goals and create a business plan that will help you achieve them.

7. Gather your support system. Pursuing your passions will be hard. Whether it’s because of rejection or lack of resources, you may be tempted to give up every single day. This is why you need support from your partner, from a family member, or even your best friend. But sometimes, those closest to you just don’t understand your drive or your dreams. This is why you also need a tribe of like-minded people who do.

When I first adopted this December is the new January motto I began to doubt myself. Is this really a good idea? Am I rushing my life away? Am I failing to live in the moment? Is this mantra as bad as the new trend of doing Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving Day? If I’m not careful it certainly could be.

So that’s why this month won’t be all about going after goals. I’m also going to be sure to have a good time. I will spend a day binging on my favorite Netflix shows and another catching up on my favorite magazines. I will read books and blogs. I will enjoy holiday dinners with my family and brunches with my best friends. I will ring in the new year rediscovering the magic of the Magic City. And next December I hope I can look back at the past 12 months and declare that I have had the time of my life. 

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