Holy shit, it’s 2019.
2018 had a lot. Some good and some bad, as is true most years. I did some self-reflection at the close of the year and mostly spent a lot of it going “wait, that thing was this year???”. 2018 was REALLY LONG.
Before I get to my 9 suggestions for 2019, I wanted to take a little look back and a little look forward, so buckle in.
YEAR IN REVIEW
We could talk about the bad things, and the “I don’t even know what those things were, but they happened” things, but nope, I’m not going to. I’m going to focus on the good things.
- Early last year, I attended the Work at Home Summit and gained an incredible amount of knowledge and skills, which allowed me to move from side-hustling as a VA to quitting my job in May and doing it full-time. This has meant better mental health, more schedule freedom, and the ability to do more shows with Harrison.
- What I appreciate most about the Summit and the courses offered through Work At Home School is that it’s not focused on just one method or type of work – the speakers cover everything from mindset to VA work to writing to e-commerce to ebay flipping!
- We moved to Portland in the fall! We’re now surrounded by creative friends and working in a collective arts space and wearing layers and enjoying nature. Not to mention a much lower cost of living and a lifestyle that is much calmer than the L.A. hustle.
- We went to Baltimore and Washington DC for the first time, and enjoyed it enough that we’re coming back for conventions and more exploring this year. And as part of that trip I got to see my best friend from high school for the first time in a very very long time.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
My 2019 is about breaking down walls, letting go, and getting things done. I’m going to kick ASS this year.
Does that mean I’m hitting the ground running? No. Because this year is also about putting myself and my mental health first. So January for me is about slowing down and paying attention to myself. I’m doing some learning and some planning and trying to break the habit of go-go-go.
As evidenced by my last post, the year ended a little rocky. I want everyone to know I’m better – still not okay, but less not okay than where I was.
MORE ABOUT ME AND MY BRAIN
Throughout my adult life, I have been “the strong one”. No one made me that, it’s just where I ended up. I made a life out of being the one to support everyone else, in my personal and professional life. This means I (pretty much unconsciously at this point) focus on keeping my shit together, at least externally, to the point that even if “I’m okay” is a total lie I start fooling even myself.
It also means I am really not great at asking for help or accepting support. I’m working on it, actively in fact. My friends and family have been AMAZING recently in making sure I am supported and I’m getting better at accepting it and even asking for it.
Just when my brain started clawing out of the funk, I got the news the last week of the year that my biggest client contract was ending. You know, the contract that was mostly paying our bills. In the long term, I am confident that the Universe knows what it is doing and it’s freeing me up for better things and new clients – after all, I have Business Plans and need time to fulfill them.
In the short term, well, I admit to having some panic. Right at the moment when Harrison was shifting to less hours at his day job to focus more on art, and we started talking about possible end dates for his job, this came up and he’s now picking up more hours instead. It’s temporary, I know. But man, is it frustrating while in it.
THE YEAR AHEAD
In better news, Harrison (and I) will be at more shows than EVER this year – I think we have at least one a month planned, and some months with more. So there will be a lot of convention time, which both of us love, and some trips to new places as part of that!
As for the rest of that Kicking Ass Plan –
WHAT’S ON MY 2019 LIST
- I’m putting myself first and taking care of me. Mental health first, then my physical body.
- I’ve started shifting gears into business coaching. I have loved being a virtual assistant, but I feel like I have so much more to offer and give beyond “let me do your paperwork for you”.
- Since I’ve got all this business knowledge and all these resources, but can only help so many people one-on-on, I’m working on building an online course. It’s a process and it’s scary but it’s also exciting, because it means I can help more people!
- Side note – if your creative stuff is something you can video yourself doing and explaining, you should consider making an online course as a way to create some added income, because yay additional revenue streams! Maybe “How to layer colors” or a tips-and-tricks series in your favorite digital program.
- We’re doubling down on debt. This WILL be the year we reach financial security. It’s so much more doable since we moved. It’s scary, it’s still daunting, but I KNOW it’s doable.
- Personal Growth & Development
- I have not one but TWO spectacular coaches and mentors I’m working with. I can’t recommend this enough, we always have room to grow and should aspire to do better, and finding someone even a step or two ahead of you to work with is great. They support me, help act as sounding boards for new ideas, provide knowledge and resources, and, most importantly, they call me on my bullshit.
- You guys, I have so much STUFF I want to finish making this year! Knitting and sewing and… I’m making time for it because all of that is also self-care for me. If I have no creative outlet, I am a sad, dull, panda.
- Relationships, Community, and Fun
- We made a good start in the latter portion of 2018 to actually get out and see people, and be social, and have DATE NIGHTS. This is definitely something we’re continuing to make a priority. Because again, taking time for ourselves and each other and group outings IS self-care.
9 SUGGESTIONS FOR 2019
All right, you made it this far, so here are my suggestions for you as you plan your goals for the year.
- Live intentionally, being present in your life – don’t let it just be something that happens to you.
- Be authentically you – don’t try to be someone you’re not to please others.
- Set goals that are specific and measurable – things you can actually see and track are easier to accomplish vs vague and nebulous goals.
- Create a variety of goals – it’s good to be well-rounded.
- Celebrate your milestones – remember to take a minute when you succeed to see how far you’ve come before you press on.
- Focus on the good things – there are plenty of people focusing on the bad already.
- Schedule time for yourself – you deserve it and are worthy of it.
- Slow down – again, don’t miss everything about your own life.
- Be okay with where you are right now AND know that you can start to improve now.