This year after I completed 52 books in 52 weeks I contemplated what my next goal should be. Should it be 100 books? Should it be 52 acts of kindness? Maybe 52 self-care practices? You all had so many ideas! My list lover in me wants to create a whole slew of New Years resolutions and goals but I’ve found over the years that to have one or two main focuses is better and more sustainable.
This past year I experienced what I would call as writers block. It’s ironic because I started out 2017 with a memoir writing class but after that it was like I couldn’t find words to string into sentences. I couldn’t find phrases that meant anything or themes that followed any kind of path. I would think about writing in the car on the way to work or before I fell asleep. But I couldn’t put all my thoughts rolling around in my head onto paper.
So for this year I thought I would make a goal for myself of writing 25 blogs posts or essays. They don’t all have to published online. Some can just sit safely saved in my documents. I like the number 25 because it gets me into the habit of writing almost every other week for a whole year. If I have an “off” week or am out of town or super busy with work I don’t need to feel the pressure to bust out a writing piece.
Last night I did a hot yoga flow class at my local neighborhood studio. Yes, I said hot! It is finally cold enough to actually enjoy hot yoga. Yesterday it rained all day and it was so cozy and warm in the studio (and then less cozy and more sweaty). I then took a meditation class after with my friend. I’m finding that I can meditate or slow down a little bit better after some kind of movement. All the ruminative thoughts and over-analyzing seem to slow after a yoga flow class so I can focus on being more mindful.
Anyway the class discussed new years resolutions and we all visualized our goals and then created practical steps to make them happen. Pretty simple stuff really. I think it’s the actually following through thing that makes it hard.
Here are my writing goals for the year:
- Write 25 blogs posts/essays by December 31, 2018
- Must be at least 500 words (about a typed page worth)
- Can be hand-written or typed on any subject
The hardest thing for me about this goal is letting my writing just be. I want it to be perfect before the practice. And writing is all about practice. I think that’s what stunted my writing growth last year. I started my own business in private practice and feeling more “out there” in the public eye had me feeling very self-conscious. Suddenly things like my reputation and other’s perceptions of me became very large and looming. Every time I sat down to write only a few words would squeak out. If I finally managed to write a paragraph I would edit it over and over, adding here and there, subtracting from this and that and then eventually never finish it or post it online. I leaned on lots of list making last year in my journal (which is one of my favorite things) and I think the structure of that gave me some security in my writing.
You all were so encouraging and kind this past year asking about my book challenge and cheering me on! I certainly didn’t post enough (any) book reviews but I’m happy to see I at least finished a blog post about it! After reading so many books last year and letting them all marinate within me for some time I am hopeful that I have some writing just waiting for me in this new year.
I’m curious to know what your goals, hopes or intentions are for the New Year? What are you holding on to and what are you letting go? And if you don’t have any that’s okay too! Sometimes our very life has enough opportunities for movement and mindfulness that we don’t need yet another resolution. My prayer is that each of us can gently ease our way into 2018. Moving in slowly and watching the year unfold is totally okay too.