A fresh start to 2023 – how about we *don’t* claim it as our own?

2022 was a bit of an ongoing horror story for me, with this volume of the trilogy reboot starting in 2019 (see what I did there?). In all seriousness, I went into 2022 saying it was going to be my year.  I was so gung ho.
It was a huge mistake.
This year I promised myself and others I’d write more articles (here being a prime example.  I’ve written a dozen.  I’ve posted…this one?), that I’d publish more books, I’d launch my podcast.  I had a huge list of things that I could have done. Could being the operative point.

Could is a difficult one too, because I’m looking back now and I’m miserable because I didn’t get everything I wanted to do, done.  And quite honestly, the later I got in the year the less I got done, the more I felt guilty, and the less motivated I was.  It was like a self-fulfilling loop. Get less done, feel guilty, lowering what I could get done, slower work, more guilt. Repeat.

Mental health makes me susceptible, but I should know better

So for the year coming up, I’m going to make a list of the things I’d like to do, that’s aspirational, but I’m not going to make anything definite or set in stone. I’m going to loop my commitments into what I do, of course, but, i’m not going to force it. I’m going to roll with it. And it’ll be ok if 2023 isn’t ‘my’ year.

The worst of it is, I know that I’ve got this issue with planning. I always start the year with massive plans and none of it optional. By mid-year, I kinda feel like those plans are watching me from the shadows, waiting to take me down and by now, the last couple of weeks in December? I’m pretty sure I’m about to become the victim to my plans best left unsaid. And while I’m teaching a planning class and my next article is about how great the Kindle Scribe is proving to be for my productivity, honestly? I’m not claiming 2023 as my own.  I’m not going in all guns blazing.

Four planning do’s to beat the failure feeling

This year has taught me that if I want to make it through, I have to plan far better, and far more sensibly, so here’s some tips that might work for you if you feel the same way as I do right now.

  1. Don’t make everything link. I know lots of people say you should plan and build on those plans and have sub-goals.  I’m saying the opposite.  Separate things out so you can do them at your own speed, and so if one isn’t completable, it doesn’t hold you up. Do sub-goal, and crosspolinate some, but don’t do what I did and plan ‘this has to be out to do this, which leads to this, then this, then this….’ That’s just another form of procrastination for me, and I’m too good at self-sabotage.
  2. When planning your commitments, make the same room for self-care as you do your regular deadlines. Whether it’s taking time out for your favorite game, movie, show or books, meditating, or exercising, self-care is absolutely vital. A lot of people that I’ve talked to that have engaged in better self-care than me haven’t been as unwell as I’ve been this year.  I’m sure it’s anecdotal, but with the world itself an incredible source of stress, and the news looking like a dystopic movie opening a lot of the time, reducing your stress levels in any way you can is absolutely vital, IMO.
  3. Commit to improvement – the biggest regret I have this year is that I didn’t get to my improvement goals. I’ve been at Ludosport(a martial art style form of exercise with lightsabers- there’s slightly more to it, but it’s a form of (lightsaber) training and dueling, which has a strong emphasis on community and fun), which has been a lot of fun, but I wish I’d managed more. Which brings me to point four.
  4. Regret is a waste of time. I think learning from mistakes and moving on is the best way to handle everything, so while I’m saying ‘I regret what I planned at the beginning of the year, I also got the chance to learn, so it’s not all bad.

I’m still not claiming 2023 as my year.  If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, I’m trying a new approach, we’ll see how that works 🙂

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