Start Your New Year Right – Now!

Whew! It’s been a busy couple of weeks for your humble internet blogger. Along with the usual pre-holiday madness, I also had an article published on She’s Self-Employed. If you currently are, or are thinking about adding CEO to your name, it’s a must-visit site. Hopefully, I’ll have some more pieces coming out soon as well.

"The Knight's Dream", 1655, by Anton...

Don't ignore your dreams. Image via Wikipedia

I also was stricken with the sudden burning desire to completely rearrange my bedroom (also known as my office, private library, workout room and television room). It took a couple of days of shoving furniture around, stubbing my toes on everything and agonizing over what to toss versus what to keep. Luckily, my childhood Tetris habit has helped me develop the organization skills to live out of a single room and still be able to see the floor. So my New Year, will see me with a new view – literally.

Happy New Year?

But enough about me – I want to hear about you, all of you. With the New Year just around the corner, are you also clearing out space and getting ready? Or is January 1st just another number on the calendar? There really is nothing magical about the start of a new year, but seeing that first fresh page seems to trigger a desire to freshen ourselves up – freshen up our priorities, our perspectives, our lives and our dreams. Seeing the 1st approach gives me a nice little thrill of anticipation; it’s the excitement of unknown potential and the adventure of not knowing what the year will bring.

Of course, while it’s great to hop on the bandwagon and ride the collective wave of New Year’s optimism, you don’t have to wait until  another 1 shows up on your calendar. Any day, any hour, any minute is a chance to start making change in your life. If you’ve had a dream sitting on the back-burner, make this the time to dust it off and take a new look at it.

Hello? Anyone home?

Yes, I know I repeat this ad nauseum in my posts, but if you’re not telling yourself what you need – then chances are that someone else is telling you what you need. And what the heck do they know?

Claiming time for yourself is vital (I’d go insane without it). Even if it’s just to listen to music in the park, read a book at a cafe, or just stare out the window of your bedroom, it’s a break from being “on”; from being the employee, the roommate, the spouse, the parent, the child or any of the other hats you wear in your life. Quiet time alone is time to get in touch with you, the you that’s tired, the you that wants to watch the snow or leaves fall, the you that’s free to laugh at nothing or just cry and let it all out. That you – that quiet you – is also the you that has ideas about what you want to do in life. The quiet you is the you that will tell you if your job is sucking you dry or if you’re really craving more meaning in your daily dealings. But you have to listen.

What Do Really, Really Want?

If the thought of getting in touch with yourself makes you think of New Age chanting and incense, then try this little trick. Imagine that your life is a movie or novel, with yourself as the lead character. Now just fantasize about the coolest scenes in “your” movie. Don’t worry about being realistic – we’re talking about a movie remember? Do you think you’d make an awesome James Bond or Indiana Jones? Or do you see yourself waltzing into a Parisian sunset with your dream guy/girl? Are you a sucker for the moment when the underdog makes good and rises to the top? Think of your all-time favorite flicks – why do they resonate with you? Could a reason be that they reflect something you might want a bit of in your own life? Do you get the tingles when you picture yourself being a suave (wo)man of action or artistic romantic? Do you want it enough to work for it?

Work Smart – and Hard

We live in an age where information is everywhere. Whatever you dream or goal, chances are there is someone on the internet talking about it. Blogs, websites, meetup groups and forums are all great places to get the heads-up on what you’re really in for. Want to be a writer? See if your favorite authors have active websites. Talk to other writers, both the wannabe and the old pros. Want to start an exercise plan? Ask others what their tips and tricks are. Find an online buddy to motivate you or get some locals together for group walks. Reaching out can not only help you decide just how feasible your goals are, but also find you new friends and perhaps even unexpected opportunities. Life is unpredictable; you can’t know for certain how something will turn out unless you go ahead and give it a shot.

Be Open

Yes, you might fail. No one might come to your walking group, or some fellow hack might tell you that your writing made his eyes bleed. You might achieve your dream and be disappointed. It doesn’t matter. Let me repeat that: it does not matter. Here’s why: even if your original plans fall through, you might be left in prime position to grab a new opportunity and you’ll have new experience and skills under your belt to take with you. Of course, if you’re eyeball-deep in a disappointed funk because things didn’t turn out the way you wanted, then you might not see all the new possibilities right in front of you. If your grand plan for group walks doesn’t pan out, try walking solo for a couple of weeks – you might find the quiet time refreshing. If someone pans your writing, ignore them, or take a class and focus on polishing it up.

Need more motivation? Here are a couple of other places to read about how others are planning to make magic, cause mischief and just generally own 2012:

The blog mistress of Charmed, I’m Sure taking a magical view of the new year – literally. 

Every year, the National Novel Writing Month folk (the survivors at any rate) round off a crazy month by planning a crazier year.

What’s the best, brightest, most awesome goal you can shoot for in the coming year?

Also – I want to keep writing posts that help you. What kind of topics would you like to see on this blog? Interviews? Reviews? Something completely different? Comment below with your ideas!

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