Did you get everything done that you’d wanted to get done in 2016?
I sure as hell didn’t.
2016 was a year I worked hard and ended up with not much to show for it. I threw all my eggs in all the wrong baskets, put the wrong priorities in the spotlight and important things on the back burner, and didn’t achieve a single one of my resolutions for the year. I learned a lot, though. Things like:
- I don’t need to put as much effort into fun projects as I put into important projects. I can get burned out by working too hard on recreational side projects just as easily as working on professional projects.
- Pushing myself too hard makes me less productive. I got overwhelmed this year, and it’s my own fault.
- If something happens in my life that affects my motivation and happiness, I need to work to get myself back on track. Even a minor emotional hiccup can take months to recover from if you’re not doing anything to help yourself.
- It’s okay to back out of a project if it’s ruining your life. However, if it’s a collaborative project, a good first step is to see if you can adjust your responsibilities to something that fits your schedule (and mental health) better.
2016 was the Year of Lost Potential. Everything fell apart early in the year and kept unraveling, and it wasn’t until December—no lie—that I finally started to feel like I could start to get back on track.
2017 will be…what? The Year I Balanced Progress and Self Care? The Year I Learned to Say No to Unpractical Creative Endeavors? The Year I Finished My Novel? The Year I Finally Dusted Off Those Short Stories and Submitted Them for Publication? Or maybe simply, A Year I Made Further Progress with Myself and Learned Valuable Lessons for 2018.
Because another thing 2016 has taught me is that even if I fail, I am still making progress toward becoming the writer and the person I am trying to be.