Back in January, I’d had high hopes. Bought a fancy planner, one for each quarter (yeah, I was even badass enough to break my year up into quarters), and set lofty—and, in hindsight, damn near impossible—goals such as Build mailing list by 100 subscribers each week and Create a series of online courses based on The Writer’s Habit.
Seriously—what was I thinking? Because by February, I was paralyzed.
I’d also set a personal goal of leaving my comfort zone as much as possible. And, at the end of the second quarter, I wrote a bit about the ways in which I did that. The move to Maine, of course, was the epitome of that. So was, among other things, joining a pickleball group at our local YMCA, having never played before.
By quarter three, I had changed up my goals completely. And achieved none. Looking at them now, I can see how far adrift I was, and not in the good, leave-my-comfort-zone way. I was lost. Afraid.
I needed to find my way again.
I wish I could tell you that I have. Or rather, to what. But the truth is, I’m not yet sure what the way is. I might already be there. I might not be. But what I am sure of right now is that I don’t need to know. Thus, my final goal for 2018, and entering 2019, is:
Trust the unknown regardless of the outcome.
In the meantime, I’ve set the bar way lower. Instead of aiming for 100 new subscribers each week, I smile and give thanks for just one. Instead of wanting to reach 10,000 readers, I’m overjoyed when just one takes the time to tell me how one of my books has touched her. Instead of creating an online course empire, I connected with one student, face to face, and we talked about way more than writing. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t accomplish this year, I marvel at what I did just in this remaining quarter:
Most of all, I love and appreciate that so many of this year’s achievements start with We. Not because being with someone is so important, but because I love who he is.
I began the year thinking big. And I did achieve my ultimate goal of leaving my comfort zone. I also have goals for 2019. (As always, I’ll keep them close to the vest.) But I’m thinking way smaller this time. What I’ve learned is that setting the bar low can sometimes be a really good thing, in that less-is-more way.
The journey continues. And that, of course, is the greatest gift of all.
I'm an author of commercial women's fiction and a writing instructor. My claim to fame: I can say the alphabet backwards.