By Javacia Harris Bowser
I am a dreamer, a dreamer with goals galore. You can call me a “goal digger” if you’d like. I even have the T-shirt. My writing, blogging, and business goals are usually the last things I’m thinking about before I fall asleep at night and typically the first things on my mind in the morning. I’m constantly brainstorming ideas for blog posts, articles, and personal essays. I’m constantly pondering ways I can grow See Jane Write, my membership organization, and consulting service for women writers and bloggers. It’s probably not inaccurate to say that I am obsessed with my work. Is this healthy? Is this normal? I’m not sure that I care if it is or not.
Because of my goal-digging ways I spend the month of December ready to pop. I’m bursting with excitement for the New Year. And yes, I am one of those people who loves New Year’s Eve. In fact, I’d be fine with fast forwarding through the stressful and obscenely expensive holiday of Christmas and skipping right to Dec. 31.
Yes, I am one of those people who create a long list of goals and resolutions for the New Year and, yes, I believe in magic. I believe that the act of hanging a new calendar on my wall will give me all I need to keep these resolutions of mine and to bring my dreams to fruition. I know it’s silly, but I am unfazed. However, a highly successful blogger that I truly admire recently reminded me and her other fans that when you have big dreams you must respect the process. Don’t stay constantly fixed on your destination, she said. You must learn to enjoy the journey.
I especially need this reminder in December; otherwise I’ll spend the entire month counting down to midnight of January 1. But how do we goal diggers do this? How do we set our aspirations for the next year and look forward to 2016 yet still enjoy the final days of 2015?
First and foremost, I think we need to make time for self-care. For me, this is often the first thing to go. I will sacrifice sleep, food, and exercise for my dreams, but this is often counterproductive. If I’m not taking care of myself I’m going to crash and burn and then I’ll get nothing done. Though it may not seem to be the case when you’re going for a run instead of working on your book, taking care of yourself will actually help you achieve your dreams more quickly as it will give you the energy you need to keep going.
So treat yourself to a massage this holiday season. Make time for regular exercise doing the fitness activities you find most enjoyable. And don’t over commit or overextend yourself.
Secondly, we need to spend time with family and friends. People are all that matter in this world, even when it comes to those dreams that you have. Most likely, you dream of writing a book or launching a blog that’s going to help other people. You dream of building a business that will help you earn the money you need to make a better life for your family. So this month, spend time with loved ones—and not just at the obligatory family holiday gatherings. Have brunch with your best friend or lunch with your mom. Reconnect with that cousin you always loved like a sister. Date your spouse again.
Next, you need to look back on the year and celebrate what you’ve achieved. Don’t be so focused on the future that you take for granted what you’ve accomplished in the past. Reflect on the past 12 months and make note of all you’ve done, all the goals you met, all the hurdles you leapt over with gumption and grace.
Now I know it’s just not possible for a goal digger to not think about this upcoming year, so I’m going to recommend that you take a look at all of your goals for 2016 and then make another list. Create a list of things you can do this month that will make 2016 even better, things that will set you up for success for the next year. Maybe this is getting organized, drafting a new business plan, or creating an outline for the book you want to write. Maybe this is doing some networking to make some connections that could open doors and take you to the next level. Whatever is on the list, just be sure to enjoy every step.
See you next year, goal diggers!