Back at the end of 2018 I did what many of us do. I sat down and wrote out an ambitious set of activities for 2019. It’s the end of the year, everyone is doing it.
Traditionally, I do that every year. Then I take a stab or two at doing some of it before I carry on with the rest of the year, doing pretty much what I’ve always done and expecting better results.
Yep, I know. Definition of insanity. One thing I’ve never claimed is that I’m actually sane.
There are things making this year a bit different.
I think the most important factor is that I’m acutely aware of my own age. None of us are getting any younger, but, there is nothing like being aware of being past the middle point of your life to make you wake up to what you’re not doing.
I’m at a stage of life where my own health could take a change in an instant and I could find myself struggling more than I am now. I’ve been pretty lucky health wise. A couple of health issues in the past couple of years, one of which involved the removal of a kidney has made me realize, I’m not immune to life changing health issues.
My goal is to get to the point that life is easier before it gets harder.
Turning the Year Into Sprints
I came across what I thought was good advice while I was writing up my outlook for 2019. Rather than write up the whole year and then not really give it a good look until the end of the year, break the year up into sprints of sorts. Review every three months.
Here we are, coming up on the end of March. Time for that review. How have I done on that ambitious outlook?
Well, I’m embarrassed to say, I’ve barely scratched the surface.
It’s Not the Realization That Matters, It is The Response
There are two ways I can respond to that brutal truth. I can throw up my hands, declare myself a failure and scurry back to the comfort of continuing to do what I’ve always done and expect better results.
I can look at what I’ve succeeded at, no matter how small, and keep on building. And that is what I’m going to do.
First There Is My Writing Frequency
I started out this year with the plan to write and post every day. That notion quickly went to hell in a hand basket. I kept on though. If I’m going to be a writer and one who makes money for doing so, I need to write.
In early March, I adjusted that objective to an average of 500 words published daily. That didn’t mean I actually had to post daily but, it did mean over the course of the month, the average should be met.
Have I met the goal for March? Not at this point. There is a few days left in the month. We’ll see what happens.
For the next quarter, I’ve adjusted the daily posting to reflect the 500 daily average over the month. It’s more realistic.
Then There Are the Audio Versions
Last year I started an infrequent podcast based off my writing on the Steem platform. It was meant to promote the Steem platform through introducing listeners to my content there.
That perspective has changed. Now, I’m doing the podcasts to introduce listeners to the content I create. I took a pause on the podcast and will be relaunching it in the next quarter.
My two plus years on the Steem blockchain has been beneficial for me. I’ve tried things I never would have before. Podcasting was one of those items.
I also learned to tolerate the sound of my own voice on recordings. Does anyone actually like the sound of their own voice on recordings?
Through my online radio broadcasts I’ve learned a lot more about what I can do. In addition to the audio podcasts, I’ll be adding a video version. Nope, that doesn’t mean I’m going to be coming on camera. I have my limits folks. It means I will be creating videos from my writing and posting them.
Another adjustment made to my 2019 outlook.
Progress — It’s All About Progress
I have a friend who I really value. I value not only the friendship which has developed but his perspective and unflinching support. When I share with him a small, incremental improvement, I often do so in a flippant manner.
If I’m being honest, I’m embarrassed it’s not substantial improvement. To me it feels like I’ve not done enough to move the needle in a substantial way. I feel I probably should just keep it to myself until I’ve done better.
He patiently responds the same way, “It’s progress”. He’s done it often enough, I realize, he’s right. Forward is forward, even if it is a fraction at a time.
So, yes, I have only scratched the surface on making progress on that 2019 Outlook, but it is progress. As long as I continue to keep scratching, I’ll make more progress.
Who knows, by the end of the year, I might even have made substantial progress toward that easier life. I might even see some titles in print earning some steady passive income.
Growth Is More Important
I’m slowly, but steadily, gaining the willingness to give myself a break. To admit that I have abilities and should be using them. That is growth for me.
I have been using some of those abilities. I know I can and should keep on honing the abilities into skills. Admitting I don’t have to wait until I’m really good at something to get busy doing it, this is growth.
Yes, I’m on the downside of the length of my life. I’m on the upside of growth as a person. I’m kind of good with that, it means I will never run out of ways to grow and develop no matter how old I get.
Recently I had one of my phone calls with my uncle. He’s 97, in good health and has never lost his zest for life. He’s recently moved into a retirement home. He’s enjoying being around the residents even if some of them really think they are old. He doesn’t. He wont admit to being old until he reaches 100.
He also told me he’s started writing his memoir. Not on the computer, even though he has one. He’s doing so by hand. Now, that is what I call growth and never giving up growing.