Want to make 2018 amazing? Stop setting resolutions, set a foundation.

 Image from unsplash.com.

Image from unsplash.com.

Hey rebel, happy almost 2018!

What people usually do at this point is go forward by setting resolutions they will never keep because they don't have the foundation for it.

I could tell you all about my plans to teach more than I coach in 2018 and how I'm aiming to move to the UK and open myself up to the world again, but these are plans and goals, ones I can only accomplish if I have a strong foundation backing up my future actions. Wishing for things will not make them be.

I propose an alternative - what if instead of setting goals we can never follow through with, we set the foundation for making them happen?

Now the question becomes: 

What could be a strong enough foundation for future success? 

Well, first of all, you need to know what's worked and hasn't worked in the past, which means looking back to 2017, to find the answers. If you don't look at your past year, you're never going to be able to do it RIGHT next year.

I truly believe that. So, raise your glass, and let's do this.

Break it down.

I have found that it helps me see the year better if I break it down into quarters or seasons, so I did that, and here's what happened:

  • 1st I did the huge Creative Rebel Academy project, which was also the first time I have finished and ran a huge project. 
  • 2nd I created The Multipassionate Puzzle course for my fellow multipassionate rebels, just before I went into a summer snooze.
  • 3rd I started 3 books - yes, you read right - and finished the 3rd one, which is also the first time I have ever finished a book draft. 
  • 4th I finally found a way to "niche" the rebel way, started attracting the "right" clients, and I can say what I do without flinching. Those are major wins, and I would've been happy with them alone, but I also created some workshops to share with you in the beginning of 2018, so yayyy.

I can also tell you what I failed to do in 2017...

  • 1st I failed to keep things small, so I ran a huge project before I could test the waters with a smaller one, which I'm about to do next.
  • 2nd I failed to launch anything other than my new course, which I just did a soft launch for because I was too busy "working things out" and planning everything, from marketing to business plan to the copy on my website... while I could have just spent the entire year creating and worrying about those things later. In 2018, I'm not going to make the same mistake.
  • 3rd I kept changing my mind about my Coaching page and kept changing my packages, not realizing that the page wasn't the problem, being unclear in my head was, which I am happy to report is a lot better now.
  • 4th and final, I gave a LOT of things for free, which I don't think is a bad thing, but I wasn't strategic enough about it, which I will work on next. Giving things for free only works if you're clear about WHY you're doing it and if you know exactly what you're trying to achieve. Also, a fellow girlboss reminded me that everything you do trains your audience and next time you offer a paid product, they might expect for it to be free at some point and not want to pay. Just a thought you can munch on for dinner.
TAKE ACTION: Break your year down and see the bigger picture as well as the individual elements. That way, you can see what was missing, what you did right, what you did wrong, and plan for 2018 accordingly. :)

READ: How to Niche the Rebel Way and How to Finish Your Projects.

habits.

I believe every creative should foster better habits instead of spending their lives in the snare of the bad ones. Which is why I started to turn my bad creative habits into better ones this year, and BOY DID IT HELP!!!

As it stands, I've made progress on consistency and completing projects.  Perfectionism is a thing of the past as well.

*does the happy dance*

However, we are made of many habits, which means I have plenty to work with next year, so I think I'll work on focus and procrastination next, and I'll continue improving on jumping ahead, which is what I usually do, but shouldn't.

TAKE ACTION: Look at your creative habits - what's been helping you get things done? What's been holding you back? Keep up the good work with your good habits, but also look for ways to replace/improve the bad ones.

READ: How to turn your bad creative habits into better ones; How to banish perfectionism; How to stop creating backwards.

Theme of the year.

A lot of people choose a word for the new year and then promptly forget it, so what was the point in setting it in the first place? Rather, I'd suggest setting a theme of the year, and you can't set it just because you like it. The rule is that you can't set a theme based on what you wish for, like "adventure" or "romance."

Your new theme has to be the polar opposite of last year’s theme.

So look at your breakdown of 2107 and look for patterns. Maybe you kept getting a creative block of some kind or maybe you struggled to share yourself with the world, the way you wanted. Maybe you closed yourself off...

