As in previous years I’ve been thinking alot in the last few weeks of what I’ve acheived in this year and what I want to do in 2018.

Looking back

My goals for 2017 were:

  • Dutch exams
  • write every day
  • time with family every day
  • proactive

The two big things that I’ve achieved this year are that I passed my Dutch exams, and that I’ve written every day. These are two big things that I am really pleased to be able to say.

The other two goals I had for 2017 (time with family and being proactive) are things that I have been successful with at times. But I still need to work on these, as I don’t want to get complacent and stop doing these.

Looking forward

This year I know that 2018 will be a very different year, as starry girl will be starting school. So I will suddenly have a lot more time to play with. Because of the changes I have been trying different things this year for my process of review and goal setting. I have worked through Susannah Conway’s Unravel Your Year workbook, and I’ve also taken part in Quest2018 run by Tracking Wonder. (Though it was probably a bit over the top to do both!) I will comment at the bottom on each of these processes, but first to my aims for the next year.

With all my extra time I have decided to focus on my writing, as I want to see where it will take me. I want to spend time exploring what I can do, trying things out and seeing where it takes me. I have no current plans to publish what I write (at least in the short term), although I may add some things to here to see what response I get. Actually publishing a book will be my 2019 goal! One thing I have been worrying about is how I set any sort of goal for this for next year. I have no idea how much I can realistically write in a year, or how much I will actually write in a year. This is going to be such a big change that I will have to see how it works. I want to have something to work towards, and yet I don’t want that to be so big and scary that it detracts from everything else in my life. When my children are around I want to be able to give them my full attention, without stressing that I haven’t done whatever self-imposed task of the day.

Though saying that, as I found the 365 Club so useful this year, I have signed up for 2018 with a target of 1000 words a day this time. That is my initial stab in the dark based on how I’ve done this year, and I shall see how feasible that is. Along with that I want to take myself as a writer more seriously and be more professional about it.

In addition to this I want to work on my daily routines. Morning especially has become a bit chaotic. So I want to prioritise making that run a bit smoother. As well as other key points through the day, eg evenings, back from school, etc. As I mentioned when I was talking about writing I also want to focus on me. I need to look after myself and not push myself to do too much at the detriment of other things. Making sure I get enough sleep, being active, eating well, and consciously taking time out to relax and do nothing productive. The key word in that last one in consciously; as it is too easy to just drift and get nothing done, which is not what I mean.

Lastly I want to talk to my friends, so making sure that I see people here and also calling people I don’t see frequently. I’ve been working to contact people as a way of staying in touch, but that doesn’t replace conversations. So I will be phoning people to chat. I’m not a big fan of the phone (which is why I don’t do this very much) but I really feel that it’s important to actually talk.

Goals for 2018:

  • focus on writing
  • improve daily routines
  • look after me
  • talk to friends

The two programs

Quest2018 is a really interesting program, which included a weekly recorded conversation from really interesting people. It was quite intensive, but very thought-provoking. It is a four-week process, as the recordings and emails are timed through December. So there’s not so much flexibility in when you can do it. And I was quite shocked when I went to listen to the first recording and it was over an hour long. That’s quite a commitment, but they were really interesting to listen to and I found lots of new people to follow and ideas to think about. The instigations were very well thought out and all tied together very well. As part of this I signed up to an accountability group, but it didn’t really get off the ground as the only person who replied had already dropped out of the process. I would’ve been really interested to have this extra encouragement so I’m a bit disappointed that it didn’t work out. Though there is a Facebook group and hashtags to follow to link up with other people working through these instigations.

Unravel your year was much more spiritual and internal looking. It’s also self-paced as it’s a workbook you can work through when you have time and the inclination. I found this really satisfying to work through and the questions were insightful and thought-provoking. It is also a solitary process, though I know of some people who have sat down and worked through it as a group.

I found both of these processes really interesting, and they both made me really think about what I do and what I want to do next year and beyond. There were some overlaps between the two, which made the two of them synergise. I’m not sure that I will continue to do both, though it would be difficult to say which I have found more useful and would choose over the other.

Sorry this was so long and all the best to you all for 2018!

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