How was your first month of the year? Several clients and friends expressed that January was kinda on the rough and raw side... not in a good way.
And they, and maybe you, are not alone. I have plenty to say on this topic... having just lived it firsthand.
The first being, "One month is not a whole quarter, and one month of 12 is just that... no more no less."
I'll share a few highlights, a bit about what worked, what didn't, and how January launched first quarter with what seems to be turning out to be a comedy of errors.
Truly, when it comes to living life, sometimes you just can't make this stuff up.
(NOTE: this post may share affiliate codes, meaning, I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for reading!)
There is a fairly happy ending... just so you know... only because I have somehow managed to retain a sense of humor. Keep that in mind as you review the highlights, k? They don't make up a "scintillating drama" and while they weren't life threatening, I simply pose that these were a few things that impacted me in our first month of 2019.
No New Year's Cheer
Pretty much a lackluster emotional start to the year and in a phase of mid-burnout. The year rang in and I was little-impressed, and much less excited, about a fresh new year. I wanted to be excited and pumped... just not the case this year.
I had my plan all ready and a steep little hill to charge up in January (I've been planning since early 4th quarter) and had no oooomph to get me up that dang hill and crossing off my tasks.
Sick, Sick, Sick
There was a 2-week round of sick that happened in our house this January. Fortunately, or not, my partner and I took turns at coughing and being miserable. As the entrepreneur in the house, I was incredibly envious of her being able to call in sick and still get paid.
I ended up feeling behind, when what was really happening was... I wasn't excited about the New Year and I was ill.
Missed my deadlines... ugh
The deadlines I told myself I would hit... well, I missed them. These weren't client deadlines... they were my deadlines. The promises I made to myself. Like, I missed about 70% of them.
Man, that feels awful and disappointing.
And I tried.
Really tried! And this is the funny part... the last week of the month I sat down and made at least 5 videos... all awful!
Can't-make-this-stuff-up awful. And randomly awful.
That's a mark of efficiency, right? LOL.
Lost, found, and the usual suspects
Plus, there was all the usual ins, outs, and what else's that happen each month. Because each and every month, something interesting or unexpected does happen. It just does. Clients decided to move on. New clients came aboard. Our dog Rosie was insistent that I turn up the heater at any given moment.
"Higher. No. Higher, Mama," she'd imply as she bore holes in me from her rug right next to the heater vent. Hey, I can take a hint. What else do I have to do around here, really?
(Yes, that was sarcasm.)
Add it all up and it felt kinda "meh."
I offer this only as evidence that some months just go that way. Even though I was hoping for more vitality and excitement... it just didn't come for me in January. Some January's are like this. That's how this one went.
My life is still full and moving forward. It just wasn't the way I had planned, envisioned, hoped, or dreamed it would be. The miracle? I did get well again and I did retain my sense of humor.
Somehow, and this is a big one... I was able to count about a dozen tiny wins for the month. Fanfare? No. Solid baby steps? Absolutely.
And, y'know what? I'll take it! I'll absolutely take the tiny progress, the bits of growth in my life. Those are real for me. Those are the conductors and conveyors I have activated to carry me and my life forward.
What else came from January?
New insights, for sure. I didn't see them while I was smack in the middle of those 31 days, but looking back through what I accomplished in my planner? There were several firsts... I'm learning and doing more in indie publishing than I ever have in my life.
And! I blogged more for a few different sites than I ever have before. It's a new space for me.
I keep forgetting that I've never been here before. Yet, I frequently think I "should know" the next step, the path forward... like, because I don't (and I really don't!) I think of myself as less-than or not enough... sometimes I even think I'm dumb. And that's just not true or helpful.
The fact is, I'm new. I've never been here before!
Could it be that you've never been where you are before now?
May I suggest the few small things that helped me not only feel better, but give some real perspective... based on evidence?
Okay, here's what helped, that didn't take a lot of time, and you can do it too!
Let's just keep going!
Okay, so January flopped hard for me. It's only a third of a quarter, it's just 1 month of 12. I still have my sense of humour, and I still have work to do. There are resources available: friends, colleagues, clients, and more all around... that's what we have.
Today. Just pick up and keep going... give yourself an easy win... finish something tiny. Take 3 minutes, no more!, and work on your meditation practic... or novel... or stare out the window if you've been a blur these last weeks. Then, just move on.
Thanks for reading! Thinking of you!
Planning can happen aaany time of the year. So, even though it happens to be January, I'm going to be talking about content planning and marketing throughout the year.
Yes, I've been talking about it for years now... but I'll be talking about it here too.
Let's talk about Word of the Year for a sec, as the word -or phrase- you choose will inform your focus, goals, and even content message for as long as you intend to use it.
Now, I've already talked a bit about what my word of the year isn't... and will likely never be, so let's get on to the phrase that will inform the approach for this year:
You may have a single word that zooms in and clarifies precisely what you're going for this year. That is absolutely super!
Where are you in your process?
It could also be that the just-right word or phrase hasn't really landed for you yet. Also, perfectly acceptable. I've been thinking about this Word of the Year thing for weeks now... and am giving myself a rolling 12 months to continue to work toward refining and zooming in on my focus and goals.
Sometimes it just takes me a little more time than the light-speed that others seem to be travelling at all around me. Even though I'm working at my own pace, I am still making lots of progress, while being true to myself and respectful of a process that actually works for me.
Beginning again, right in the middle.
When you know it's time to take yourself on...when the time, effort, willingness and circumstances align and place a solid boot in your back to take the next, scary step.
Yeah. We're there.
It's unknown, exciting, frustrating and there's a sense of abundance all around it that feels safe and somehow familiar too.
Some of it may seem or feel familiar, if you've followed my content development or copywriting work before. That will show up. But it may be in a more personal voice than you'd find on my business site. We'll see how it unfolds.
What's new and coming will be along the lines of :