Now take this recurring theme and turn it into something positive.

In my case, I just noticed that everything I did or didn't do in 2017 had to do with control, and this mania for controlling things ended up bringing me to a not so nice place where I would obsess over my illnesses and count my pills.

When something gets to the point of unhealthy, you gotta turn it around.

So my theme of 2018 will be TRUST - trusting myself, trusting my brand, trusting the Universe, trusting my people, trusting everything around me because I cannot control everything. I can only control my actions.

It is my hope that letting go of control will give me a new peace of mind, which will make me happier, which will make me more successful.

TAKE ACTION: Look at your year and start connecting the dots. Is there a pattern that you kept coming back to? Something you did or was done to you that kept knocking at your door? Something that felt almost outside of your control? Then once you have that theme, turn it around into something positive and put it somewhere you can see it every day.

And if you don't want it to be a word or a theme, you can apply the same exercise to get a positive affirmation or whatever works for you.

READ: When you get tired of your own BS, magic happens.

For example, my mantra going forward is:

I am not my illness, but it is a part of me, a part that I can manage.

Saying this makes me feel better because it send a clear message to my brain that I am much more than an illness, and also it makes me calm because it says that I can manage it, which I have proven true in the last year.

I know it seems silly to talk to yourself, but your mind really needs your reassurance from time to time. So give it that.

Your priorities.

In 2017 I did a lot of things "wrong" by my own standards.

For example, I tried some methods that didn't fit me so well and I got stuck in them a bit longer than ideal, but all this trial and error and experimentation has taught me how to "go back to my rebel ways." Even though it sometimes gets me lost and frustrated, I always try to do that and help others do it, too.

When you're lost in other people's rules, how do you go back to your roots?

By setting the right priorities for you:

Your priorities are day to day reminders that some things are more important and sacrifices must be made.

Truth be told, I wasted too much of 2017 by prioritizing secondary things like marketing and branding and packaging. Don't get me wrong, these are very important things, but they happen AFTER the creation process, and they don't matter more than authentic human connections. Luckily, I managed to go back to what truly matters in the end, and I am moving forward with the following priorities for 2018: CREATE, COLLABORATE, and CONNECT. 

Once you have your priorities down, you'll see that you've been wasting time by focusing on everything other than what truly matters. 

TAKE ACTION: Set your priorities moving forward. But don't do it blindly, just look at 2017 and what your priorities were (whether you set them or not) and make a decision about your new priorities in 2018 based on that. Then, brainstorm on what those mean for your future plans and process.

READ: How to replace the things you hate with things you love, or the article where I finally introduce the idea of "rebel alternatives."

Remember, you can always do things your way, so those things you've been wasting time with can be replaced with the things that truly matter to you. Just read the article I linked to above, and you'll know what I mean.

Did you notice?

I want you to look at everything above:

  • wins and fails
  • habits
  • themes
  • affirmations
  • priorities

None of those things are plans or goals or wishes.

Like I said, when you make plans without backing them up first, you're setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. So you can't keep resolutions without setting a strong foundation first. But if you follow the exercises above, then you'll go into 2018 with a strong foundation for rebel success.

I hope that next year will bring you everything last year failed to bring and that you'll allow yourself to be everything you are and never again compromise on what you believe just because of other people's rules and plans for you.

Don't forget:

You are unique, so everything you do should be.

 

P.S.

Thank you so much for another year of loving support and friendship. This brand would not work without you, and for that, I am so grateful. 


Best of 2017:

 Hey, you're a fun, creative person, but why is your brand so dull?

Hey, you're a fun, creative person, but why is your brand so dull?

 How can you "find your purpose" and why would you want to?

How can you "find your purpose" and why would you want to?

 Starting a brand? Stop asking others to tell you who you are.

Starting a brand? Stop asking others to tell you who you are.

 How to be more productive and work fewer hours. 

How to be more productive and work fewer hours. 

 

Violeta Nedkova

Violeta Nedkova is a multipassionate marketer who loves helping people. She talks and writes about marketing with purpose and personality because it's so much better than traditional marketing.